Honors Mentors

The goal of HONR 299: Honors Mentors is to hone the collaborative and leadership skills necessary for success. Many students see success as an individual pursuit. Yet, major achievements often require collective efforts — such as discovering cures, engineering buildings, making a film, or starting a business. Indeed, the ability to lead, to foster community, and to learn from peers will be essential for success in any field or in any endeavor. For this reason, HONR 299 gives future leaders the opportunity to mentor their own group of first-year Honors students. In this capacity, mentors develop leadership skills in themselves and others, build intergenerational bonds, and promote lateral learning across the Honors College.

Mentor Perspectives

Sean McDowell

Mentoring for the Honors College is an incredible opportunity — one of the best things I've done at Purdue. I've always had a passion for developing leaders, and mentoring gives you that chance to work with some of the best students here at Purdue. Working with this program has not only grown me as a leader, it has led to scholarships, internships, and great networking.
Sean McDowell

Danielle Tan

Being an Honors College Mentor is a fantastic opportunity to cultivate key leadership skills. The weekly projects are thought provoking, promote teamwork to solve great problems, and encourage students to think creatively and deeply. Being a mentor allowed me to network with students of other majors and to pay it forward by providing experience and advice to incoming freshmen.
Danielle Tan

Daniel Franz
Being an HC mentor is a great opportunity to introduce a new wave of honors student to the Honors Community while also continuing and developing your own involvement within the community as well. The format of the honors mentorship program also provides the perfect environment to really stretch and experiment with your skills as a leader. You work with a brilliant professor, a supportive team of mentors, a fantastically fun project, and a group of ambitious and excited new honors students – it is an ideal situation to hone your personal brand of leadership.
Daniel Franz

Allison Turner
Being an Honors mentor is different than other types of leadership experience where the goal is to complete a task; instead, the mentor’s purpose is to bring out the best in first-year students – and in doing so, you empower them to complete their tasks with flair. Mentoring taught me how to foster excellence in group settings: through creating an open environment, finding people’s strengths, and learning from one another. These leadership skills are what will set me apart in my future endeavors.
Allison Turner

What Mentors Do

Honors Mentors work alongside first-year Honors students enrolled in the eight-week course, HONR 19901: “The Evolution of Ideas.” Mentors lead small teams in their HONR 19901 coursework and guide these students through the challenges of the first semester: transitioning to college; learning to think in interdisciplinary ways; and learning how to work in project teams.

The mentor’s primary role is to facilitate a healthy team dynamic. To this end, they complete the reading for HONR 19901, attend lectures, and guide teams through assignments undertaken during recitation. They are not responsible for completing the assignments themselves nor do they grade assignments, although they will help evaluate participation in recitation groups. By focusing on the team, rather than the work, mentors can focus on developing the skills of their group, as well as their own leadership abilities.

In addition to leading a group in recitation, a mentor should be available to provide guidance outside the classroom, especially during the first 8 weeks of the semester. Mentors can arrange occasional meals or social activities with their groups for the purpose of developing strong bonds, though this is not required.

To ensure mentors are equipped for this role, training is provided through a spring retreat, an introduction to the course in August, as well as weekly meetings in the HONR 299 course.


The application period has closed.

Recent News

Event: Mentor Callout
Jan. 27, 2015
6:30pm - Shreve Hall Rec. Lounge

Event: Mentor Mixer
Feb. 5, 2015
7:00pm - Union Rack and Roll

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