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Adding Helpful Sources For Pitt-Greensburg Students

by Alexis Osborne

Photo Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

At Pitt-Greensburg, getting information about majors, classes, and any programs or activities happening on campus can come from another source, alongside Academic Advising. The major mentor program is new for the spring semester and it’s made for freshmen students who are in their second semester. Upperclassmen hold office hours for questions and plan activities for whoever they’re mentoring, in order to give information to freshmen so they know more about their majors. The Upperclassmen, who are mentors, are in the same major as their mentees so they can give information based on experience.

Assistant Dean Leigh Hoffman and Director of Advising and Registrar, Beth Tiedemann were collaborators, alongside Academic Advising, to bring the program to life. They created the program in order to engage students more and improve their well-being. Hoffman noticed since the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s been harder for all students to have opportunities to get involved and wanted more sources for underclassmen.

“I am grateful for the responses that we got from the mentors. We asked faculty to recommend upperclassmen students and we got a positive response from who was nominated. I loved hearing their ideas and feedback,” Hoffman said.

Alongside the pandemic, Hoffman has noticed how programs like these can help students’ mental health and improve their college experience.

“I’m hoping it’ll have a positive effect on them, students will be engaged and have the opportunity to be emotionally well,” Hoffman said. 

Since it’s the first year for this program, Hoffman wants to learn and make changes to the program for future years.

“I’m excited to see what the results are. I’m hoping it was a positive experience and I’m excited to see what opportunities are in store for the mentors,” Hoffman said.

Aaron Zavatchan, junior, is a History and Anthropology major. He mentors students who are taking Non-Psychology Social Sciences and Creative and Professional Writing courses. He became a mentor because it was difficult to get involved during the Covid pandemic. He wants this program to be a way to make sure that underclassmen have the opportunity to get involved.

“I like the way it’s open to dialogue, tell me what you want to achieve. I want to serve as a further advocate to talk about issues and be an upper class guide. I love to help with goals,” Zavatchan said.

While Zavatchan has the opportunity to be a guide to the freshman class, he wants to benefit from the program as well.

“I want the experience to form new relationships with new people. I want students to succeed and hit the ground running,” Zavatchan said. 

The Student and Life and Services department has applied for a grant from the University of Pittsburgh called “Year of Emotional Well-Being” to help with initiatives and move the program farther.

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