Peer Mentors for 2019-20

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Melissa Draves

Hometown: Midland, Michigan

Sophomore in Genetics

What I like about the Genetics major:  My favorite part about the genetics major is how the major can be customized to any interests. I have met people throughout the major that are going into plant genetics, animal genetics, medicine, genetic counseling, forensics, and even dentistry. The major is definitely built to accommodate a wide variety of interests.

Why I chose to be a peer mentor: During my freshman year, the learning community was extremely valuable to me. In addition to meeting some of my best friends in the learning community, my peer mentors offered valuable advice and guidance. I really appreciated their role and I wanted to offer my support to the incoming freshman.

Advice:  Take advantage of every opportunity your freshman year. Joining new clubs, coming to learning community events, and meeting new people will help you succeed.

What I like to do outside of class work: Outside of class, I enjoy participating in Student Government, watching Law & Order, and hammocking on central campus.

Career Goals:  In the future, I would like to pursue a career in the agricultural industry.

 

Grant Nickles

Grant Nickles, Genetics Peer Mentor

Hometown: Bettendorf, Iowa

Senior 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.

 

Emily Sarvis

Emily Sarvis, Genetics Peer mentor

Hometown: Indianola, Iowa

Sophomore in Agricultural Biochemistry and Genetics

What I like about the Genetics major:  One of my favorite things about the Genetics major is how diverse the community of students is in their interests. I personally know people interested in plant genetics, agricultural genetics, potential genetic counselors, and individuals who would love to work in industry. No matter which path you choose, this major is able to prepare you for these careers. 

Why I chose to be a peer mentor:  I chose to be a peer mentor because as a freshman, the transition into college life and the challenges that came alongside it were intimidating at first. Through the assistance of mentors this transition seemed much more feasible and allowed me to find a home at Iowa State that I could enjoy instead of stressing about certain things. I want to provide this guidance to future students in the Genetics program so that they too can become comfortable in college and have amazing experiences along the way. 

Advice:  Do not be afraid of pushing yourself. Often times we underestimate our potential in certain aspects and this can lead to missed opportunities. 

What I like to do outside of class work: I love to read, explore Ames, and hike. I also love to cook and I am currently working on perfecting some dishes! 

Career Goals: To pursue a master's degree in genetic counseling.  

 

Katelyn Maliszewski

Hometown: Osage, Iowa

Junior in Genetics

What I like about the Genetics major:  I love that the Genetics major provides a really good basis for several professional, industry, and graduate programs. There is versatility, which shows through within the community of the major. 

Why I chose to be a peer mentor:   When I was a freshman coming into college, I really found the Learning Community and the Peer Mentors pivotal in my transition. I wanted to be a peer mentor to provide that guidance for students going through same changes, and be a resource to ask the "scary" questions to. 

Advice:   If you are interested, try it! There are so many opportunities on campus from clubs to music ensembles to intramurals. Now is the time to explore those, and commit to the activities outside of academics that you are passionate about. 

What I like to do outside of class work:  If you are interested, try it! There are so many opportunities on campus from clubs to music ensembles to intramurals. Now is the time to explore those, and commit to the activities outside of academics that you are passionate about. 

Career Goals: After my undergraduate, I am planning on attending medical school and becoming a physician. 

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