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The first year experience staff are here to provide support and guidance as students go through their first year at the university and beyond. The FYE office is located in 100A Meier Hall.  Students are invited to stop in to ask questions or meet with one of the mentors or success coaches if they have specific questions or concerns. Students may also contact the office by emailing

Mathew Chetnik, director
Franklin Chilaka, assistant director
Sara Moore, faculty fellow for the first year experience (FYRE and learning communities)
Amy L. Everitt, faculty fellow for the first year experience (first year seminar)
Dan Dillingstudent success coach
Keyla Eusebio, student success coach
Allie Kadell, student success coach
Jordan Thompson, student success coach
Alexandra Valdez, student success coach



Always O-utstanding. Definitely O-utrageous. Truly O-riginal

O-Team (Opening Team) is a group of upper-class students who volunteer to help welcome the incoming class of first year students each year in August/September, ensuring that each student has an awesome start to the year. Any upper-class student can be a member of the O-Team as long as they bring a high level of enthusiasm and dedication to welcoming students to the university.

O-Team assists in coordinating and implementing the First Year Day of Service and Opening Day which includes Convocation, FYRE, and several other events. O-Team members are positive role-models for first year students and possess knowledge of campus resources, student organizations, processes, and university events/activities. 


First Year Office Assistants

FYE office assistants support the first year experience office by staffing the reception desk, answering phones and referring students to appropriate resources. Office assistants provide support for a variety of projects including advertising events, scheduling appointments, keeping the office organized, and carrying out administrative tasks. FYE office assistants typically work between five and 10 hours per week (depending on schedule and availability) and are paid an hourly rate of $11 per hour. Applicants for the office assistant position must have work-study through financial aid and possess strong customer service skills. Students interested in applying should submit a completed application to Please be mindful that on some web browsers you may have print the PDF in order to save the content. Before submitting be sure to review the application.


First Year Mentors

Mentors are undergraduate student staff who work out of the first year experience office, coordinate programs and events, and serve as a resource for first year and transfer students with questions or concerns. Mentors typically work five to 10 hours a week (depending on schedule and availability) and are paid an hourly rate of $11.50 per hour. To apply, students should fill out the application form or re-application form, save to their computer, and then email the completed application to as an attachment.

For more information about our mentors or to see what they are up to, visit our blog at: 

First Year Mentors

  • Dara Clowser

    Dara Clowser

    Dara is a junior whose major is psychology, but she is planning to switch to social work. Dara has worked as an office assistant in the FYE office, and this is going to be her first year working as a first year mentor. Dara is a member of the Salem State ice hockey team and lacrosse team. To achieve first year success, Dara would tell students to be open to everything and anything, and to become active and social on campus. Also, most importantly, Dara tells students: go to class!

  • Hannah Newcombe

    Hannah Newcombe

    Hannah is a sophomore and a geological science major. She is an honors student from the class of 2019. The clubs on campus she is involved with include the community council, chemistry society, first year advisory board, WMWM Salem, and the honors program advisory council. Hannah advises first year students to join clubs! That way you can meet new people that have common interests with you and you will make new friends. Her personal interests include knitting, rock collecting and random acts of kindness. She is also a first degree black belt.

  • Kathryn McCarthy

    Kathryn McCarthy

    Kathryn is in her senior year at Salem State and is a double major in early childhood education and sociology. She has been involved with FAB since her freshman year. Kathryn's advice to first year students is to come into the new experience with an open mind and positive attitude. With both of those, you can do anything you put your mind to! One of Kathryn’s favorite things about her first year was taking an education learning community! She enjoys sports and theatre. She loves field hockey, softball and baseball.

  • Ashley Paron

    Ashley Paron

    Ashley is in her sophomore year at Salem State. She is an elementary education major. During her first year, Ashley was inducted into alpha lambda elta Honor Society. Ashley would like first year students to know that no matter what their brain is telling them, they will make friends, and plenty of them. She was so scared moving into a dorm and being a loner, but now she gets to live with her best friend that she met here! Her interests include painting, makeup, music, and being with her friends. 

