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, fall retreat, 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!


 

 


 

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?

Studying 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 known 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.

 


 

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 Student Events Team, 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.  

 

 

    


 

 

 

 

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 achieve 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 mentee, I have held numerous positions 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 cultures 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 achieve 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 roles 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 Relations in a Multicultural Society. This class helped me progress in my global competency because I was pushed by other students in the class and the class included international students who gave me a first-hand experience with other cultures. The course also introduced me to Dr. Sandell, who is now my adivsor 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 known 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 every 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.

 


 

 


 

Hailey

  Hailey Gorman

  Hometown: Lakeville, MN
  Sophomore
  Major: Environmental Science
  Minors: Chemistry
  Second language: Spanish

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the honors program is the opportunity we are given to enroll in courses focused on what the honors program finds essential: global competency, research, and leadership. The classes are often small in size enabling students to voice their opinion, I like discussion based classes because they allow me to ask questions and bring up topics that I find relatable to the subject being discussed.

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

I have had little formal experience being a mentor to others, unless you count being there for friends when they seek advice, if so, then I have been mentoring for many years. I want to make mentoring a bigger part of my life especially now because I am surrounded by peers who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to get out of their college experience. I too, rely on mentors to guide me though challenges, and I would like to become a mentor in giving someone the comfort of having a person to go to when questions arise.

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 was discovering that professors what you to succeed. I was intimidated to utilize office hours my first semester of college, but I had to give in and visit with my Spanish professor because I did not understand the lesson. I was pleasantly surprised that the professor as happy to see me during his office hours. Since that experience I often use my professor’s office hours to look over exams or ask questions. I have yet to meet with a professor who was not willing to help me.

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

One thing I would tell my former freshman self is that it is best to take general education courses thorough the honors program, it is like killing two birds with one stone! You get general education as well as honors credit for one course.

 


 

Anh

  Anh Cong

  Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam
  Sophomore
  Major: Chemistry
  Minors: Biochemistry and Mathematics
  Second language: English and some Chinese

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the program is how small and close – knit it is. Going from a small private high school into a larger college like MNSU was a bit strange and overwhelming for me at times.

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

Since high school, I have had many chances to work as a mentor. I was a volunteer and manager of a student volunteer group at my hometown for a summer. Our job was to come to a foster home and hold summer classes for the kids there. I was also a tutor in my high school, a student helper who looked after kids when school was over. I participated in the Student Life Organization, a student leadership group when I was in school as well.

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

Getting exposed to the cultural diversity and getting to learn another part of American culture have been the most valuable experiences I have had in college so far. Having lived in America three years prior to coming to MNSU and attended an international school soon introduced me to the diverse culture. My college experience, however, has been very similar to one I had in high school, but more extreme due to the diverse community that MNSU has to offer.

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 worthy and meaningful the Honors Program is. It has challenged me and pushed me out of the comfort zone to do things that I would not do if I was not a part of the program. I have loved all the experiences I gained so far and I am looking forward to learning more.

 


 

Sarah

  Sarah Gorman

  Hometown: Lakeville, MN
  Junior
  Major: Aviation
  Second language: Spanish

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the connections and opportunities it provides me. I love that I get to meet fellow students and advisors who have the same work ethic and love for knowledge that I do. I also love the fact that doors just seem to open up for me by just being a part of the Honors Program. I was able to get a job at the first place I applied to because I put on my resume that I was a part of the Honors Program here at MSU. It also helps that there are a lot of scholarship opportunities given to honor’s students as well.

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

In the past, I have been mentored by many. I have been mentored by those peers who were older than me, I have been mentored by youth leaders in my church, and I have been mentored by my professors. From having the huge assortment of mentors, I have been able to pick up on the qualities I liked and disliked in a mentor and turned them into guidelines for when I am mentoring. I have also mentored a few junior high students as well. It is my belief that you can never really just have one mentor or not be mentored at a certain period of your life. There is always someone looking out for you and pushing you to succeed, whether you notice it at that point in time or not.

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

College is really all about change and experiences that change you from who you were before college. If I had to choose one of those experiences to be the most valuable I would say it would be the exponential growth I have experienced inside and outside the classroom. Who I was when I first came to college and who I am now are two totally different people. It has taught me all about change and how to grow within the change instead of shy away from it like my introverted self would have liked to. Growth is what makes us who we are and sets us up for the rest of our life.

