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Students share Mentoring Techniques at National Conference

Posted by: Erin Blevins | October 31, 2014 | No Comment |
Team Leaders as they arrive in Indianapolis

Team Leaders as they arrive in Indianapolis

In October 2014, seven College of Charleston students and Jennifer Bradley,   the Assistant Director of the Center for Excellence in Peer Education (CEPE), attended the Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) National Mentoring Symposium.  These seven students serve as Team Leaders to the over 80 First Year Experience Peer Facilitators (PFs).   Team Leaders are seniors and have at least one year of experience serving as a PF.  As a PF, they conduct a weekly Synthesis Seminar (FYSS) covering a wide variety of topics to help first-year students successfully transition into the College of Charleston. This seminar is directly connected to a First-Year Seminar (FYSS) or Learning Community (LC).  In addition to the expectations to the PF role, these Team Leaders take on additional leadership responsibilities that include mentoring current PFs, conducting weekly meetings with their PF group, and managing the CEPE office.

Olivia Adams, Chase Hawes, Chris-Marcus Kitchings, Kelsey Kreitler, Shannon Meyer, Victoria Ward, and Nathan Wills were among the 400 students, faculty, and staff from across the country that attended this one-day conference designed specifically for students who serve as peer mentors in higher education institutions.  They had the opportunity to network, attend workshops associated with student development and mentoring, and present at the Symposium.

Chris -Marcus Kitchings presenting

Chris -Marcus Kitchings presenting

The College of Charleston group’s presentation was on “Training Peer Facilitators to Address Controversial Topics Affecting the Campus and Community.”   Chris-Marcus Kitchings and Jennifer Bradley presented the basic information and the Team Leaders presented and discussed their experiences, facilitated discussion, and answered questions.  The PF Team Leaders presented techniques to encourage productive conversations with first-year students.  The ensuing discussion focused on diversity, sexual misconduct and mental health.

The CofC peer mentors enjoyed sharing information about the College of Charleston’s Peer Education Model.  Students and staff from other colleges were eager to learn more about the structure of the College of Charleston peer education program, specifically the First Year Experience (FYE) peer facilitators’ involvement.  One idea that the CofC students came away with from the conference is to start a peer mentoring club here at the College of Charleston.   Be on thelook-out for this new club on campus soon!


Here’s what a few of the Team Leaders that attended had to say about their experience at the conference:

“The best thing about the trip was the presentation and being able to speak openly to people about mental illness and how the stigma needs to be erased. This topic is very important to me. Many mental illnesses surface during late adolescence and can negatively affect the college experience and career of many students. I got to know my co-workers better, met a lot of passionate and creative people, and reassured myself that a career path in higher education is right for me.”

Chase Hawes, Team Leader


“It was an amazing experience that made me value our team and program at CofC! I was talking to another student, who presented after us, and she told me that we are definitely a group of mentors that genuinely cares about helping our students.”

Kelsey Kreitler, Team Leader


“For me, the trip was most beneficial in having the opportunity to show other schools how the College of Charleston approaches peer education. Helping peers is what we are all about, so it is a great experience to take that to a national level.”

Chris-Marcus Kitchings, Executive Team Leader




under: Program Spotlight, Uncategorized

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