Deadline approaching for peer mentor applications

When he first came to Marshall University, he did not know a lot of people, but with the help of the university community he was able to cultivate new friendships.

“I like to think of life like bus stops,” said Nathan Korne, a senior digital forensics and information assurance major. “And right now my bus is coming to the end of the road, where my time was at Marshall, but I can look back and I see, like there are students just getting on the bus right now and going through these different stops.”

Korne said he thinks having a really “welcoming and open and fun” environment in his UNI class really helped him to feel integrated and a part of the Marshall community, and for him what was really helpful when he came in as a freshman was when people decided to invest and build a relationship with him. 

Wanting to do the same for other incoming freshmen, while also earning one credit hour toward graduation, Korne said he decided to try “passing the torch” by participating in the UNI 100 Peer Mentor Experience his senior year, an experience which allows current Marshall students to aid incoming freshman while earning college credit. 

Peer mentors work with facilitators to teach incoming freshman UNI 100 content, said Robin Taylor, an academic advisor and member of the committee over the peer mentorship experience. She said peer mentors have been a part of UNI 100 for a majority of the class’ history at Marshall. 

“They make a big difference in the incoming students’ impression of Marshall, and sometimes they’re the biggest link that student has to the university,” Taylor said. “That’s why we added peer mentors to the UNI classes, to give the students someone that’s closer to their age, someone they can connect with who has probably gone through all the things they might be stressing about being a new college student.”

The responsibilities of peer mentors, according to the Week of Welcome and Peer Mentoring portion of Marshall’s website, include “convening class during Week of Welcome (WOW, August 20-23) for four non-consecutive hours,” “escorting their students to convocation” and “co-facillitating designated weekly class meetings once per week for 50 minutes during the first seven weeks of the semester.”

Peer mentors may also choose to volunteer and help with any events they would like during WOW, but these events are not required, and peer mentors can stick completely to the classroom if that is what they prefer, Taylor said. Peer mentors are only officially required to attend class sessions and a training that will be Aug. 19, the Monday of WOW,  she said. 

Korne said he thinks the peer mentoring experience can help if people want to develop their interpersonal skills and was beneficial to him because having to teach the material, he learned some stuff he had not previously know about Marshall, learned how to teach people and continued to learn how to develop relationships.

The deadline for individuals wishing to be a peer mentor during the 2019 WOW and the fall 2019 semester is Friday, April 5 at midnight. 

Jesten Richardson can be contacted at [email protected].