IB Peer Advisors

Peer advisors are trained junior & senior majors who volunteer their time to complement the staff advising services by sharing their knowledge of and experience with lower division requirements and upper division classes, experience with student groups on campus, preparation for life beyond the B.A., and use of various campus resources.

Meet with a peer advisor:


Peer Advisor Hours - Spring 2024

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
10-11am   Sydney   Sydney Karena
11am-12pm Sydney Karena   Karena Bella
12-1pm CLOSED
1-2pm   Shayla      
2-3pm   Bella   Shayla  
3-4pm     Shayla   CLOSED
4-5pm (Zoom only) Bella        

Peer Advisor Bios:
Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Languages Spoken: Chinese (Mandarin)
Majors & Minors: IB (EEOB), MCB (IMM1)
Research: I am working in the Evolutionary Genetics Lab of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and studying the species limit of White-breasted Nuthatch in the subspecies contact zone in Northern California using a genomics approach.
Activities: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, California Ecology and Conservation, Lavender Alliance at Berkeley
Post Graduate Plans: graduate school/research
Major Classes Taken: IB 104LF, IB 114, IB 118, IB 134L, MCB C100A, MCB c103, MCB 140, MCB 150, MCB 150L, UCNRS California Ecology and Conservation

Hi everyone! My name is Bella, and I am a fourth-year student majoring IB and MCB. I am originally from Suzhou, China. Since childhood, I enjoyed learning science especially biology, and Berkeley makes me love biology even more. My experience as a specimen maker and curator in Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (applied through URAP) got me crazy about birds and nature history. Meanwhile, through the coursework, I find the application of molecular biology on a larger scale in nature really intriguing, thus I am doing a double major and conducting research in genomics and evolutionary bio.
Usually, you can find me exploring foods and boba places around the campus, taking a walk at the Berkeley Marina, UC Botanical Garden and other natural places for bird watching, or watching comedy shows at dorm.

Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers
Languages Spoken: Russian
Majors & Minors: IB (IHB)
Research: D'espesito Lab: Using inhibitory TMS to improve decision-making by reducing competition between learning systems, Richards Lab: the role of sleep in emotional information processing, study the biology of PTSD nightmares and nightmare enactment, and examine the effectiveness of medication treatments for sleep disturbance in people with a history of psychological trauma and/or PTSD.
Activities: Cal KGD, D'esposito Lab, Basic Needs Center, Berkeley Hillel
Post Graduate Plans: Medical School
Major Classes Taken: IB 131/L, IB 140, IB 159, MCB 102, PH 142, IB 164, IB 142L

Hi! My name is Karena and I'm a fourth year majoring in IB. I'm from Los Angeles. My interests include biology, playing tennis, art, and music. I chose IB because it gave me the chance to explore many fields of biology, and for all of the great class options! Please feel free to come talk to me about being pre-med, research, choosing classes, and anything in between! Excited to meet you!

Preferred Pronouns: She/her
Majors & Minors: IB (IHB)
Research: Fenyong Liu, Public Health. Investigation Of A Human Complement Component 3 (C3) Virally Encoded Ligand In Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV)
Activities: Suitcase ClinicLiu Lab with Haas Scholars, CalTV News, Field Study Internship Program (HMAP)Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity
Post Graduate Plans: Medical School
Major Classes Taken:  IB 131, IB 131L, IB 132, IB 132L, IB C143A, MCB 102

Hi everyone! My name is Shayla and I’m a fourth year majoring in IB. I’m from Carlsbad, CA and I enjoy working out, going on day-trips, thrifting, and cooking (at least trying to). I chose IB because I love learning about science from a broader perspective and how it all ties into the human body! I also really love the classes offered by IB and the people.

If you have any questions about being pre-med, research/how to get it, extracurricular on campus, four-year plans, prepping for grad school, resources or anything else, please feel free to talk to me! I’m happy to listen and help :)

Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Majors & Minors: IB (EEOB)
Research: Currently completing my honors thesis with Paul Aigner (UC Davis) and Onja Razafindratsima (UC Berkeley - IB). I am looking at the impacts of restoration efforts in serpentine grasslands on the flammability of the landscape.
Activities: SEEDS: Strategies for Ecology, Education, Diversity, and Sustainability, CEC: California Ecology and Conservation, Fung Fellowship, Logging Sports Team
Post Graduate Plans: Graduate School
Major Classes Taken: IB 134L, IB 150, IB C156, IB 178, UCNRS California Ecology and Conservation

Hi! My name is Sydney Binns and I am a fourth year majoring in IB with an Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology emphasis. My major academic interests lie within conservation and ecology but I have explored a wide variety of fields during my time at Cal. I chose to major in IB because I am most interested in big picture biology and love the exploring how different fields of biology interact with each other. Outside of academics I enjoy being in the ocean (surf/scuba), hiking/camping, hanging out with my cat, and reading/watching Harry Potter. I'm always happy to talk about undergraduate research, choosing classes, graduate school, applying for internships/fellowships, nerves about school, and anything in between!

IB Peer Advising Application

How can I become an IB Peer Advisor?

The application to be a peer advisor for the 2023-2024 school year is available at https://bit.ly/IBMCBPeer23. You can also talk to staff advisor Zac if you have questions about applying to the program.

Information for 2023-2024 Applications

The application for 2023-2024 is available at https://bit.ly/IBMCBPeer23. We encourage interested students to review our info session from 2021 on YouTube and review the slides with common questions from past peers (note some of the dates, deadlines, etc. from past materials may no longer be relevant). Mandatory weekly meetings will be Thursdays 10-11am during Fall 2023.

Summer Application Timeline

Aug 14, 2023 Applications Due, by 8am
Aug 15-18, 2023 Interviews
Aug 18, 2023 Notifications Sent
Aug 21, 2023 Deadline to Accept, by 12pm
Aug 22, 2023 In-person Training, 8am-1pm

What we look for in an IB Peer Advisor:

Beyond a passion for the IB major and an interest in helping your fellow students, we look for people who are unique, both academically and as a person. Things that can help make an outstanding peer advisor include, but are not limited to: research experience, participation in the honors program, overcoming personal and/or academic adversity, tutoring, participation in clubs on campus, or the transfer student experience. Ultimately, what we want to see on your application is what makes you stand out as a student AND as a person!

Requirements at time of application:

  1. Be declared in Integrative Biology at the time of application, or be eligible to declare by the following fall semester.
  2. Have completed at least one semester at Cal.
  3. Able to volunteer at least three shifts (1 hour each) and attend one 1-hour meeting per week.
  4. Willing to commit to working as a peer advisor for at least two semesters.

* Please note that peer advisor positions are unpaid. IB peer advisors earn academic credit for their work.