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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Honors

Honors Mentors

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/honors/mentors.html

The Honors Mentors are a group of students who are available to lead and advise students in the MSU, Mankato Honors Program. The Mentors have completed or are enrolled in the Developing Your Mentor Philosophy Honors course, where they develop mentoring and leadership skills through discovery of, utilization of and reflection upon mentoring experiences. These students are continually developing their mentor skills and abilities, but have developed a foundation of how to be effective, confident, and relatable mentors. The Mentors are involved in various areas of Honors including the First Year Experience Honors course, orientation, and Honors co-curricular events. The Honors Mentors help aid in building an Honors community that is inclusive and motivating, through building relationships and connecting individuals to others and the Honors Program. Featured below is a brief introduction to our Honors Mentors. If you would like to meet up with, get to know, or simply ask some questions; feel free to email them through their mnsu.edu email!

 


 

Lauren

   Lauren Bach

  Hometown: New York Mills, MN
  Senior
  Major: Psychology
  Minor: Sociology
  Second language: American Sign Language

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

I love many aspects of honors. However, my favorite aspect is being involved in a community of highly skilled, driven, and supportive students. We truly are unique, both challenging and strengthening each other throughout our college years. Together we compose honors, for honors is a student-based program.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

I have had a lot of mentor and mentee experiences throughout my life. Particularly, I have been mentored by many faculty members, deans, and staff on campus. These people have challenged me to become an even more driven student and leader. I have also been a mentor in many instances. I am a mentor of new Student Ambassadors, I mentored new students at orientation as an Orientation Peer Assistant (OPA), I mentor other student leaders as an Orientation Student Coordinator (OSCer), and I was the Honors Student Council President last year.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

My most valuable experience in college so far has been serving other students on campus in various leadership roles. As an OPA and OSCer, I have had the great opportunity to help new students and other student leaders, as well as connect with MSU, Mankato faculty and staff. Also, as the Honors Student Council President last year, I was able to represent the honors students on the Honors Council and in the Mankato community. I have grown so much from these experiences, and I would not give them up for anything.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

I wish I would have known how valuable honors was going to be when I came in. No doubt, Honors is difficult and challenging. The requirements can seem pretty overwhelming at times! However, in such times of stress, I wish I would have known how much my hard work would pay off in the end because it has! I have learned so much and grown from my honors experiences. I have developed life-long skills and friends I never would have acquired otherwise. If I could tell my freshman-self anything I would say, “Do not fret; you will be thankful for the honors experience!”

 


 

Krisit

   Kristi Paulsen

   Hometown: Anoka, MN
   Senior
   Major: Psychology
   Minor: French
   Second Language: French

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

That’s really hard to narrow down! I think my favorite aspect of the program is that I really love the community it provides. Being at a larger state school can be really overwhelming and students easily seem to fall beneath the cracks. But, getting involved with the Honors Program makes a school of 15,000 students seem really small. I can’t go anywhere on campus without recognizing someone along the way. In addition, all of the students are extremely supportive of every test, project, and other endeavors that their peers are involved in. Overall, the community that Honors has provided has definitely been a defining aspect of my college career.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

Throughout my life, I have been involved in numerous meaningful mentoring experiences. To start, I have always had prominent leaders supporting me. This gave me a good idea of what effective (and ineffective) mentoring entails. In addition, I have also had a lot of experience in mentoring others. Through various jobs, student council organizations, church groups, and classroom settings, I have practiced valuable mentor-mentee relationships. I have found that the mentoring experience is extremely rewarding and valuable, which is why I am very open to additional experiences.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

My most valuable experience in college so far has been the growth I have experienced outside of the classroom. While in-class learning has been very beneficial, I have found that the experiences and situations I encounter outside of the classroom have been the most exciting. For example, through Honors I have met many international students. Because of this exposure and friendship, I have become more knowledgeable and passionate about other cultures. I have learned that global citizenship is one of the most beneficial competencies one can possess.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

To be honest, now that I look back on my freshman year, I realized that I was extremely naïve and unrealistic. I expected Honors to be a program with unreachable expectations that I would most likely fail at. But, now that I have been in the program for over two years, I can definitely say that with self-motivation and hard work, everything is possible. Honors may seem like it has scary requirements, but when you break them down into four years and actually start the journey, you start to see why they are required and what they can do for you. I wish I would have known how valuable my college experience through Honors would be and to not be as apprehensive about the process. If you are a freshman, jump right in and don’t look back!

