To institutionalize, initiate, inspire, and ensure the successful completion and retention of first year students at Loyola Marymount University. Upon the completion of the first year, students will have a positive sense of self with the confidence and tools necessary to achieve both academic and life goals.

The mission of First Year Experience is rooted in the University's mission; the encouragement of learning, the education of the whole person, the service of faith and the promotion of justice. The FYE office provides first year students with strategic and academic skills.  Through FYE, students are provided with opportunities to explore and set personal and professional goals; learn the connection between academic excellence and career development; understand their personal value system; explore the richness of the diverse LMU community; establish a connection with campus life; become prepared for life after the University.

To affect LMU freshmen retention rates. The goal is to establish a 95% retention rate of freshmen students into their sophomore year at LMU. In addition, First Year Experience seeks to change the culture of the LMU freshmen experience as a holistic approach to preparedness, engagement, and success.

  • Encourage the focus of one of LMU's institutional commitments of the First Year Experience.
  • Consolidate cross-campus first year initiatives, while strategically developing the First Year Experience Office as a central component of the LMU First Year Experience
  • Provide clear and useful resource tools to freshmen transition.
  • Support the social and academic preparedness and readiness of freshmen students.
  • Support the intellectual engagement and academic success of freshmen students.
  • Provide early opportunities for social interaction and campus engagement for freshmen students.
  • Increased faculty/student curricular and co-curricular interactions.
  • Design, implement, and maintain regular assessment tools.
  • Create technologically innovative models for supporting the first year experience.

By the end of your first year here at LMU you will, 


  • The pursuit of higher education and begin to develop a genuine appreciation for lifelong learning. 
  • The opportunities for growth and exploration created by participating in LMU's diverse community.


  •     LMU's mission and traditions and how you play a vital part in the global community.
  •     About the university's resources and how to access them to enhance your college-life experience.


  •     As engaged members of the university community with a developed sense of personal 
  •     accountability, good judgment and independent thinking that leads towards a balanced life.


Meet The Staff

Jennifer Belichesky-Larson, Ed.D. | Director, Student Success

Jennifer Belichesky-Larson received her BA in English Literature from California State University at Northridge (2000), a Master’s from LMU in English Literature and Rhetoric (2003), a second Master’s in Higher Education and Organizational Change from University of California at Los Angeles and earned her Ed.D from LMU. Jennifer started working at Loyola Marymount in the Fall of 2002 as a Teaching Fellow before transitioning to an Adjunct English Professor, then Director of the First Year Experience, and now as the Director of Student Success. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family 
and friends, traveling, reading, and dreams of becoming the world’s next Scrabble champion!

Julia Keighley Associate Director of Student Success

Julia earned her Master’s degree in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University and her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis.  She has a passion for service and education. After completing her undergraduate studies, Julia embarked on a year of service with City Year (AmeriCorps) at Gompers Middle School in Los Angeles.  During her tenure as a graduate student, Julia was elected as the President of Graduate Students of Loyola Marymount University (GSLMU), the graduate association on campus.  Additionally, she served as the Senior Administrative Coordinator for Judicial Affairs and earned her Pupil Personnel Services credential in the 2014-15 academic year.  Since she has joined the LMU community, Julia has invested in our students and their success at the university.  

Ashley Watterson Student Success Program Coordinator for Guardian Scholars, Transfers and Veterans

Ashley Watterson earned her degree in Asian and Pacific Studies with a minor in Chinese from Loyola Marymount University in 2013. She is currently working to attain her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at LMU. After graduation, Ashley served as the Senior Administrative Coordinator for International Outreach and Transfer Enrollment Services and later became an Admission Counselor for Undergraduate Admission at LMU.  Ashley enjoys being engaged with the undergraduate community and sees them as our future leaders. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, spending time with family and eating Japanese, Mexican, Korean, Thai and Indian food. 

Lisha Maddox | Assistant Director of Parent and Student Outreach

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lisha attended the University of California, Irvine and majored in English and Sociology.  Having every intention to become an attorney, she attended law school for a bit before finding that her true passion was working with students in higher education.  Lisha earned a Masters of Education in Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs from the University of Southern California in 2011. She started as a Program Coordinator for First Year Experience in the fall of 2011.  In Lisha's current role, she provides support to LMU parents and assists with the transition of new students in their first year at LMU. When she’s not working with incredible LMU students, Lisha enjoys reading, traveling, having board game nights, and spending time with her family.

Contact Us

‌‌The FYE office welcomes you! We are located in Malone 201. You may have a lot of questions, concerns, ideas, or moments when you need a helping hand. Stop by and relax in our student lounge. Whatever you need, FYE is here to help. All you have to do is ... JUST ASK!

The Office of First Year Experience

Malone Student Center 201

1 LMU Dr., MS 8355

Los Angeles, CA 90045

Email: FYE@lmu.edu

Tel: 310.338.5252

Fax: 310.258.4304