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

When I came in as a freshman I honestly felt as if I had no idea what I was doing, as most freshman often do. The Honors Program at the time seemed huge and scary and I really did not know what to make of it. All of a sudden I was thrown into the deep end. Granted I learned to swim and the program is nowhere near as scary as I first thought but there were a few things I would have liked to have solidified before coming in as a freshman to the Honors Program. One of the things I wish I would have known coming in as a freshman was how to make a learning plan. I still have troubles with it to this day and I wish I could have been able/ made the time to sit down with someone who could have explained it in a way I understood it.

 


 

Rebecca

  Becky Osborn

  Hometown: Tripoli, IA
  Sophomore
  Major: Biology
  Second language: Spanish

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the feeling that I get when walking into an Honors class. The program has not only offered connections with fantastic faculty on campus, but provides a more one-on-one conversation with those faculty and students in the classes that you can’t get with standard courses. I can say that the relationships that are built in the classrooms continue outside and throughout my years as an undergraduate.

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

It is hard to identify what exactly I have done in which I have been the mentee or have provided qualities of a mentor. In high school I volunteered to tutor students in the 1st grade and also middle school level, and worked my way up to holding leadership positions in some clubs and extracurricular activities. I worked an Orientation Peer Assistant the summer of 2014 and will work as an Orientation Student Coordinator the summer of 2015. As a student coordinator, I am trained to be a more efficient and mindful mentor for the Peer Assistants. By working with the Intensive English Language Institute at MSU, I have expanded my mentoring to an international level by sharing my experience in the English language to a non-native English speaker.

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

One of my most valuable college experiences thus far has been experimenting and exploring to find what I am truly passionate about. I am still in a working process of finding that passion but the journey has been unforgettable. Having the ability to join clubs like Microbiology, take the discussion based Honors courses, and construct the building blocks of a new Cognitive Science Club on campus is an adventure that I could not have ever imagined that I would be capable of participating in.

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

As an incoming Honors freshman I would have liked to known how not scary the upperclassmen in the program are. At some of my first HSC meetings, the intimidation of these wiser elder was very real. By my second year, I can call some of them my very own mentors but I wish that it had not taken me a year to realize that.

 


 

Prathibha

  Prathibha Mangedarage

  Hometown: Colombo, Sri Lanka
  Sophomore
  Major: Biology
  Minor: Chemistry
  Second language: English and French

What is your favorite aspect of the Honors Program?

The honors program means a lot of things to me. The perks, the community, and the experiences are all great but what I value the most is the drive and push it gives me to perform and excel in my college career. Being a part of the program has helped me build my self-confidence. The help I get from my Honors advisors has helped me find various opportunities like research internships and study abroad programs. The Honors courses that I take in the program help me explore many new subjects and help me build my knowledge about different cultures and fields of study. The Honors program has definitely helped me see the world in a new way. It has helped me look at world issues and has taught me the importance of community engagement. I am honored to be a part of the program and feel grateful for everything it adds to my life.

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

My most significant mentoring experience would be being a peer mentor at the International student orientation. At each International student orientation at MSU, I am assigned a group of new incoming international students who I mentor during the course of the orientation. I help them with various sign up activities starting from getting their ID cards to helping them with class registration etc. During this experience I mentor them on what college is like and what exciting experiences are ahead of them. I get to share my experiences as an international student and get to provide encouragement. From this experience I learn more about leadership, patience and cultural competency. As a mentee I have been blessed with some mentors that help me succeed in college. I also learn mentorship skills from these mentors.

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

This is definitely a difficult question to answer since I have had many valuable experiences in college so far. Being a part of many clubs and groups would be a highlight. With these clubs I have been able to take part in many volunteer activities where I not only learned to work in teams but also made many friends. I have made very special connections with people from all around the world here at MSU. As an intern in the women’s center I have met some very special people that have taught me valuable life lessons and has driven me to become an activist which I believe I will take with me when I graduate. These experiences in college have definitely made me a better person.

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

I wish I knew how helpful the Honors mentors are. I have come to learn that the faculty at the Honors program are willing to help the students in the program with almost anything they need help in. I was not aware of this as a freshman and was a bit reluctant to meet them and talk about my future goals etc. But now I take great comfort in knowing that I can walk in to the honors office whenever I need help and there will always be someone to point me in the right direction. The mentors at the Honors office are very encouraging, pleasant and always helpful.