Our peer mentors are a dynamic group of students who, along with having exceptional academic records, have also experienced Summer Abroad, the Research Opportunities Program, worked as research assistants for professors, taken-up internships and given their time to clubs, sports teams and not-for-profits.
Take a few minutes to read more about the peer mentors you will be learning with throughout the year and why they choose to invest their time, resources and energy with the SLC program.
Faculty Advisor: Professor Christopher Garside
Finnbarr O'Callahan, Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Finnbarr is a fourth-year Computer Science specialist with a focus in Game Design and a minor in English. He works on the side as a dev for an upcoming multiplayer game using the Unity engine, and spent last summer doing web dev work for a USRA project. Finnbarr coaches elementary school students with the Running & Reading program during the school year, and teaches high school coding workshops during the summer with U of T's Project Include.
Why does Finnbarr make the time to be a peer mentor? "After making POSt, second-year students should be encouraged to feel confident in their abilities and excited to begin exploring all that the field of computer science has to offer them. I want to provide my mentees with the opportunities to make new friends, learn from and teach one another, and discover their interests together. Second year is challenging, but also full of opportunities, and I want to help my peers make the best of all the highs and lows as a team."
Lauren Mason, Assistant Peer Mentor, Computer Science
Lauren is studying Computer Science and Cognitive Science. She is a member of the Technology Leadership Initiative here at U of T, and this summer she'll be working as an intern at MindBridge AI.
Why does Lauren make the time to be a peer mentor? "Being a Computer Science student can be stressful, especially with the pressure of finding good internships and planning your career, on top of trying to succeed in school. As someone who is already a couple years into U of T Computer Science and who has learned a lot from it, I really want to give back to other students so that they feel supported and prepared for their own experiences."
Faculty Advisors: Professor Jennifer Campbell and Professor Jacqueline Smith
Ashley Fung, Peer Mentor, Economics
Ashley is a third-year student pursuing a major in Economics with minors in History and French. She participated in the North American Model United Nations this past year as Corporate Relations Coordinator, and participated in the University of Toronto's Student Union Blue Crew as a student volunteer at various local organizations. Previously, Ashley was an operations and recruitment intern at Triplemint NYC. This summer she will be studying in Hong Kong with U of T's Summer Abroad program.
Why does Ashley make the time to be a peer mentor? "University is a daunting place. Not only is it difficult to balance academics with a social life, we must also plan for the future. Having been a part of SLC, I can confidently say that it is a community that is supportive and motivating in such stressful times. As peer mentor, I am honoured to have the opportunity to connect students with the resources they need, provide career or university-related advice, and facilitate a platform where they can freely express their thoughts, feelings and concerns."
What did Ashley learn from SLC? "I learned a tremendous amount from participating in SLC. Not only did it expose me to the many career paths an Economics student can take on in the future, it taught me the importance of networking and mentorships in acquiring internships, research positions, and achieving success as a university student."
Patrick Wang, Assistant Peer Mentor, Economics
Patrick is a third year student pursuing a Financial Economics Specialist and Math application in Economics and finance. He is particularly interested in ODE, topology, liner algebra, international trading, monetary policy and game theory. Currently, he is involved in math research related to the King Street model building.
Why does Patrick make the time to be a peer mentor? "SLC is a place for a second-year student to get a blue graph of what your major would look like in the future. Communicating with higher year students who are more exposed to career searching, research conducting and grad school preparing will be a good reference frame for second-year students to make their own academic goals. And during this process, second-year students may expect to find out their own interesting academic learning-direction, as well as the research & co-op opportunities."
Faculty Advisor: Professor Gillian Hamilton
Faculty Advisor: Professor Michelle Arnot
Adira Daniel, Co-Peer Mentor, Psychology
Adira Daniel is a fourth-year Global Health Major and Psychology Research Specialist. Currently, Adira is the Lab Manager at Dr. Neel's Stigma and Motivation Lab and working on her thesis project at the Lockwood Lab. Adira has also participated in the Research Opportunity Program, Work Study Program and completed an Independent Research Project. She is also actively involved with different university club and a volunteer in her local community.
Why does Adira make the time to be a peer mentor? "I had amazing peer mentors when I was a FLCee, I want to share the guidance and support that I got with others. Navigating university can be very overwhelming, I have a lot knowledge about the resources, programs, and extracurriculars offered at the university that I want to share to make the transition easier. Second year has its own challenges and benefits for each person, I want to support students throughout this process so they can become the best version of themselves. I want to help people find their passion in education and otherwise and feel confident in their abilities to pursue these passions."
Melanie Kiebalo, Co-Peer Mentor, Psychology
Melanie Kiebalo is a fourth-year student double majoring in Human Biology and Psychology. She currently works at the Laboratory of Tissue Regeneration and Repair researching how the cells involved in fibrosis are activated.
Why does Melanie make the time to be a peer mentor? "I realize that university is an important time of self-discovery and making friends and so I love to help people live more fulfilled lives by making meaningful connections and to have memorable experiences. Also, I just love sharing our beautiful campus and fun events with people!"
Faculty Advisor: Professor Ashley Waggoner Denton
Jane Farris, Peer Mentor, Statistical Sciences
Jane is currently a fourth-year student studying Mathematics and Statistics. She has been very involved with mentoring first-year Statistics students. Previously Jane has had opportunities to apply her knowledge of Mathematics and Statistics while working for different companies, and this summer she will continue to further that with an internship in data analytics.
Why does Jane make the time to be a peer mentor? "I had a great first year experience and felt that the people I met on campus were a significant part of the reason why I loved UofT, therefore I wanted to make the time to be a peer mentor to hopefully help students have the same easy transition into university as I did. I have learned a lot throughout my time at UofT, both on and off campus, and I wanted to share my experiences as a mentor to help other students who have similar interests. I want to share my academic, career and personal experiences with other students to give back to the community that has helped me throughout my time at U of T."
Gloria Hou, Assistant Peer Mentor, Statistical Sciences
Gloria is specializing in Statistics as well as the Mathematical Application in Finance and Economics program. Gloria has also had opportunities to work as a research assistant and volunteer on a Hart House Committee. This summer she will be completing an internship.
Why does Gloria make the time to be a peer mentor? "After going through all kinds of experience(academically and socially) at UofT, I have a lot stories to share, to help second year students to find their possibilities throughout university years or ease their struggle they might be facing. On the other hand, I believe sometimes insights could be developed not only through interactions with the senior but also from the younger group. In addition, I think the time will be well spending being a peer mentor because it will further strengthen my leadership and communication skills."