Honors Mentor Council
The Mentor Council has two primary goals: to strengthen the Honors Mentor community and to promote leadership development within the Mentor Program. In this effort, council members have a great deal of personal agency, while also receiving guidance from the Mentor Council President and support from an appointed Honors faculty member. In the spring, Mentor Council members have the unique opportunity to coordinate the mentor hiring process and to help with selections. In the fall, they assist with mentor training events, and they develop additional programs, events, and/or strategies that support the Council goals. At the end of their term, the Council provides valuable feedback to Honors faculty, which helps shape future iterations of the first-year course and the mentor program.
Council members receive additional training through exclusive leadership retreats and regular meetings. Through this training and their experience leading the Mentor Program, Council members gain opportunities for honing their leadership skills that go far beyond the usual mentor experience. Particularly, 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. Ultimately, Council Members have an opportunity to impact their community and the Honors curriculum in profound ways.
The 2017 Mentor Council
Katie Wilkinson – Mentor Council Member
I am a senior studying history and film and theatre production. One day, I hope to direct historical feature films, exploring history on the silver screen and educating audiences in the process. My favorite part of the Mentor Program is conducting interviews for new mentors in the spring. It is the best opportunity to see how the program and our mentors have impacted the Honors Community. Hearing the stories of how students have grown from interacting with the mentor and the fun they have had together is inspiring. I am proud to serve as Mentor Council President. The council is comprised of diverse individuals with unique skill sets. It has been a pleasure to work with them thus far, and I am excited to see where the year takes us.
Gabby Weinert – Mentor Council Member
My name is Gabby, and I am a fourth-year student studying animal science with a concentration in pre-veterinary medicine and a minor in biology. I will be completing my degree in five-and-a-half years, so I will continue to call Purdue home for a bit longer! In addition to my studies, I am a violinist in Purdue’s Symphony Orchestra, have worked in a veterinary research laboratory studying respiratory diseases in racehorses, was a committee member for PUDM, and spent a year on the Purdue Equestrian and Club Softball teams. I have had the privilege of mentoring since my sophomore year. My first year, I worked with Dr. Allen on The Future, then Professor Riehle on Identity, and last semester I worked with Dr. Brite on Food. Each has been a fascinating experience, allowing me to grow my leadership skills in different ways and gain unique perspectives on an array of topics. I am always willing to meet with students to help them with anything in or out of the classroom, so please feel free to reach out to me for advice or just get coffee sometime!
Antonia Roach – Mentor Council Member
I am a sophomore from Pennsylvania studying psychological sciences with minors in African American studies, English and global studies. Some of my extracurricular activities include singing in the Black Voices of Inspiration Choir, serving on the student advisory board for the Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program, serving as the volunteer committee chair for A.C.C.L.A.I.M. and working with Boiler Tracks to increase the diversity of the student population on campus. My favorite aspect of the Honors College courses is their focus on interdisciplinary education. So much more can be learned by brainstorming and conversing with individuals from different fields of study. The greatest part of being an Honors College mentor is getting to assist these bright students as they collaborate and broaden their perspectives as a result of working together.
Quazi Fairooz – Mentor Council Member
I am a sophomore in electrical engineering and plan on doing a minor in psychology. I started off as an international student from Bangladesh and the Honors Mentor program has had a huge hand in making me feel at home here at Purdue. I have had the exciting opportunity to be an Honors Mentor since last fall. Helping the incoming freshman transition into college life, helped me reflect on my own experience and was thus a reward in itself. My first semester in the Mentor Council allowed me take a closer look at all the hard work that goes behind the scenes to bring together the final performance in the HONR 19901 classes. The opportunity to meet people from so many different majors and backgrounds is really exhilarating and it always encourages me to have a positive outlook in life. I was a research assistant for a social psychology experiment regarding Person/Thing orientation in STEM majors last fall and I’m currently looking forward to start professional work as an engineer this summer!
Sophia Paul – Mentor Council Member
I am a sophomore studying industrial engineering with minors in Spanish and psychology. I am in the GEARE Program at Purdue, which allows me to spend a semester studying abroad as well as a chance to work internationally. In the future, I hope to incorporate my love of horses and traveling into my life and career. My favorite part of being in the Honors College is having the opportunity to meet the many driven, hardworking and diverse students who make up this great community. I loved being a mentor last semester and developing a connections with more Honors College professors and students. This year, I am thrilled to be a part of the Mentor Council and hope to continue building this community of strong individuals and meeting new Honors College students in the Fall 2017 semester!
Ryan Wollensak – Mentor Council Member
I am a sophomore studying biological engineering with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology. I am originally from Hopedale, a small town in Massachusetts. Coming from a town with a population ~5,000 to a school of 40,000, I was extremely intimidated. I can happily thank the Honors College for introducing me to my best friends. I have an unpayable debt to both the Honors College community as well as the Honors Mentor Program for opening me up to the person I am today. I love the fact the Mentor Program allows me to help students transition into the HC community and experience the open and inquisitive environment that college has to offer. During my first semester as a mentor, I enjoyed working closely with incoming students and enhancing their learning experience and I hope to help build the Mentor Program during the 2017 year to benefit both mentors and mentees alike.
Dr. Adam Watkins – Mentor Council Faculty Advisor
In addition to being a new parent, I also conduct research on self-formation and cognitive development from a cultural perspective. In other words, I am deeply interested in how we become who we become. To this end, I teach interdisciplinary classes on the mind, play, human sciences, and creativity. I also work alongside the Mentor Council in creating an exciting program where Honors students experiment with leadership and collaboration. The most exciting part is watching students take charge of their of their own development, as they begin to realize who they are, who they want to become, and how they will become it.
Dr. Peter Moore – Mentor Council Faculty Advisor
J. Peter Moore is a literary critic, poet and editor, working at the intersection of multiple disciplines, including linguistics, architecture, visual arts and black studies. He received his PhD in English at Duke University (completing the certificate in African and African American Studies), his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and his BA in English at Rhodes College. His book project, Other Than a Citizen: Vernacular Poetics in Postwar America, examines the work of avant-garde poets who turned to the unadorned, anonymous practices of everyday life to find a model for countering the institutional regimentation of the postwar social world. In teaching, his principal objective is to inspire students to explore the popular, the political and the utterly inane in search of an artfulness that is everywhere denied. He has taught courses across a range of subjects, from advertising and hip hop to creative writing and literary theory. As a member of the Honors College, he has been able to develop a number of dream courses, which include an interdisciplinary history of slang, a writing course on the films of Quentin Tarantino, and a small-press studio practicum.
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. 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.