“Graduation starts today.” –Dr. White, Vice President of Student Affairs, Kennesaw State University

Odyssey Peer Mentoring hosted two orientation meetings on each of the campuses with in the last couple weeks and had some very interesting speakers come out to support the program.

In addition to hearing from the organizations President, Monique Jones, and one co-Vice President, Keenan Woods-Scott, students on the Kennesaw Campus were also addressed by Dr. White, Vice Present of Student Affairs at Kennesaw State University.

WhiteMattoxOdysseyOrientationAfter introducing and thanking Nicole Simmons for her contribution to Odyssey for her role as faculty advisor for the program, Dr. White asked a very interesting question of the students. She wanted to know how many of them were first-year students. A little over half of the room raised their hands and quickly learned that they were not the only new comers to the university. Dr. White declared that she too was in her first year at Kennesaw State, and commended students for making good choices by reaching out for mentorship. Also, attending was Dr. Bob Mattox, associate Vice President and Director of Student Success Services, and a KSU veteran of 26 years. Dr. White shared with students her appreciation for how Dr. Mattox’s experience at Kennesaw allowed him to function as a mentor for her. The benefits of mentorship, she added, leads to students continuing their degree and eventually graduating.

In addition to the many benefits of mentorship, Dr. White talked about doing new things at Kennesaw State University, such as: KSU football! One important aspect of college life is meeting new people, and really getting to know them. Dr. White encouraged students to do just that, and to remember that each of us brings something worthwhile to the table at KSU.

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On Monday, a few of us took a road trip down to the Marietta Campus for the second SanseviroOdysseyOrientationOdyssey Orientation. Mentees and Mentors turned out for the event and were able to hear from Dr. