Suzy (top) and Chris.
Chris and Suzy are the current Co-Chairs of the Division of Biological Sciences Peer Mentorship Program Student Committee. The program started in 2009 as a way for current students to help incoming doctoral students with their transition to graduate school.
The program matches an incoming first year Biological Sciences PhD student with an upperclass (second year and beyond) mentor.
Peer mentors meet regularly with their first-year students to discuss all aspects of their first-year program. Topics include: lab selection, housing, first year courses and social issues.
The Peer Mentor Program sponsors key events throughout the year to welcome the first-year students into the community of grad students in the Biological Sciences.
Suzy and Chris are both third year PhD students and have been involved in several programs at UCSD, including admissions & recruitment planning/coordinating, BioEASI, as well as the Peer Mentor Program.
We asked them why they want to be Co-Chairs and why they think this is an important program.
“I had an outstanding experience as a first year student and feel the peer mentoring program played a large part in providing me with a stable foundation for beginning my graduate career,” said Suzy.
Chris noted the great relationship he established with his peer mentor and felt the peer mentors played a significant role in the successful transition to graduate school. Both Chris and Suzy agree the program is a success because "it was designed and implemented completely by students, thus tailored very well to meet student needs."
"The program really works because we have these enthusiastic students who are truly invested in the success of the incoming class."
Going forward, Chris and Suzy want to continue to strengthen the graduate student community, creating an environment that promotes collaboration and ensures all students feel there is truly a supportive community in which they can rely.
Both Suzy and Chris feel that program "founders" Britt Flaherty and Amanda Herman established an excellent model for success and want to keep the program moving in that same direction.