The following are testimonials from our former staff members.
"Valuable professional, organizational, and communication skills; indispensable experience and reward. All this and more are the outcome of working for the STEM Program. Becoming a peer mentor was my first non-manual labor position, and a better one I could not have received. Peer mentoring is rewarding in many ways, but perhaps the best reward is seeing students without hope in their studies succeed and gain a new confidence in themselves and achieve mastery with the help of the STEM Program. I strongly believe that my experience at the STEM Program has assisted me in achieving my latest goal of getting accepted into medical school due to both professional and organizational skills learned and as a resume enhancer. I cannot recommend a better experience than becoming a STEM Program peer mentor."
- Sam Vergunst, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Co-Chair, 2011-13
"STEM provided me with my first job EVER! And it’s with great pride that I say STEM has taught me how to be an independent thinker and a proactive student. Since I started working here, I was immediately welcomed and treated like I’ve been one of them since forever. My director and coworkers were always supportive and fun. In the office, I got the opportunity to work with wonderful people and learn about the program internally. STEM has provided me with experiences and opportunities that I can use on the “real world” and I just can’t put words on how grateful I am to be able to say that I once was a STEM Peer Mentor/Budget Analyst, that I got the opportunity to pass on my knowledge, and that I made a difference around WMU campus through STEM."
- Denisse Mayers, Budget Analyst & Peer Mentor, 2010-13
"I will never forget that I obtained my first real job at STEM. With all the guidance and training I received from my wonderful colleagues and supervisor, I am confident that I will be able to make the transition from student employee to employee seamlessly. I will forever attribute my success as an individual, professionally and personally, to my jobs as Peer Mentor and Student Program Assistant. Thank you, STEM!"
- Jolene Khor, Student Program Assistant & Peer Mentor, 2010-12
"My experience at STEM has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Working here not only made me grow personally but professionally as well. The leadership skills I developed will definitely help me throughout my career. Working with so many different people from different backgrounds has broaden my horizons. I will always be proud to say that I was once part of this wonderful STEM family."
- Shalinee Koonjal, Senior Student Program Assistant & Peer Mentor, 2009-12
"The STEM Program provided me with an opportunity to assist those who are having difficulties in academia. Working with STEM is indeed a very enriching one as learning works surprisingly both ways. Everyone is friendly at STEM and the experience is definitely essential for future career development!"
- Mohammed Hariz bin Mohammed Shazalli, Peer Mentor, 2012
"STEM has been an amazing opportunity for me, and I am so grateful for my time with STEM. Being a mentor has helped me grow as an individual, as well as helped my professional growth. I have learned so much from my students, and have been inspired by many. I am so grateful working alongside other aspiring students, and working with students that really care about their education. I will truly miss STEM, and wish everyone still there all the best!"
- Katrina Snyder, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2011-12
"It was such a privilege for me to be able to work at STEM.
STEM is the place where peer mentors and students can grow knowledge together.
I learned so much from my hardworking students and had great time working with all people I met at STEM. Being a peer mentor is definitely one of the most rewarding experience I had at WMU."
- Hikaru Kondo, Peer Mentor, 2011-12
"STEM is one of the only on-campus jobs that helps prepare us for a professional career that we all seek after graduation and I am truly grateful for my opportunity to work for STEM as both a peer mentor and Training and Advising Committee (TAC) liaison. It was a great learning experience, where I was able to gain new insights from not only the director and other peer mentors, but also from the students that I worked with. I feel the motto of the STEM program should be “studying has never been more rewarding!” I say this because not only are you able to refresh your own memory and get the satisfaction of helping students get through their classes, you also get paid for it! As I leave STEM in pursuit of a career as a professional airline pilot, I take with me values, skills, experience, knowledge, and last but certainly not least, friendships that will last a lifetime."
- Joash Atkinson, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2010-12
"I cannot thank the STEM Program and its wonderful employees enough for their contribution to my personal and professional growth. In my two years here, I have had the opportunity to develop friendships, skills, and core values that I will take with me through the rest of my life and career."
- Jason Woo, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2010-12
"I worked for STEM for about 5 semesters during which I served as a mentor and later also as a liaison (go-to guy for mentors). Not only is working for STEM one of the most interesting and fun jobs on campus, but also the things I have learned at STEM are of considerable value in a future business/marketing career. Experiences range from stimulating students, dealing with different cultural backgrounds, brushing up on classes and subjects I had long forgotten (you learn the most when you explain it to others), good habits to keep a clear agenda and maintain smooth communication, and managing skills. All in all I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for STEM and I would (and already did) recommend it to anybody who is interested."
- Martijn Heijboer, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2010-12
"I extend my deepest appreciation to each and every one of you at STEM for all of the opportunities and support you have given me. The past few years have been a fantastic and wonderful experience, and I owe it all to being surrounded by such incredible people. I am extremely grateful for the memories at STEM and I look forward to its positive impact on all future employees as it did on me."
- Wei Jian Chiu, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Co-Chair, 2010-12
"I am very grateful [to] this program and [to the director] for the opportunity of letting me be a peer mentor. I learned a lot of things here, and I got a very good experience for my entire life."
- Cristian Veloz, Peer Mentor, 2010-12
"I would like to thank STEM for the opportunity. If it wasn't for the STEM Program, I wouldn't have the opportunity to grow as an individual. It was indeed a great experience in STEM. Learning to be a good leader while providing and conveying knowledge to students and also realizing that to be a leader is never an easy job and that as a leader, you can't satisfy everybody. No doubt these values will be a great asset for my future career. Again, thank you so much for this awesome experience, STEM!"