 


 

Maggie

  Marin Beck

  Hometown: Chaska, Minnesota
  Senior
  Major: Elementary Education
  Minor: Scandinavian Studies
  Second language: Norwegian

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

When I think of the Honors Program, the academic rigor is not the first thing that enters my head. I instead think of the community. I have been so blessed by all the people I have met through the program, whether they be friends, faculty, or alumni. The connections I have created have made my college experience much more intimate.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

Mentoring can take many forms. Though I have never been a part of a mentoring program such as this one, I have held many roles in which I acted as a mentor, in student government, in church leadership, and as a team captain. My favorite "mentoring experiences", however, have been within friendships, because authentic questions could be asked, and honest answers could be given.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

One of the most valuable experiences I have had so far was participating on a research team with Dr. Stark. I had never done research before this, and was frankly not excited to, because I did not think that anything I was capable of researching would be helpful or applicable to real life. I was wrong. The research we did culminated in a trip to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation in Owatanna, MN. We were able to give recommendations to this organization, so that they could put our ideas into practice. I can honestly say that there are few things better than knowing your work is making a positive difference in the community.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

I think the most important thing to realize is that the Honors Program is for the students. It provides countless opportunities to network, build your resume, or just find where you belong on campus. All of these things help differentiate you from the other students in the huge student body at MSU, and taking advantage of these opportunities will help you get the most out of your college experience. Not only this, but Honors students have a say in what the program looks like, and are constantly working to make it better. So get involved, voice your opinion, and make the program your own!

 


 

Katie

   Katie Westermayer

    Hometown: Mankato, MN
    Senior
    Major: Psychology
    Second Language: Spanish

 

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the sense of community. The Honors Program is very supportive of the students and provides ample opportunities for them to learn, grow, and succeed. It was very apparent from the beginning of my first semester at MSU that the Honors Program truly cared about the students and them succeeding. Honors students are very friendly, welcoming, and fun to be around. I have greatly enjoyed the events the Honors Program has held because they have not only allowed me to learn more about the world around me, but they have also provided additional opportunities to get to know other Honors students.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

In high school, I was a mentor to other students through leadership positions in Band, Link Crew, Key Club, and Scarlet Ambassadors. I also experienced the role of the mentee by taking private flute lessons from Ruth Giles, a very skilled flutist who I looked up to and highly respected. Additionally, I have spent three summers volunteering at Royal Family Kids' Camp, which is a camp for abused and neglected children. During two of those summers, I was a counselor for two girls, and mentored them throughout their week at camp. During the Fall of 2012, I took an Honors mentor course and learned a great deal about being both a mentee and mentor. Currently, I am a second-assistant manager at a local grocery store and am able to be a mentor for my co-workers, especially those I supervise.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

One of the most valuable experiences I have had so far is working on a research project through the Honors Program and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. This project researched the usage of Parent Aware in local preschools and was worked on continuously through the 2012-2013 school year. This opportunity was brought to my attention through the Honors Program and because of this project I was able to greatly develop my research skills. The skills I learned through this project will most certainly help me in my future research projects.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

It's never too early to start working on your research skills! The Honors Program provides a plethora of research opportunities that allow students to learn more about research and even work on research projects. /p>

 


 

Makenzie

     Makenzie Petzel

        Hometown: Arlington MN
        Junior
        Major: Social Work
        Minors: Spanish
        Second language: Spanish
 

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite part of the Honors program is the classes that are discussion based and focused on developing particular skills. I have learned much more in my Honors classes because we share our thoughts with other students and have a say in the direction of the conversation.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

I am currently a mentor with the Mankato YMCA and I meet with my sister once a week for three hours. We do a lot of fun things together and have been meeting for one month so far. I am connecting the course curriculum from the Honors seminar to my interactions with her as I develop my personal mentor philosophy.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

IStudying abroad in Costa Rica over the summer for one month has been my most valuable experience in college so far. Immersing myself in another culture and speaking in Spanish all of time helped me learn a lot about myself and what I am capable of doing. Studying abroad has also grown my desire to travel and I want to go to many more places in my lifetime.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

As I came into the Honors program as a freshman, I wish I would have know more about conducting research and starting the research process. Since my freshman year, the program has put on many more research events and has many more resources for students to learn about research that I think are great, positive steps to helping students fulfill the competency.

