A Student to Answer, Guide, and Advise

Each first-year seminar has an upper-class student mentor called a student success leader, or SSL, who attends your seminar, helps you with advising, and answers academic questions. Once you have been assigned your seminar over the summer, your SSL will get in touch with you to discuss how to build your schedule for the fall and to answer any questions you have about academics at Hollins.

Note: We are currently updating the information for the upcoming fall term. Below is information from fall of 2022. Please check back later for the current year’s descriptions.

Hello, class of 2026!! My name is Lilibeth Arzate, and I am a rising second year at Hollins. I am Mexican (Guerrero, Mexico) and grew up in North Carolina, have a cat named Corazon, a political science major and communication studies/Spanish minor. I am very excited to be your Student Success Leader this fall for Professor Bratic’s first-year seminar. At Hollins, I am involved with the Model Arab League, La Casa Hispánica, Students for Environmental Action, and the People of Color Committee. Outside of class, I like to roam the library finding cozy spots to study in, hang out with my roommate, and swim at the pool. I cannot wait to meet and start working with you all in the fall; it is going to be a great year. If you have ANY questions about Hollins, your seminar class, or just random questions, feel free to reach out anytime at arzatel@hollins.edu

Autumn Baxter

Hello, class of 2026! I’m Autumn Baxter! I am so incredibly excited to be your Student Success Leader for Professor Hendrick’s Designing Women first-year seminar! I’m a rising sophomore, and still undecided, so I’m taking all kinds of classes, including ones about international studies, ceramics, architecture, and art history! I can usually be found within the Wetherill Visual Arts Center or, on Tuesday and Thursday nights, at the rock-climbing wall on campus! I am part of the climbing team and the Hollins Outdoor Athletes, and I absolutely recommend going on any of the trips that the Hollins Outdoor Program offers. (My fall semester I was able to go caving for the first time, and it was amazing!) I am also from Roanoke, born and (mostly) raised here, so I will always be happy to give you recommendations for little shops and restaurants nearby. I love meeting new people, so feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, either through my email at baxterag@hollins.edu or, if you’re a little scared of formalities, at @doctor.worm.phd on Instagram. I am super excited to meet all of you—have a wonderful (sunscreen-ed) summer!

Adarra Blount

Hi! I’m Adarra, and I am going to be the SSL for Supreme! America’s Highest Court. I will be a senior history and political science double major, so I basically never leave Pleasants. On the rare occasions I do, you can find me in NEFA (Near East Fine Arts specialty house), where I will be president. I call Cary, NC, home when I’m not here at Hollins. I love Cookout, Fried Green Tomatoes, and the color yellow. I am on the council for the Black Student Union, and I serve as a student chaplain. Feel free to reach out with any questions! My email is blountal@hollins.edu. Have a rocking summer, and I’ll see y’all this fall!

Naomi Gakusi

Hellurr class of 2026! My name is Saro Naomi Gakusi, and I am a junior. I am double majoring in environmental studies and public health, and I will be your SSL for Professor Derrick’s class Is Anyone Listening? I am from Rwanda, but I have lived in many other countries. Apart from loving to travel, I am a big lover of nature and food. I can’t wait to hear all about your interests very soon! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email at gakusis@hollins.edu.

Marie Gruver

Hi, y’all! My name is Marie Gruver, and I’ll be your SSL for Professor Schweitzer’s Theories of Color first-year seminar! I am a rising junior double majoring in classical studies and history. I grew up in a very rural, small town in southwest Michigan, but I am absolutely loving living out on the east coast now. (I also know way too many Michigan fun facts, so please don’t hesitate to ask!) You can find me outside reading on the front porch of Main, studying in Pleasants, or hammocking at Carvins Cove with my friends. I am so excited to meet all of you and cannot wait to be your SSL! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at gruverme@hollins.edu.

Lee Merritt

Hello! I’m Lee Merritt, and I’m super excited to be Professor Breske’s SSL! I’m a rising sophomore and an international studies major. I’m from Chester, VA, but Hollins has been my perfect home away from home. Outside of classes, you can find me writing poetry or embroidering in Beale Garden if the weather is nice. On most days, you can find me in Greenberry’s, the campus coffee shop! The second floor Valk study alcove is another guaranteed place to find me. Late night Cookout runs, lessons in Presser, and Monday night bingo always keep me running around! I can’t wait to meet y’all and help make Hollins home! If you have any questions or just want to talk, please feel free to reach out to me at merrittar@hollins.edu.  See y’all soon!

