Mentors of the Year
Mentors of the Year!
Mentors of the Year are nominated by Communication Coordinators and chosen based on their level of commitment, engagement and passion for mentorship as evidenced in the monthly group records, meetings and events attended by our staff! Each MOTY receives a special award and a gift from the Mentorship staff. The testimonies below are edited from our Communication Coordinator's written nominations.
Peer Mentor Danielle Canter (left) and Faculty/Staff Mentor Liese Hull (right) were named Mentors of the Year
Danielle Canter has been involved with Mentorship for three years now and was recently hired to be a Communication Coordinator due to her outstanding work as a Peer Mentor. In Danielle’s group (6 mentees and a f/s mentor) every person has come to every event or meeting that she has put together for her group with the exception of one event due to the great relatonship she has nurtured. Since Kickoff, she has made it a priority to make sure that they all meet up at least once a week. ONCE A WEEK. That is huge! Danielle has absolutely exceeded her role as a peer mentor. She has created a relationship with each one of the mentees individually, meets up with one of the girls on a regular basis, and gets dinner with them all every Sunday. Right from the beginning, Danielle made and effort to make the mentees feel so comfortable around each other, and now they are friends outside of mentorship. Basically, Danielle has molded her group into a “mentorship model” group – one that staff absolutely love to see. Danielle also has a good relationship with her f/s mentor, Jon, who lives about an hour away from Ann Arbor so he hasn’t been able to come to any of the events that are held at night/evening and he typically can’t meet up with them during the week because of the conflicts at work. However, he has relayed how wonderful he thinks Danielle is because even though he cannot come to a lot of the functions, Danielle always includes him in emails and asks his opinion. He has even forwarded me emails that Danielle sends to the group because he wanted to show me how amazing, charismatic she sounded and how effective the emails were at getting the mentees to response and participate. Time and time again he tells me that all the credit for their great group should go straight to Danielle because she is the one facilitating all of the meetings and emails. Danielle really encompasses what a Peer Mentor stands for and what the Mentorship Program looks for in its volunteers and participants.
Liese Hull has been involved in Mentorship for consecutive years and has developed strong and supportive relationships with her mentees, many of whom look up to her and feel comfortable sharing their concerns and worries as new students, as well as their successes in adjusting to college life. This year, Liese sustained a great relationship with her peer mentor and actively participated in group gatherings, even offering assistance and support to students she was not assigned, who attended events on their own. Liese's friendliness, openness and vast knowledge of campus resources (from academic to wellness) has complemented and enhanced the work of each mentor she's been paired with in recent years. Liese always makes an effort to get to know her mentees, has been able to meet with several of them individually, and has been a great mentor to her assigned peer mentor as well, sustaining a friendly and open relationship that continues beyond the fall semester. We greatly appreciate her contribution and look forward to her participation in future years!
Peer Mentor Kyle Nowels (left) and Faculty/Staff Mentor Heather Piegza (right) were named Mentors of the Year!
Kyle Nowels was named Peer Mentor of the Year due to his great communication with his mentees, openness and the energy he devotes to keeping records about his group progress. According to Kyle, "I would describe my relationship with my mentees as a new friendship." He really showed that he cared about his mentees and the success of his group when instead of giving up when his mentees did not answer his emails, he moved on to texts and facebook, which garnered more response. He also realized that his F/S mentor was an asset not a burden and continuously included her in all of his plans, even the facebook thread he started with his mentees.He planned a lot of events for his group including attending Kickoff, attending the Mentorship soccer and pizza tasting events, and planning events on his own including ice skating, a comedy night at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase and going out for ice cream. Kyle also lended advice to staff as an invited guest to the annual Mentor Summit, where he weighed in about his experience with the program. We appreciate all Kyle does for Mentorship!
Heather Piegza went above and beyond the role of mentor and has done a great job of making the program fun and useful for the students. Holly (her peer mentor) mentioned that she has an excellent relationship with Heather and that she helps both her and the mentees with their concentrations, majors, minors, employment opportunities, and social opportunities on campus. She also said that she is an “excellent resource and very approachable and accessible.” Beyond her great relationships with her peer mentor and assigned mentorship staffmember, Heather had creative ideas for activities to do with the group that all of her mentees were excited about. One expressed an interest in applying to the business school, which her current partner had attended, so she offered to set up a meeting for the two of them so that they could discuss the application process and academic environment. She also had two mentees that had never been apple picking (one was from Alaska) and so they planned a trip to expose the student to a typical fall Michigan activity. Heather works in the Museum Studies department, so she arranged a behind the scenes tour of the museum so that the students could see the store rooms in the basement and got to see real dinosaur bones. Originally from the Detroit area, Heather knows a lot about Detroit and Ann Arbor and really wanted to share that experience with her mentees, which was a great idea to help them get acquainted with the area. Along with her father, who lives in the Detroit area, Heather planned tour of Detroit with her mentees to show them all the city had to offer, and they also made a stop at the DIA museum and a restaurant for dinner. Heather has been an outstanding addition to Mentorship and we are proud to count her as a mentor!
Peer Mentor AJ Pinney (left) and Faculty/Staff Mentor Allison Friendly (right) were named Mentors of the Year!
A Pinney is always extremely enthusiastic when talking about his mentees, and does whatever he can to ensure their success here at Michigan. He brings his great energy with him to all of his peer core meetings as well as Mentorship Events. He is pro-active, friendly, engaging, and creative in finding ways to benefit his group. He and his f/s created a CTools site where they can post updates, information, plan events, and shares information with his mentees in power points including "top 10 places to eat” or “favorite study spots”. The main thing he has done is to set himself apart from the other mentors is really take an active approach in working with his faculty/staff mentor. They come up with monthly ideas that include other peer groups so more mentees can interact, and they can meet the mentees of their fellow friends/mentors. He is personally invested in the program and really hopes for the best with all that they do! AJ is now a mentorship staffmember (Communication Coordinator) for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Allison Friendly is a Faculty/Staff Mentor of the year because she has gone above and beyond expectations on behalf of her mentees; she gives them personal attention and offered assistance ranging from driving mentees to the airport and figuring out residence hall room changes! Her assigned mentorship staff also enjoyed their interactions and she also offered assistance to staff the Mentorship Course Backpacking event which was a success and showed her dedication to the program. We are fortunate that Allison is continuing as a mentor for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Peer Mentor Laura Heinrich (left) and Faculty/Staff Mentor Nancy Kelly (right) were named Mentors of the Year at Winterfest, the closing Mentorship celebration.
Laura Heinrich is Peer Mentor of the year because, despite having
Nancy Kelly has worn many hats as a staff mentor this year.
Who's Your MOTY?
Nominations will refer to some or all of the following qualities in your mentors: consistent contact with mentees; significant activities and interactions with mentees; enriching mentees' understanding of culture, the arts, current events and campus resources; overall positive impact on mentee's experiences at U of M.
Mentors are awarded yearly prizes including but not limited to book vouchers, gift certificates to various local businesses and are highlighted in our monthly newsletters and on our website.
December will mark our Mentorship Closing Celebration, where we will recognize peers and faculty/staff mentor achievement, say farewell to our graduating seniors and reveal our Mentors of the Year!