Gaining acceptance into a STEM program at a major research university can come with challenges. Such challenges may include becoming part of a community, locating support and resources when needed, understanding the culture, navigating institutional processes, and specifically, developing an identity as a scientist in the discipline. Successfully navigating this can translate into academic success and persistence in a STEM career. The BioSci Peer Mentor program seeks to develop new student’s sense of belonging, grow their self-confidence, and provide a space to learn to navigate the University and the academic world.
The BioSci Peer Mentor program was initiated in 2021. It pairs first-year BioSci majors with mentors of Senior or Junior standing. The focus is primarily on first-generation academic and students from groups who are underrepresented in STEM.
The program is offered in collaboration with the Sanford Institute for Empathy and Compassion, in particular the Center for Empathy and Social Justice in Human Health.