Jenny Wells

By

College: Undergraduate Education

Peer Mentors: The Heart of the Living Learning Program

Published: Nov 12, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2013) —  Designed to offer students an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment, living learning programs, or LLPs are a “dynamic residential experience [that] offer specialized programming, interactions with UK faculty and staff; and a supportive community that focuses on student success,” according to the university’s Undergraduate Housing & Residence Life website. There are currently 14 LLPs at UK, and a part of what makes them successful is the role of the peer mentor.

 

Hired in the spring, peer mentors train in both the spring and fall semesters and continue throughout the school year. They are dedicated to ensuring student success at the university and helping students adjust to life on the college campus. The peer mentor’s role is be to the ultimate resource that students wish to have when stepping foot on campus. In the process, relationships are formed and friendships are established.

 

Typically, peer mentors are sophomores who have completed the living learning program during the previous year. These students encourage freshmen to get involved on campus, develop effective study habits, utilize on-campus resources and communicate with their professors. These students are also responsible for helping to organize community programs, both social and academic, in collaboration with the residential advisors (RAs).

 

Becca Boom, a mentor in the College of Arts and Sciences A&S Wired program, joined an LLP to feel connected to campus. She returned her sophomore year to the mentor because of the “sense of community and family [she] felt within the A&S Wired program.”

 

Boom loved her experience in Keeneland Hall so much that she returned for the 2013-14 school year so that the incoming freshmen would have the same community experience she had during her freshman year.

 

Boom strives to shape the A&S Wired program by creating events that are targeting students to mingle and engage in conversation. She achieves this goal by being present in the residence hall and letting students know she is there for them despite their issue.

 

Icyana Abner, also a mentor in the Wired program, returned her sophomore year “to be a part of a bigger community where people actually [come] together and care.”

 

Abner’s goal for the program is to connect herself with the students and for the students to be able to connect with each other. Answering student questions, hosting events and being available to the students is her way of shaping the A&S Wired community.

 

When asked what the biggest reward of their job is, both girls responded, “helping freshmen become acquainted with campus and seeing how they form friendships within the A&S Wired program.”   

 

Kathryn Macon, a freshman in the program, finds Boom's mentorship very helpful.

 

“Becca is always there when I need her," she said. "She gives good advice, helps with homework, and is a great friend and mentor.”

 

Elisha Ellis, a junior peer mentor in the First Generation LLP, said meeting so many different people was what caused her to become a peer mentor.

 

“I use to be in a shell,” Ellis said. “Now I’m outgoing.”

 

Unlike most peer mentors, Ellis’ first year in the program was serving as a mentor. A first generation student, she had not heard about the living learning program until her sophomore year. Ellis became aware of the program through interaction with other first generation students.

 

Ellis says she is constantly striving to be a good example and to encourage students to persevere even in times of struggle.

 

Kaylee Hicks, a freshman in the honors LLP, said her mentor Tolu Odukoya teaches her to budget time and make studying for courses more manageable and less overwhelming. Since they are both interested in medicine, Hicks said Odukoya “shows her the ropes.”

 

“He is conscious of the influence he has on everyone in the dorm," Hicks said. "If he sees someone distressed, he will talk to them, and befriend those who need friends. Having a peer mentor is at its base a friendship. It’s hard to relate to someone if the friendship isn’t there.”

 

 

Celebrating its 25th year on campus in fall 2014, the Living Learning Program at the University of Kentucky provides students with an environment to learn where they live and to live where they learn.  The Division of Student Affairs Office of Residence Life, creators of the program, collaborated with academic and other student success partners to complement the classroom experience.  Through Living Learning Communities and Residential Colleges, UK offers students an opportunity to live and learn together in an integrated academic residential environment.  This dynamic residential experience offers specialized programming, interactions with UK faculty and staff, and a supportive community that focuses on student success. 