- Kok Seong Foo, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2010-11
"The one thing I will never forget about working with STEM is that they taught me the value of being organized and managing my time well. These qualities helped me a great deal as a working student and when I left school to work full-time. "
- Peter Lazaro, Peer Mentor, 2010-11
"I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to have worked in the STEM program for those several months. It was a personally and professionally enriching experience, and your hard-driving leadership was an essential component."
- Craig Douglas, Peer Mentor, 2010-11
"The STEM Program enabled me to explore my passion for helping students achieve academic success in a unique one-on-one setting. As a future provider of academic-related intervention services, I grew both professionally and personally in my role as a peer mentor/tutor while students were able to take advantage of my academic support."
- Johnisha Taylor, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2009-11
"STEM provided me with an invaluable work experience and allowed me to develop professionally through a diverse and challenging work environment. The organizational and managerial skills I learned here are applicable to any field and will be a great asset in my future career."
- Brittany Tovar, Senior Student Program Assistant & Peer Mentor, 2009-10
"STEM is a wonderful place to work. You have a competent, professional boss who is more than happy to help you with anything you need, you schedule your own tutoring times, and you get the opportunity to help people learn the skills they need to succeed in their college career."
- Nick Acker, Peer Mentor, 2009-10
"I feel that this job has impacted my life in many positive ways. I distribute my time more efficiently, plan ahead of time, and at the same time it supports my professional growth."
– Jean Imbert, Budget Analyst & Peer Mentor, 2009-10
"There's just one word I feel fully describes STEM. That word is "family." From the director to the student staff, everyone does his or her possible best to create and sustain an atmosphere that allows you to be you regardless of your background."
- Ugochukwu Njoku, Peer Mentor, 2009
"As part of a diverse group of tutors, in terms of study areas and nationalities, I am constantly learning from my colleagues about ways to help students learn, in addition to learning about their different customs and traditions."
– Janice Hiner, Peer Mentor, 2008-12 & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Co-Chair, 2008-11
"My job as a Student Program Assistant is the second best thing in my life, exceeded only by my education at WMU."
– Ashley Martz, Senior Student Program Assistant, 2008-10 (2010 Student Employee of the Year)
"As an employee with the program, one must reinforce their skills in time management, professionalism, and working in a diverse environment. The lessons learned here are crucial for entering the workforce and cannot be learned from a textbook or lecture."
– Katie Walkowiak, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2008-10
"A lot of international students are motivated full-time scholars, since they came here from abroad to study. STEM is a wonderful place to give academically relevant and supportive work to Western Michigan University students. I think it may be the only such place for the international students."
– Milan Peterčák, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Member, 2008-09
"By working with this amazing program, I have found my true calling, student affairs. It has made me realize that I want to eventually end up back at a university, working with students."
– Kelly Kucharczyk, Student Program Assistant, 2008-09
"The STEM Tutor/Peer Mentor position is very flexible and I am able to schedule tutoring sessions around my class schedule. The tutoring sessions are also set up around campus, so they are easy and fast to get to."
– Isaí Almeida-Arrieta, Peer Mentor, 2008-09
"I feel that the STEM Program has a lot to offer to its tutors. The nature of the program allows tutors to work a very flexible schedule, which I found to be extremely helpful while attending to my own classes and homework… If our state wants to help its economy, it should stand behind programs that help educate first generation college students. These students are our future and assisting them get their educations allows them to set an example – a precedence – for future generations of Michigan workers."
– Rudi Betzold, Peer Mentor, 2008-09
"Professors throughout the university have been highly appreciative of the program, and recommended students to enroll for assistance, as they have been unable to individually cater to the needs of each and every student."
– Meenu Sankar, Budget Analyst & Peer Mentor, 2008-09
"I have been teaching since I first began my graduate work, and, at the time that I became a STEM Peer Mentor/Tutor, I was trying to decide my future career. Tutoring students from all educational backgrounds has helped me to make my decision to become a professor."
– Andrea Kryger, Peer Mentor & Peer Mentor Training and Advising Committee (TAC) Co-Chair, 2007-10
"I took this job opportunity [with STEM] to learn a lot of new stuff, such as: culture, communication, and, sometimes, a few topics from the subjects I teach that I did not already know… Performing my best as a STEM tutor gave me confidence and an opportunity to develop very good communication skills. Even after I graduate from Western Michigan University, I will always look back at the program that built me."
– Purushothaman Boopathy Ethirajan, Peer Mentor, 2007-09
"Although there are other programs that offer free tutoring around campus, none of them offer the consistency, convenience, and personal attention that STEM offers. … Without state funding, the university would not be able to sustain this program and many student participants, student employees, and STEM staff members would be left without assistance or jobs."
– Nikolla Griffin, Peer Mentor, 2007-09
"STEM has the virtue of being the most flexible tutoring service on campus. … This highlights STEM’s unique efforts to be as student-based as possible. For myself, I consider STEM to be the most personally and professionally beneficial job I have ever held. … This teaching experience was a factor in my acceptance to me graduate program."
– Rebecca Makas, Peer Mentor, 2007-09
"Any place I go to or work at, the ability to work with others is one of the most important skills to have, and by working with the STEM Program, I have really gotten the chance to improve this skill."
– Rachel Salim, Peer Mentor, 2007-08