  • Jenna Bekeshka

    Jenna Bekeshka

    Jenna Bekeshka is in her sophomore year as a criminal justice major, and she is considering minoring in social work and psychology. She thinks that a great way to be successful in your first year is to become familiarized with all of the academic resources, such as the writing center, peer tutors, and the library. College can be a significant academic shift, but there are so many campus resources to help you out! Jenna loves being a part of the Salem State community and expanding her knowledge through great experiences. 

  • Kaitlynn Bartley

    Kaitlynn Bartley

    Kaitlynn is majoring in English with a minor in secondary education as a senior at Salem State University. She is also a writing tutor, subject tutor and a tutor in residence for the summer bridge academy. To start your first year off on a successful note, Kaitlynn says to get a planner and use it! One of Kaitlynn’s favorite things about Salem State is living on campus and hanging out with her friends in the residence halls. She loves dogs, books, hugs, and bad jokes

  • Hunter Cote

    Hunter Cote

    Hunter is in his junior year at Salem State. He is a biology major with a concentration in biomedical sciences. Hunter is a member of the commonwealth honors program. Hunter became a first year mentor because he believes the FYE office provides great resources for first year and transfer students. To achieve first year success, Hunter would like first year students to know that college won't be as easy as high school, so he would advise them to work hard and make sure that they actually study for exams. Hunter is also a huge Patriots fan!

  • Jennyfer Frederico

    Jennyfer Frederico

    Jennyfer is a sophomore who is a double major in psychology and English. She is part of the urban arts theater, which is an expression of diversity and cultural awareness through arts such as spoken word poetry, dance, step, music, and drama. She is also part of the multicultural student association organizations. Jennyfer would like first year students to know that although transitioning from high school to college is hard, there are many resources on campus to help them get comfortable. Jennyfer is interested in writing and dancing.

  • Stella Willis

    Stella Willis

    Stella is currently an education major with a minor in political science as a junior at Salem State. She is hoping to be accepted into the social work program. This is her second year as a First Year Mentor. She is also the president of the alliance on campus, and involved with the community service group and the women's center. Stella believes connecting with faculty, clubs and volunteer opportunities is a great way to be successful during your first year. Stella enjoys hiking, swimming, and talking about social justice issues. 

  • Angelina Benitez

    Angelina Benitez

    Angelina is in her junior year at Salem State University. She is a double major in Spanish and dance with a concentration in secondary education. This is her second year as a first year mentor and secretary for repertory dance theatre. To be successful in your first year, Angelina believes it is important to have an open mind, get a planner and go to first year events! One of her favorite memories at Salem State is attending a paint night program held in Bowditch Hall. She loves participating in repertory dance theatre and she loves to read and draw as well.

  • Patrick Braley

    Patrick Braley

    Patrick is a psychology major and a sophomore at Salem State. He is involved in the gender and sexuality alliance, and holds leadership roles in the sigma alpha epsilon fraternity. He is also a desk receptionist in marsh hall. To achieve success during your first year, Patrick suggests joining a club, where you can connect with other students and make new friendships! One of Patrick’s favorite things about his first year was his first year seminar class. Patrick is interested in music, psychology, body language, reading, and spending time with his friends.

  • Kelly O’Loughlin

    Kelly O’Loughlin

    Kelly is in her senior year at Salem State. She is a double major in technical theatre and history. Kelly is in the Honors Program, and is involved in theatre department productions. She plans to be involved with the Student Theatre Ensemble this upcoming fall semester. Kelly believes that asking lots of questions will help lead you to success during your first year at Salem State! One of Kelly's favorite things to do is to go to downtown Salem to get coffee at Front Street Coffee House with friends! Kelly likes to read, swim, and take long drives. 

  • Shelbie Barney

    Shelbie Barney

    Shelbie is a junior psychology major with a minor in political science. She is in the sorority Theta Phi Alpha, and she also works as an admissions ambassador. To achieve first year success, Shelbie says to take your first year one day at a time, as you have plenty of time to accomplish and experience everything you want to while you’re here! Shelbie loves to read, write, and listen to music. She also enjoys sitting out on the quad in front of the library, where she feels you really get a sense of the tight-knit Salem State community! 

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