Peer Mentors

Training and advising committee

Silmang Sene

Silmang Sene

Training and advising committee co-chair

Subjects: mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, French
Hometown: Dakar, Senegal
Major: aerospace engineering
Year in school: senior
Interests: movies, flight simulators, soccer, video games, hanging out with friends, swimming
Why I want to be a peer mentor: Most of the time, students have problems finding a particular method of studying that suits them for a particular subject. First of all, being a peer mentor will give me a chance to help others, to share my knowledge about a particular subject, and to share my experience about college. In addition, mentoring gives me the opportunity to enhance my leadership skills by mentoring different students from different cultural backgrounds and improve my organizational skills. It will allow me to meet new people with whom I can share ideas and learn from. Also, as a peer mentor, I would like to help students find their own ways to study and to be successful in college. Finally, this program will give me the chance to have a positive impact on other people's life. 
Career goals: I am planning on working in a lot of areas in my field but I would love to do more research and find new says to improve aircraft safety. I would like to participate in projects that focus on the development of aeronautics in my country. Also, I want to get a degree in management.
Advice: College can be a lot of fun but one has to find the right balance in order to achieve his or her goal. Also, when you feel overwhelmed by school, you need to prioritize instead of trying to get everything done at the same time. 
Quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

Li Teng Voon

Li Teng Voon

Training and advising committee co-chair

Subjects: psychology, sociology, behavior analysis, business
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major: psychology
Year in school: senior
Interests: drawing, reading, watching movies
Why I want to be a peer mentor: Joining a new institution is never easy. Since I've been through the rough patch myself, I would love to use the knowledge I've gained from my experiences to help those who struggle with adjusting to university life, and hopefully aid them in sailing through their own struggles as smoothly as possible. My passion has always been to help others in any way I can, and being a peer mentor offers me that opportunity. It also brings me great satisfaction and delight to see my students achieve their goals, be it academic goals or career goals!
Career goals: After graduating, I will be working toward receiving my master's degree in psychology, and hopefully a Ph.D. I would like to engage myself in developmental and industrial psychology, with a focus in research.
Advice: Always be passionate about what you are about to engage yourself in and never back down from a challenge! 
Quote: “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

Lawrence Cuneaz

Lawrence Cuneaz

Training and advising committee member

Subjects: mathematics, computer science, physics
Hometown: Royal Oak, Mich.
Majors: computer science and applied mathematics
Year in school: senior
Interests: weight lifting, billiards, riding go-karts, volunteering
Why I want to be a peer mentor: I enjoy seeing satisfaction in students' eyes after solving a problem. I want to help students knock down barriers so they see that with hard work anything is achievable.
Career goals: I want to work as a technology business analyst or consultant to help improve the efficiency of businesses through effective technical communication and improvements.
Advice: Do not be afraid to ask for help. Successful students are not students that completely understand a concept when it is first presented; successful students build their understanding by asking questions and seeking help.
Quote: "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school." – Albert Einstein

Other peer mentors

David Ajoku

David Ajoku

Subjects: mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering
Hometown: Imo, Nigeria
Major: aerospace engineering
Year in school: senior
Interests: fitness, cooking, dance, soccer, painting, guitars
Involvement: WMU Lee Honors College, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Golden Key International Honour Society
Why I want to be a peer mentor: My dreams and goals in life have made me realize that I wish to transform the lives of others in all the possible ways I can. Peer mentoring will give me the opportunity to live this humanitarian dream of mine by helping others discover themselves and other areas of their cognitive potentials through idea transfer and knowledge sharing. For me it’s not just about teaching, but it’s also about learning from others, which I believe will help me grow holistically. 
Career goals: I take genuine interest in technological innovation and so I hope to someday develop ideas and initiatives for futuristic air transport systems.  
Advice: Excellence is not by accident and is never an incidence of coincidence. Don’t confuse it; if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. But even when you fail, still remember that you only really fail when you quit trying. Pick yourself up and don’t let the mistakes of yesterday destroy your wonderful today and ruin your great tomorrow. Remember, success has always been easy to measure; it is the distance between one's origin and one's final achievement. Aim to be excellent so that your success will be immeasurable. 
Quote: “Worry is like a rocking chair, it will give you something to do but it won’t get you anywhere, it is simply the misuse of imagination. It’s like having sight but lacking vision. Quit worrying and begin to dream because dreams do come true only if you dare to dream. ” – Bill Newman