 


 

Regan

   Regan Knapp

    Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    Junior
    Majors: International Relations and Spanish
    Second language: Spanish

 

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

I love the people I get to meet and the experiences I have as an Honors student. I feel like we have a lot of opportunities with the honors program to not only learn, but reflect on what we learn.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

My experience as a Learning Community Coordinator was an experience where I acted as a mentor to my students.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

Everything I have participated in along with my involvements have been such valuable experiences for me. I have met amazing people and accomplished many things.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

As a freshman, I didn't fully understand what the Honors Program was/did, so I would've liked to have a better knowledge of the program.

 


 

Andrew

   

     Andrew Nicholson

      Hometown: Wayzata
      Junior
      Major: Chemistry BA – Biomedical Sciences BS

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the honors program is how it makes you so well rounded. With all the unique classes that you are offered it helps to broaden your transcript to something larger than just your major selected classes.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

Mentoring experiences that I have had in the past would be doing things like being a camp counselor and helping guide children through their younger years, trying to impart as much helpful knowledge I can upon them in just a short week.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

The most valuable experience that I have had in college is going from almost flunking out of my first calculus class to coming back and end up acing the class. It showed me that if I put my mind to it, there is nothing too difficult to overcome.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

That it (college) shouldn’t be easy, classes should be difficult, things should have to be sacrificed, so find a dream to chase and never let it go.

 


 

Austin

   

     Austin Rau

      Hometown: Farmington, MN
      Junior
      Major: Geography, French
      Second language: French

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the honors program is all of the resources one gets connections to after joining. Through the honors program and events they have hosted, I have learned more about opportunities I was barely familiar with such as: fellowships, scholarships, and undergraduate research.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

In the past I have had experience as a mentee. My current academic advisor has helped mentor and guide me with my classes and future possibilities for my life. I value his guidance because of the wisdom and experience he has, and also because of his genuine interest in my future. This allows me to trust his advice and helps put my mind at ease.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

One of the most valuable experiences I have had in college so far was living in the residence halls for my first year. It was during that year in the dorms that I meet some of my best friends and got involved in the campus community through different organizations like IMPACT, NRHH, and community council. I experienced so much growth during my first year that I feel like a different person. Living in the dorms was so impactful on my happiness and growth that I became a CA so that I could give a similar experience to other students.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

As an incoming freshmen to the honors program, I would have liked to more about what each of the different competencies and what they mean to the program which includes what I should know after completing a competency.  

 


 

 

 

 

Tyler

   

     Tyler Conlon

      Hometown: Sheffield, Iowa
      Junior
      Majors: Urban and Regional Studies
      Minors: Public Administration and Nonprofit Leadership
      Second language: Spanish

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the honors program is all of the resources one gets connections to after joining. Through the honors program and events they have hosted, I have learned more about opportunities I was barely familiar with such as: fellowships, scholarships, and undergraduate research.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

I’ve had a lot of people in my life that I can, in retrospect, say were big mentors for me in my life. However, it wasn’t until I came to Minnesota State University, Mankato that I sought out and sought to be a mentor. I had the fortunate experience to have some people from high levels of the university leadership sit down with me and answer many of my questions. Some even meet with me on a regular basis. I have had the privilege to help out a few first year students during my time at college and can’t wait to help some first time Honors students!

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

Of all my experiences, I have appreciated my time in student leadership positions the most. Working in service to students through organizations like the Residence Hall Association and the Minnesota State Student Association, has given me an opportunity to not only apply what I’ve learned in my classes but also to grow in the Honors Program competencies.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

I would to have liked to know that you really can get involved at any level very early on. It can seem very intimidating at first to think that you can make a difference on campus. There’s definitely a learning curve to this new environment so that can be a challenge to overcome. But if you have passion for anything, there are so many people and potential mentors on campus to help you find your way.