 

The program has grown exponentially in recent years with 965 students participating in 13 programs this fall.  Six more programs will be added in fall 2014, nine times more than in 2008. For more information, visit http://uknow.uky.edu/content/students-live-and-learn-uk, the LLP Facebook page, or contact Trisha Clement Montgomery, Assistant Director for Academic Initiatives, at tclem2@uky.edu.   

 

peer_mentors.jpg
Tags:
April
 
 
 
1
LNFS Presents: Inherent Vice
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Successful Networking & Job Search
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
The Arboretum presents a Party for the Planet! Celebrate Kentucky's Past
Mr. PharmD Pageant 2015
Wed
2
LNFS Presents: Manakamana
LNFS Presents: Donnie Darko
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
SEC-ACC Virtual Career Fair
Massage on the Go #3
Thu
3
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Fri
4
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
5
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
6
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Age Friendly Community Panel
Resumes & Cover Letters that Work
Mon
7
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Tue
8
LNFS Presents: The Godfather
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
UK Remembers
SpeakBlue: Richard Sherman
Wed
9
LNFS Presents: The Shawshank Redemption
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
From Plows to Plates: A Journey Through Kentucky Foodways
Workshop on Publishing
Teached Documentary
Thu
10
LNFS Presents: Enemy
LNFS Presents: Seven Psychopaths
Cultural Coffee Hour
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture: Julian Cox
Fri
11
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
fab-ric-ate Exhibit
Sat
12
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Kentucky's Present - Learn about the Bluegrass region of the Walk Across Kentucky and about invasive plants that threaten Kentucky landscapes
Sun
13
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Get Your DIY On! Fix-It Station Demonstrations
Mon
14
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Job Club - LinkedIn: Your Job Search Best Friend
Tie Dye Tuesday
#UK Kick Butts Day
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 3 p.m.
Take Back the Night Lexington
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Godfather: Part II
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 11 a.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ Noon
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Affrilachian Poets
Bike-In Movie: The Bicycle Thieves
Wed
16
LNFS Presents: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
CANCELED: Bike-In Breakfast
Human Rights in China: a panel discussion
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: North by Northwest
LNFS Presents: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Cultural Coffee Hour
Car-Free Day
Performance Conference
Audience Appeals and Performing Assistance Conference
Holi: The Indian Festival of Colors
Fri
18
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Bully Breed Awareness Walk
Spring Carnival 2015
Taste of Africa
GAYla Drag Show and Silent Auction
Sat
19
 
Sun
20
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Floral Sculpture
Pinterest Party #3
Mon
21
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Student Center "Farewell" Informational Fair
Tour de Downtown Art
Tue
22
LNFS Presents: Birdman
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
National Student Exchange (NSE) Info Session
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Healthy Smoothie Demonstration
Ping Pong Ball Drop
Shake the Stress Fest
Wed
23
LNFS Presents: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
LNFS Presents: The Avengers
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Wildcat Wrap-Up
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
Kentucky's Future - Plant a Tree in the Pennyrile region of the Walk Across Kentucky
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Batman
LNFS Presents: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Cultural Coffee Hour
Art in Bloom Weekend
Fri
25
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Network Publishing: Digital Writing in the Humanities
The Party for the Planet final event in April is Arbor Day at The Arboretum!
Art in Bloom Weekend
Raise the Chinese Dream in Kentucky
Art in Bloom Cocktail Party
Sat
26
Art in Bloom Weekend
Sun
27
Resumes & Cover Letters that Work
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Fuel for Finals
UK Ag Equine Programs Distinguished Lecture Series
Mon
28
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Be PAWsitive!
Job Club: How to Write the Perfect Resume and Cover Letter
Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars
How to Impress Your Boss: Employer Panel
Tue
29
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Appalachian Research Day
Wed
30
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Thu
 
 

Repeats every week until Thu Apr 30 2015 except Tue Mar 17 2015.
Tue, 04/28/2015

Tue, 04/28/2015

Reset Page