Peer Mentors for 2018-19


Nicole Huser

Nicole Huser, Genetics Peer Mentor

Hometown: Sac City, Iowa

Senior in Genetics

What I like about the Genetics major:  I enjoy how I get to meet so many people within the major through the Genetics Learning Community and the activities that are held the first few months after coming to Iowa State. This major also provides so many resources to help you succeed while at Iowa State and prepares you for what is to come in the future.

Why I chose to be a peer mentor:  I wanted to be a peer mentor so that I could give guidance to students like I received when I was just entering Iowa State, as well as the Genetics major. This is a very big transition for students and I want to be a friendly and helpful face to them during this transition period of their lives.

Advice:  Make connections within the Genetics major as well as in campus organizations. Finding people to lean on in the next four years makes intimidating courses much less scary. Also, joining other campus organizations that are related to things that you are passionate about can help you find a fun study break or activity to meet new people.

What I like to do outside of class work: I enjoy traveling, watching TV, being an active member of my sorority, and spending time with my friends and family.

Career Goals:  I plan on becoming a genetic counselor.

Grant Nickles

Grant Nickles, Genetics Peer Mentor

Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa

Junior in Genetics

What I like about the Genetics major:  My favorite thing about being a genetics major is how close everyone gets to each other. In a small major like this, it’s not hard to get to know everyone. I personally have become friends with a lot of the people I met in the learning community. This also helps with courses, you always have tons of other friends taking the same core courses as you. It really helps for those all-nighter study sessions.

Why I chose to be a peer mentor I really enjoyed the learning community when I was a freshman. It gave me more confidence in what I was studying, and I met a ton of friends in my major. I knew right away I wanted to become a peer mentor while I was at Iowa State so I could help incoming-students feel more welcome.

Advice:  Day one of your courses, the day you get the syllabi, put the due date of every assignment for the entire semester in a planner. The teachers usually won’t remind you of homework  throughout the semester since most of it is online, so it’s easy to miss deadlines and not know it. A super detailed planner is the key to my success every semester.

What I like to do outside of class work: Outside of class at Iowa State I enjoy swimming with ISU’s swim club, listening to music, and watching Netflix. But my all-time obsession is traveling, camping, and being outdoors.

Career Goals:  I’m going to take a year (or two) off school after my bachelors to travel and work in Europe, but after that I hope to attend graduate school and then pursue a job in the biorenewables industry.


Razan Alsayed-Omar

Razan Alsayed-Omar, Genetics Peer Mentor

Hometown: Kuwait City, Kuwait

Junior in Genetics

What I like about the Genetics major:  The Genetics major has one of the smaller communities so it's a great way to meet everyone and have familiar faces and this helped me to settle down and enjoy being around people I know.

Why I chose to be a peer mentor:  When I first went to meet one of the peer mentors in my first semester, I realized how helpful it was having another student helping you whether it was advising you about life in college, career advice, or helping you in the areas that you are struggling in. This was helpful because having another student mentoring you means that they understand you, they have recently been in your shoes. Therefore, I chose to be a peer mentor to help new students in adjusting to life in college.

Advice:  College life is something very different and may be difficult at the beginning, but always remember to introduce yourself, affiliate with clubs or organizations, use the resources Iowa State provides you, and be social! College is not only about studying, you should have fun and relax too!

What I like to do outside of class work: I like to go on road trips, travel to new places, hike and camp, and hang out with friends.


Katelyn Maliszewski

Katelyn Maliszewski, Genetics Peer Mentor

Hometown: Osage, Iowa

Sophomore in Genetics

What I like about the Genetics major: I like that the Genetics major is super versatile and perfect for the pre-medical track.

Why I chose to be a peer mentor:   I chose to be a peer mentor because I think I am a great resource for those who are also pre-med and I am really going to enjoy helping other students through the transition process into college.  

Advice:   My advice to freshman is to get involved in clubs and activities that you are truly passionate about. That's where you will meet the greatest people and lifelong friends. 

What I like to do outside of class work:  I enjoy staying active through working out and playing on an intramural volleyball team as well as participating in ISU Blood Drive Committee, Pre-Med Club and Doctors Without Borders. 

Career Goals: In the future, I hope to be a physician in obstetrics and gynecology.