 


 

 

 

 

Julia

   

     Julia Hamann

      Hometown: Mankato, MN
      Junior
      Majors: Social Work
      Minors: Sociology
      Second language: Spanish

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the diverse community of motivated and talented students. It is so interesting to get to know my fellow honors students as we all come from different backgrounds and have a variety of interests and goals. It is so fun to explore the many different perspectives of each Honors student, but I also appreciate the common motivation to make a positive difference in the world that binds us together. Honors students are truly an inspiring bunch with all the different things they do inside and outside of the classroom in the pursuit of making themselves better people and the world a better place. I am “honored” to be a part of such a distinguished group.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

My past mentoring experiences include being a team captain, being a leader in student government, and being in a peer mentoring program in high school called “link crew.” I also feel as though some of my best friendships have included a mentoring relationship as many of my friends often come to me for advice. As a mentee I have found several mentors in professors and deans here on campus.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

The most valuable experience I have had in college so far is the opportunity to participate in many different clubs, groups, and programs outside of the classroom. These have allowed me to really explore my interests and talents and have helped to facilitate a discovery of self.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

As an incoming freshman to the Honors Program I would have liked to have had a better understanding of how important it is to start working on developing the honors competencies right away. The sooner you start the more developed you will become and the more material you will have to prove how you have grown in each of the competency areas when it times to defending your e-folio. I also wish I would have realized how important it is to start putting items and reflections in my e-folio as soon as I can after the event occurs so as to have it fresh in my mind and formulate the best reflection possible.

 


 

Ebony

  Ebony Wilson-Sinkfield

  Hometown: Minneapolis
  Sophomore
  Major: Social Work
  Minor: Psychology
  Second language: American Sign Language

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the reminder of how important being involved in the community is. The Honors Program has helped me realize how much experience you get from working within your community. I have found so many great organizations, internships and volunteering sites that I am interested in getting involved in, while I am in college. Even though extra-curricular activities is time consuming, the Honors Program helps regulate the time and fit it into your schedule, so you can build your resume and college experience.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

In high school I was a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where I would volunteer at an elementary school once a week and help guide my mentee. My mentee was a handful but I learned so much about patience, leadership and understanding within my time as a mentor in this program. My mentee has changed my ways of thinking about others and their day to day struggles they face. What she expressed to me about her life I could relate to and that helped me think differently about my life and others.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

One of the most valuable experience I have had in college so far would have to be the community work. I love to be out in the community and help those in need, especially when helping others guides and helps me gain more knowledge about the world and in my field of study as a Social Work major.  Being involved in the community helps me stay focus not only in college but in my personal life as well. I love to stay involved because you learn a lot from it.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

As an incoming freshman I would have liked to know how much work you would have to put into the Honors Program. Yes, I had in mind that the Honors Program would be difficult, challenging and time consuming but I never would have thought the program would be so much fun and enjoyable. I actually do not have as much stress on my back as I thought I would. I thought the program would be no fun and games and all seriousness; but it’s not. I have so much fun in this program and also when it is time to get things done and become aware and serious about the importance of my education, the program also keeps me motivated to work hard so that I can stay focused and follow my dreams to become a Social Worker.

 


 

Zach

  Zach Petzel

  Hometown: Arlington, MN
  Junior
  Major: Secondary Math Education
  Second language: American Sign Language

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the students that make up this great community. The students in the Honors Program are very different from the average college student in that they are very driven and hard-working individuals, dedicated to learning while striving to succeed in every aspect of their lives. I have been fortunate to be able to meet and get to know many other students who share my passion for learning and desire to acheive a high level of academic success.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

Although I have not had any experiences in the past as a a mentee, I have held numerous poisitons where I have served as a mentor for high school and college students. For the last two summers, I worked as a counselor for Upward Bound where I interacted daily with high school students and motivated them to work to achieve academic and personal success. Additionally, last school year I was the Learning Community Coordinator for 25 first-year Honors students who chose to live together in the Honors Learning Community. My main responsibility was to be a role model and mentor to these students while helping to ease their transition into college and the Honors Program.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

By far, the most valuable experience that I have had in college is last year when I enrolled in an Honors service-learning course which consisted of spending spring break in the community of San Pedro, Belize. Together with three other honors students, I studied the different aspects of service-learning during the first half of the semester and then I used that newly-acquired knowledge when I traveled to Belize and worked with high school students. I honestly never thought that I would travel or study abroad during college, but I am so grateful that I took advantage of this very unique and exciting opportunity.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

As an incoming freshmen, I would have liked to have understood the worth of being a member of the Honors Program. The program has challenged me to develop and strengthen qualities within me that I never would have set out to do on my own. As a result, I feel like I have grown so much as a person within the last two years, and I am looking forward to all new experiences that lay ahead of me.

