Honors Mentor Council

Mentor Program shield


The Mentor Council has two primary goals: to promote leadership development within the Mentor Program and to strengthen the Honors Mentor community. In this effort, Council members have a great deal of personal agency, while also receiving guidance from the Mentor Council President and the Director of the Mentor Program. In the spring, Mentor Council members coordinate the mentor hiring process, help with selections, and welcome the new cohort to the program through the Legacy Event. In the fall, they assist with mentor orientation and training events. Beyond this, each year the council works collaboratively to identify a particular set of values that they want bolster within the program, and they coordinate a small but effective set of initiatives, events, and other strategies to promote those values. In all three aspects, council members gain a good deal of experience with strategic planning, decision making, and teamwork within a larger organization.

Council members gain opportunities that go far beyond the usual mentor experience, as they identify and hone skills necessary for large-scale leadership. They gain a deeper appreciation for how leadership works from an institutional perspective and across a larger population – a significant departure from leading small groups. Mentor council members have a scope of influence that very few students ever experience: they help select and empower 99 peer mentors, and through these mentors they impact the first-year experience of over 700 students each year. Ultimately, council members have an opportunity to impact their community and the Honors curriculum in profound ways.


Council members begin their yearlong tenure in January and are expected to dedicate two hours a week to their efforts throughout the Spring and Fall semester. The workload is higher the week of mentor interviews in February and the first week of class in the Fall, as members help plan and run the orientation and training events. Part of this commitment includes biweekly meetings where council members coordinate their efforts with the Mentor Council President and receive further training. It is also assumed that Mentor Council members will participate in the Mentor program in the Fall semester.

Additionally, the council attends an exclusive, two-day leadership retreat at Camp Tecumseh in the spring. During their stay, they continue to explore and develop their leadership mission. The experience helps council members recognize what it means to lead in partnerships with other strong leaders. In addition, the dedicated time to focus on one’s growth is not only fun and exciting, but an opportunity to bond with their team.


The Mentor Council members take on specific roles in their efforts to support the mission and goals of the Mentor Program. That said, the council is highly collaborative, so members often share in the roles of others and thus gain similar skills.

  • Executive: This committee will consist of two members; one will serve as the President and one will serve as the Vice President. These members work closely with the Program Director and are responsible for keeping the goals of the Program in mind and ensuring that all events and promotions are aligned with those goals. They are responsible for running council meetings and communicating important information to the larger Mentor Program. They are also responsible for keeping track of monetary and other resources available to the Program. These members have the opportunity to develop a vision for the program, to motivate others to support it, and to develop skills and strategies that are essential for large-scale leadership.
  • Event Planning: This committee consists of at least three council members with one of them acting as the committee chair. These members plan and coordinate major events, including mentor interviews, the legacy party, mentor orientation, and mentor training. These council members rely heavily on planning, systems thinking, and problem solving skills while ensuring that events run by the Mentor Council proceed smoothly and meet their intended goals. They also get unique opportunities to hone their public speaking skills.
  • Community & Outreach: This committee consists of at least three council members with one of them acting as the committee chair. These members work through social media and regular casual gatherings to inspire mentors, increase engagement, and promote events. They are also responsible for visual media related to the program, including promotional flyers and the bulletin board. These members will rely heavily on their organizational and communication skills during their term, and hone their capacity for interpersonal motivation.

2019 Mentor Council Testimonials

Jackie Malayter
Jackie Malayter: Mentor Council President

Jackie is a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering with a certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She is on her third year mentoring for the program, passionate about the opportunity for empowerment and self-improvement that the program offers. She is most captivated by the symbiotic structure this program offers- by helping others grow in leadership, you also grow in the experience. As president of the mentor council, she hopes to coach other mentors in leadership to more thoroughly realize the overall mission and vision of the program, so that the mission of the program can be carried out via any role in the program. In addition to the mentor program, Jackie is doing undergraduate research on electron breakdown theory in the BEEP lab, making electronic projects with her friends, and UTAing for an ECE laboratory.

Ally Crouch
Ally Crouch: Mentor Council Vice President

Ally is a Junior majoring in Strategy and Organizational Management with a minor in Horticulture and a certificate in Collaborative Leadership. She is a third year metnor and joined the Honors Mentor Council in hopes that she can give the Honors Mentor Program more meaning. As vice president of the mentor council, Ally really wants to help increase the sense of community within the Honors Mentor Program while helping other mentors grow in their leadership. She wants to do this by building stronger relationships with other mentors and mentees. Outside of the Honor Mentor Council, Ally is actively involved in research on Implicit Bias and works at Tarkington Market.

Hannah Pletcher
Hannah Pletcher: Event Planning Committee Chair

Hannah Pletcher is a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry (Biology) with a minor in Spanish for the Professions. Hannah has been a mentor for one year, and was so inspired by her experience in the program last year that she wanted to join the council! She is most passionate about the opportunities for individual growth in this program. The individual growth comes from the work both in class and in the community, which involves making leadership strategies and then praciving them. On the council this year, she is hoping to create events that are beneficial and enjoyable, strengthen her involvement in the Honors community, and relate to the HMP mission, all while working on her own leadership skills. Outside of the Mentor Program, she is involved in undergraduate research, Purdue University Dance Marathon, and Higher Ground Dance Company.

