By Katie Ziemba
Minerva Mentor Sammi Tyler ‘14, defined the program as “a modified, new and improved version of the past PALS program.”
Like the PALS program, mentors still act as peer advisors for first-year students, but now they will also work to help students get more involved in their Minervas.
Since First-Year students are placed into Minerva houses based on their freshman housing, “it made it easier for [First-Years] to get to know each other and easier for [mentors] to reach out to them as a group rather than scattered individuals.”
Tyler wants first-year students to know that this program is not simply for students who are struggling academically, and not only as an academic resource but as a resource for advice on life in general at Union.
The Minerva Mentors program was established to make the adjustment into becoming a college student smooth for all first-year students.
Mentors “are equipped to assist any kind of student; from the A- student striving for that A, to the student that is having a hard time balancing his or her course load,” said Tyler.
Mentors have certain office hours each week for students to stop in, but are also available upon request. In addition to these office hours, “all seven [mentors] have workshops scattered throughout the term as well, which are really interesting and vary between [each mentor],” said Tyler.
The program will be offering a dinner with a professor for first-years, which will teach students how to approach faculty. Each mentor has their own Facebook page, where students can find updates and other important information.
The mentors want students to feel comfortable asking for any kind of advice, both academic and social.
In deciding to become a Minerva Mentor, the decision seemed pretty simple to Tyler.
“I personally have had so many experiences on campus that have forced me to adapt and learn how to handle different situations, when I was nominated to apply for the position I knew I could help students with similar situations,” said Tyler.
Tyler concludes, “Freshman [students] make a tough transition and any little bit that I can help to make it easier is rewarding.”