Peer Mentors Sought for the 2021-22 Academic Year

The Office of Multicultural Development is actively recruiting and accepting applications until Monday, April 26, 2021 5 p.m.


(Graphic via The University of Akron)

By LeKesha Parkman, Editor-in-chief

For the past eight years, Autumn Frampton, associate Director of Academic Support Services in the Office of Multicultural Development has been overseeing the Office of Multicultural Development‘s Peer Mentoring Services program  

Every year the program trains 20 to 30 mentors to work with incoming first-year students from diverse backgrounds. They target historically underrepresented populations but serve all demographics.   

“We know students cannot address academics until their basic needs are met, so mentors and mentees work together to address basic needs and to support each other in the enhancement of self-efficacy, social-emotional skills, and academics,” Frampton said.  

Being a mentor is a paid, paraprofessional position.  

“It is really an amazing program because mentors and mentees start out as strangers, but over the course of a year, friendships blossom,” Frampton said.

Students interested in becoming a mentor are required to have been enrolled at UA for at least two semesters and be a fulltime upper-class undergraduate student with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. 

Applicants should also have strong interpersonal, organizational, time management and academic success skills. Along with a commitment to personal achievement and the success of your peers. 

Basic computer and Google Docs, Sheets, Forms skills are also required.   

The Online application and two recommendation forms are due by Monday, April 26, 2021 at 5 p.m. 

Frampton explained the nature of the mentor’s role as being sounding boards for students as they figure out what they want to do. Once the mentors develop a set of goals with the student, they are paired with the mentors who check in with them weekly.   

Peer mentors are expected to dedicate six office hours to the betterment of their assigned mentees. 

A recent picture from one of the Peer Mentoring Services program staff meetings. (Image via Autumn Frampton)

“This could be by meeting with them, reaching out to offer encouragement or connecting them with resources on campus,” fourth year exercise science, pre-physical therapy major, Morgan Manning said.  

Manning was an advisee and mentee in the program during her freshman year. After her personal experiences, she realized she would like to be a peer mentor.  

“I chose to become a peer mentor because I wanted to pay it forward. I’ve always enjoyed helping others and have always been interested in leadership roles on campus. I started as a pre-nursing major and wanted to help freshmen who were in the same challenging position I was.” 

Manning would like UA students to know that OMD is family oriented and is not typical of most campus jobs.  

According to Frampton, mentoring meetings could have unique and creative outcomes. Students jog on-campus, go to sporting events, work out and even study together. She also noted that the OMD is home to some pretty fierce UNO battles.

Frampton stated that mentoring is engrained into the program every step of the way. After a year of being mentored, students are encouraged to apply to become peer mentors and then peer mentor leaders. 

The ADVANCE NSO program, lead by Mrs. Aiesha Lynette Motley, Director of the Office of Multicultural Development, is affiliated with the Peer Mentoring Services program.

“We couldn’t do what we do without Ms. Motley and her ADVANCE program,” Frampton said. 

Students who participate in the program are exposed to people from different backgrounds that they shared similarities with including the goal of graduating. They are also more likely to return for their second year at UA than their counterparts. 

Jullien Ivery, a psychology major, minoring in child development, became a peer mentor to help fellow students looking for support in their chosen degree paths. He has served as a peer mentor for two years and is contemplating mentoring for a third 

“This program is a chance to get to know people in your field of study, essentially a networking opportunity, also a chance to learn from people who come from different backgrounds and how we all coexist in the same world and on the same campus,” Ivery said.

Ivery stated that the program is available to all students and welcomes anyone interested in receiving support to reach out.   

“Acknowledging that you need a bit of help is a strength, not a weakness. Also, if you think about it your tuition pays for all of this so take advantage of that,” he urged.  

To sign-up for a peer mentor, complete this form. 

To apply to become a peer mentor, complete this form.