Manvir Bains
Manvir Bains: Event Planning Committee

Manvir is a Sophomore majoring in Biology with minors in both Chemistry and Spanish. He has been a mentor for one year and joined the Honors Mentor Council in order to positively shape the experiences of hundreds of first-year Honors Students. As a member on the Event Planning Committee, he aspires to create exciting and engaging events that will foster a sense of community among mentors and mentees alike. Outside of the Honor Mentor Council, Manvir is involved in the Purdue Science Student Council, American Medical Student Association, Global Medical Brigades. He also conducts research through the Biology department on exploring the role of perturbed levels of microRNAs in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Joel Hulsizer
Joel Hulsizer: Event Planning Committee

Joel is a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering pursuing a minor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has been a mentor for one year and joined the Honors Mentor Council to strengthen the community amongst first-year students and mentors by sharing his passion for the program. He hopes to encourage first-year students to get involved in the Mentor Program by planning events that foster a sense of community between the mentors and mentees. Outside of the Honors Mentor Council, Joel is an Honors Engineering Peer Mentor and Engineering Ambassador, as well as a SI leader for CHM 116.

Ryan Pearson
Ryan Pearson: Event Planning Committee

Ryan is a sophomore majoring in Electrical Engineering with minors in Physics and Spanish. He has been a mentor for one year and joined the Honors Mentor Council with hopes of expanding events that promote interactions of mentors from different classes. He hopes that in doing so, the Mentor Program will be able to foster even more friendships and connections between its members. Within the Honors Mentor Program, Ryan is most passionate about the opportunities to practice and improve leadership, as well as the ability to connect with other mentors. Outside of the mentor council, Ryan is involved with the IEEE ROV team. In his free time, he enjoys photography and exploring the outdoors.

Jackie Malayter
Anjali Byappanahalli: Community and Outreach Chair

Anjali is a sophomore double majoring in Molecular Biology and Neurobiology, with a minor in chemistry. She has been a mentor for one year and joined the Honors Mentor Council in an effort to give back to the program that empowered her to cultivate and strengthen her own leadership style. She does so by acting as the program’s Social Media and Community Outreach Chair, with a primary focus on encouraging fellow students to be active members of the mentor community. Anjali hopes to engage mentors and first-year students in taking ownership over their own personal growth by aiding in providing them opportunities to do so. In addition to the council, Anjali is also part of the Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research and takes part in undergraduate research.

Gavin Craig
Gavin Craig: Community and Outreach Committee

Gavin is a First-Year Doctor of Pharmacy student. He has been a mentor for two years prior to joining the Honors Mentor Council, and joined the council due to his desire to take ownership of the mentor program in a way that allowed him to shape it as a whole. As a member of the mentor council, he wants to focus his efforts on building a stronger community and group dynamics within the mentor program. This community and dynamic is not only between mentors and their students, but also between mentors and professors, students and professors, and among the mentors themselves. Outside of the Honors Mentor Council, Gavin is the president of the improv comedy troupe Ad Liberation, a Pharmacy Ambassador, and a Pop Tart connoisseur.

Rocky Ruth
Rocky Ruth: Community and Outreach Committee

Rocky is a sophomore majoring in Retail Management with a concentration in Apparel Design Technology. He has been a mentor for one year and joined the Honors Mentor Council to contribute to the stability the Honors Program provides to the first year students. He hopes to encourage students to be proud members of the inclusive Honors Community by working to highlight and engender cultural diversity through the program’s media and correspondence. Along with membership of the council, Rocky is the Vice President of the Fashion and Retail Organization.

Dr. Watkins
Dr. Adam Watkins: Director of the Honors Mentor Program

Dr. Watkins is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Honors College, who specializes in interdisciplinary approaches to environmental studies, cognitive historicism, and science and literature studies. He has directed the Mentor Program for four years. He is committed to a leadership model that prioritizes individual growth, champions diversity, and promotes inclusion in the effort of achieving collective goals. As the faculty advisor to the Mentor Council, he hopes to empower exceptional leaders who will each have a vital and unique role to play in maximizing the potential of the Mentor Program. Outside of his work with the Mentor Program, Dr. Watkins teaches a variety of dynamic classes in the Honors College, advises the Society of Arts and Letters, is a published poet and literary scholar, and is father to an amazing little person named Ruth.

How to Become a Mentor Council Member

Mentor Council members are selected through an application process that occurs in the second half of the Fall semester. All previous mentors who are committed to returning the next year are eligible to apply. Please reach out to Dr. Adam Watkins, Director of the Mentor Program, if you wish to apply (aewatkin@purdue.edu). This year's application deadline is TBA.

The Mentor Council President is selected from previous Mentor Council members, based on prior experience and an application. Council Members and the President begin their terms at the start of the Spring semester and continue through the end of the Fall semester, allowing them to select and train their own mentor cohort.