Halo Montgomery

Hi everyone! My name is Halo Montgomery, and I will be your SSL for Professor De Groot’s first-year seminar! I am a rising junior majoring in communication studies, but I am also fond of literature and writing as well—so I’m so excited to be in this seminar with you! I come from a little town called Independence in Virginia, so Hollins really does feel just like home to me. I love watching the same five comfort movies on repeat (all of which are either fantasy or based on Jane Austen), singing along to musicals, studying Japanese, and riding my bike when the weather is nice. When I’m not haunting the halls of Pleasants in between classes or studying in the lower level of Moody, you can find me taking long walks around campus at night and picnicking with my friends next to the oyster pond. I’m so excited to meet you guys this fall and learn more about you! If you want to chat or have a question, feel free to email me at montgomeryhp@hollins.edu. Have a fantastic summer, and welcome to Hollins!

Lily Morningstar

Hello y’all! My name is Lily Morningstar, and I will be your SSL for the seminar with Professor Diaz. I am a rising senior majoring in political science. I live in South Carolina with my family and four cats. Other than schoolwork, I am involved in two clubs on campus, Students Helping to Achieve Rewarding Experiences (S.H.A.R.E.) and the K-pop+ Club. Feel free to email me at morningstarl@hollins.edu if you have any questions or concerns about starting your first year, the seminar, or anything else. I look forward to meeting and getting to know y’all next semester!

Chanmoulis Mout

Hello class of 2026! My name is Chanmolis Mout. I really look forward to being your SSL for Professor Schnurman’s seminar on Relationships: Chaos to Contentment. I am a rising senior, double majoring in international studies and environmental studies. I am from Cambodia. I love traveling and meeting wonderful people. During my free (and alone) time at Hollins, which is super rare, you can find me sunbathing or stargazing behind the library. I look forward to being your SSL! Feel free to reach out to me anytime. My email address is moutc@hollins.edu. I can’t wait to meet you all in the fall!

Abigail Philliips

Hello everyone! My name is Abigail Phillips and I am a rising sophomore at Hollins. I am double majoring in history and education, in hopes of teaching middle school social studies. I am an avid lover of nature and have a collection of plants and succulents in my room. I am from a very small town in North Carolina where agriculture is prominent. I am excited to be your Student Success Leader with Professor Wagner in the fall of 2022. I would love to help with any questions you may have. Please email me anytime over the summer at phillipsan@hollins.edu, even if it is just to say hello. I cannot wait to meet you! Stay safe and have a lovely summer.

Kayla Richardson

Hello class of 2026! My name is Kayla Richardson, and I’m going to be the SSL for Professor Schumm’s first-year seminar. I am a rising junior double majoring in political science and sociology, and I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m currently the class of 2024 vice president and the senator for Model UN/Arab League, and you may see me during one of my work study shifts in the library. During my free time, I like watching anime, spending time with my friends, or listening to music. I’m excited to be able to introduce you to the wide variety of things at Hollins, and if you ever have questions, please feel free to email me at richardsonkm2@hollins.edu! I’m looking forward to meeting you in the fall, and I hope we have a great semester together!

Matilda Sieger

Hello, class of 2026! My name is Matilda Sieger, and I’m the SSL for Professor Burnside’s Fate and Free Will course. I’m from The Bronx, New York. I’m a rising sophomore at Hollins; I’m an English major pursuing a teacher’s licensure, with a dance minor—in other words, I’m very busy! When I’m not in class, you can usually find me reading on the third floor of the library, frolicking about in one of the dance studios, sewing my pointe shoes, or hanging out with my friends. I’m also a member of Hollins choir and am an editor for Gravel, our campus’ multicultural literary magazine. My favorite color is yellow; my favorite book is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; and my beverage of choice is a hot chai latte. Now that you know a bit about me, I’d love to get to know you! My email is siegermi@hollins.edu, and my Instagram is @swan.tilda. Welcome to Hollins; I can’t wait to meet you in the fall!

Kori Silence

Hey, class of 2026! My name is Kori Silence, and I will be the SSL for Professor Trowell’s first-year seminar. I am a rising sophomore majoring in Spanish and political science, and I am from Lexington, KY. I love keeping busy and staying involved in campus organizations like the theatre and music departments. I love enjoying nature, thrifting, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Please reach out if you have any questions, especially silly ones! My email is silenceke@hollins.edu. I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you!

Hannah Slusser

Hello everyone! My name is Hannah Slusser, and I will be your SSL in the seminar with Professor Nuñez! I am a rising junior majoring in history with a minor in Greek. I am from Bedford, VA, so Hollins is very close to home! If you want to find me on campus, I’m probably in the library or interacting with clubs on campus! This past year I was SGA vice president and president of the YA Book Club. I look forward to meeting you all and helping you feel comfortable in this community we call home! If you have any questions about anything (even the most random things) please reach out to me at slusserhc@hollins.edu! I hope you all have a great summer and an even better first year at Hollins!