Milan Bird

Milan Bird

Subject: Spanish
Hometown: Hampton, Va.
Major: Spanish
Year in school: graduate
Interests: exercise, spiritual growth, painting, fashion design, cool new technology
Involvement: Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity, Latino Student Alliance, @DailyDrops365
Why I want to be a peer mentor: I realized years ago that my life will have an impact on everyone I come in contact with, people I know and those I don't know. In some way my life affects theirs. As a peer mentor I have the opportunity and responsibility to have that impact be the most positive and supportive it can be for my students. My personal experiences, challenges, as well as triumphs will serve well in positioning myself into the lives of my students both as an educator and friend.
Career goals: Upon receiving my master's degree, I plan to teach Spanish conversation at the college level, focusing on life and culture of Latin America. Also, I plan to become a successful public speaker on the platform of embracing challenges and hardship as opportunities for the advancement of oneself and one's community. Lastly, I will be creative director of my own lifestyle clothing brand.
Advice: When things don't happen right away, remember it takes six months to build a Rolls Royce and only 13 hours to build a Toyota. Smile more.
Quote: "Creativity can be greater than knowledge." – Albert Einstein

Rachel Callaly

Rachel CallalySubjects: Spanish, mathematics
Hometown: Lombard, Ill.
Major: Spanish education
Minor: English education
Year in school: sophomore
Interests: reading, music, baking, theatre, spending time with my friends and family
Involvement: LeadCorp intern, Alpha Lambda Delta, WMU choir
Why I want to be a peer mentor: I want to help any mentee feel more comfortable and confident in his or her own abilities in his or her schoolwork and everyday life. College is a big adjustment, and I want to help smooth out that transition. I also want to become a better future educator by growing as both a teacher and a person as a peer mentor.
Career goals: Following graduation, I plan to teach high school Spanish and work with leadership-based organizations or clubs at whatever school I work at. I eventually want to obtain my master’s degree while I am still teaching, particularly earning a certification to teach ESL.
Advice: Take time every day to allow yourself a mental break from whatever is going on inside your head. It gives you a moment of clarity and renewed focus and vigor for the task at hand.
Quote: “It is not enough to reach for the brass ring. You must also enjoy the merry-go-round.” – Julie Andrews

Ali Akbar Mohsini

Ali Akbar Mohsini

Subjects: mathematics, engineering
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Major: aerospace engineering
Minor: mathematics
Year in school: junior
Interests: reading, playing soccer, playing chess, watching movies, exercising daily, cycling, driving
Why I want to be a peer mentor: Life in college can get really tough, especially for incoming freshmen. The transition between high school and college can sometimes be extremely challenging. So, my task is to help make these challenges as easy as possible to the best of my abilities.
Career goals: I am planning to get my undergraduate degree done in four years and follow the path of greatness in the field of aerospace industry.
Advice: There is no limit on how much a person can learn. Learning has no limit. So, keep on learning, my friend.
Quote: “The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” – Voltaire

Logan Scott

Logan Scott

Subjects: Japanese, religion
Hometown: Battle Creek, Mich.
Major: Japanese and global and international studies
Year in school: senior
Interests: reading, cooking, watching movies, exploring new places
Why I want to be a peer mentor: I want to be a peer mentor because I want to inspire and encourage people to pursue their goals and dreams. I have had amazing teachers in my life and they have inspired me to fulfill my dreams! That is what I want to do. Furthermore, Japanese is a beautiful language full of complexities, but learning it can be scary, so I want to break down the scariness and open everyone to the beauty of Japan and the Japanese language!
Career goals: After graduating from Western, I will hopefully be working toward receiving my master's degree in international relations at Ritsumeikan University (立命館大学), in Kyoto, Japan. Form there I plan to spend a several years in Japan working and teaching. It is my dream to work in the Vatican as an interpreter or translator.
Advice: Studying is very important and we must study to know and learn; however, we cannot be and should not be only focused on studies. We all need to have fun (just learn how to balance work, study, and fun).
Quote: “The future starts today, not tomorrow.” – Saint Pope John Paul II

Thi Tran

Thi Tran

Subjects: psychology, research methods, sociology, statistics, Spanish
Hometown: Holland, Mich.
Major: counseling psychology
Year in school: graduate
Interests: research, basketball, snowboarding, video games, DJing
Why I want to be a peer mentor: I love forming new relationships with people and emphasizing multiculturalism. Being able to be a part of the school community and interacting with students on campus gives me an opportunity to be with people of different cultures, backgrounds, fields of study, and experiences. As much as I can help guide and provide support to students in their academic journey, the lessons I learn from others impacts my life in extraordinary ways.
Career goals: Upon completion of my master's program, I hope to continue onto a Ph.D. and become a professional psychologist.
Advice: Get yourself out there, try a billion different things. If you end up not liking it, at least you know and can move on.
Quote: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius