KOKOMO, Ind. – Four students from Indiana University Kokomo will take the lead to represent the campus for the first time at a national peer advisors conference in Indianapolis this weekend.
Students Amanda Smith, Lakye Edwards, Stephen Diamond, and Kristianna Upchurch will present “Peer Mentors on the Move: Transitioning to a Peer Advising Program” to hundreds of students from universities across the country.
“This is a chance for us to tell others about Peer Advising, something we’re doing at IU Kokomo that not many other campuses are familiar. This is something we are very knowledgeable of because we work with students every day. It’s very exciting,” said Amanda Smith, a junior majoring in psychology. “Advisors can be intimidating, and sometimes it is easier for students to talk to students. We then relay that information to the advisors so they can better help the students.”
Peer Advisors at IU Kokomo have transformed from not just mentoring but advising, where they work with students to assist them in selecting classes, academic planning, and mentoring freshman in their learning communities. The presentation will detail the hiring and training process involved in the IU Kokomo Peer Advising Program, as well as the progression of Peer Mentors into Peer Advisors.
Kelli Keener, academic advisor for arts and sciences, will introduce the group. Campus orientation leaders and IU SEEK also will join the students.
“This year our Peer Advisors are presenting as a result of their participation in the Indiana Academic Advising Network,” said Cathy Barnes, also an academic advisor for arts and sciences. “They did such a fantastic job in terms of peer advising concepts that they wanted another experience, not only to share the information but also for their own personal development.”
The IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) Mentoring Symposium is a one-day national conference for students who work as peer mentors in various capacities. This event allows for peer mentoring programs from around the nation to come together in an effort of personal and professional development. Peer Mentors, program staff, and faculty will enhance their skills and increase their understanding of strategic methods to mentor students.
Topics on this year’s agenda include professionalism, diversity, leadership and resume building, among others.
To learn more about the National Mentoring Symposium, log on to symposium.uc.iupui.edu.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.