April 7, 2014



K-State Peer Mentoring Institute

By Kylie Kinley, learning assistant coordinator for K-State First

Nearly 200 peer mentors from across campus gathered March 28 in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building to celebrate the work of K-State's student mentors.

Peer mentors from K-State First, the School of Leadership Studies, First Scholars, University Experience, the Academic and Career Information Center, the College of Business, and housing and dinings services heard from College of Business Administration Dean Ali Malekzadeh. He reminded them that mentors and leaders often share the same qualities. He stressed that some of the most important qualities of a mentor are showing up and showing patience.

Students also heard from senior Bethany Roy, who showed Buzzfeed memes as a way to visually represent the joys and frustrations of peer mentoring. She focused on the effectiveness of modeling successful student behavior as one of the most valuable tools of a peer mentor.

Next, Mindy Weixelman, KSU Foundation senior director of annual giving and student life programs, spoke on the Wildcat Way and K-State's community atmosphere.

In the breakout sessions, peer mentors wrote letters to mentors who have influenced their lives and used those letters to focus their own peer mentoring philosophies for the upcoming year. The students returned to the large group to find a gift of a limestone rock, which had been broken up and then personally washed in a car wash by leadership studies professor Mike Finnegan. The rock symbolizes several things. First, the rock stands for K-State's connection to the landscape of the Flint Hills and its foundation as a land-grant university. Second, the rock symbolizes how peer mentors create a strong foundation for their students' learning. Third, quite simply, peer mentors rock. The event concluded with a group picture to encourage students to remember they are part of a valued community at K-State.

Other peer mentoring groups on campus who would like to be part of future all-campus mentoring events should contact Kylie Kinley at kkinley@k-state.edu.