 


 

Ali

  Ali Oku

  Hometown: Ejigbo, Lagos, Nigeria
  Sophomore
  Major: Biomedical Sciences and Medical Laboratory Science
  Second language: French

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

I think all aspects of the Honors Program are important and have influenced my life. However, the aspect I enjoy the most are the competencies. Working on developing the competencies - leadership, research and global citizenship - have helped me become a more well-rounded student.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

Since high school, I have been involved in many situations which I either acted as a mentor or a mentee. I was a student leader in high school and was involved in a program where I chose a senior as a role model. I was also a teen leader in my local church after graduating from high school. Last spring, I was a peer mentor for the Kearney International Center on campus. In fall 2014 semester, I am the Learning Community Coordinator for the Honors Learning Community.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

I have learned a lot her at Minnesota State University, Mankato but the experiences I hold in my heart are those that deal with cultural diversity. In just two semesters, I feel like I have learned a lot about other culutres from different parts of the globe.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

I wish I had known the program was there to help me succeed academically. As a first-year student, I worried that the honors courses were going to be too challenging. Looking back, I am very glad I took those honors courses because they brought out the best in me.

 


 

Amanda

  Amanda Roche

  Hometown: Hastings, MN
  Sophomore
  Major: Elementary Education
  Second language: Spanish

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

The Honors Program has offered me many opportunities and experiences that can't be found anywhere else. The faculty and students have encouraged me to aim high and have pushed me to achiee things I didn't know I was capable of. The community in the program is extremely welcoming and makes my college experience at Mankato meaningful.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

As an aspiring Elementary Education teacher, I love being able to help others grow through mentoring. I have played many roled growing up in which I have mentored others. I have helped out many friends in subjects they were struggling in, given spiritual guidance for young women in my bible studies, and also have been a mentor to my younger siblings. I am eager and ready to help in any way that I am able.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

I believe my most valuable college experience started in my Honors course: Human Relaitons in a Multicultural Society. This class helped me progress in my global competency because I was pushed by other sutdents in the class and the class included internatioanl students who gave me a first hand experience with other cultures. The course also introduced me to Dr. Sandell, who is now my adivisor for my major. She also invited me to join her research team. This class introduced me to new people and opened my eyes to a whole new life experience.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

I have heard many times that you get out as much as you put into something and this is very true in relation to the Honors Program. I wish I had know that as a first-year student.

 


 

Megan

  Megan Sandberg

  Hometown: Maple Grove, MN
  Junior
  Major: Environmental Science
  Minors: Spanish and Chemistry
  Second language: Spanish

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the overwhelming support from the faculty and staff. They are truly invested in our educational and personal development. I love the help that I receive ever time I go into the Honors office.

What type of mentoring experience have you had in the past, as a mentor or a mentee?

In my two years at Minnesota State, Mankato I have gained mentor experience in many ways. I have come to understand mentoring best through my role as a Learning Community Coordinator (LCC). This is my second year as an LCC and the job has given me a huge amount of experience with mentoring first-year students. I love leading study sessions, participating in faculty events, and talking one-on-one with the students in my learning community.

What has been one of the most valuable experiences you have had in college so far?

Joining the Honors Program has been the most valuable experience of my college career. I have gained so much from being an Honors student, even though I have been a part of the program for less than one year. The honors courses I have taken have been some of my favorite. I love the small class size and interesting discussions.

What would you have liked to know as an incoming freshman to the Honors Program?

As a first-year student I had an overwhelming number of questions. I didn't know where anything was or the difference between Wissink, Wiecking, or Wigley. I survived and thrived because I was able to ask my mentors for help along the way.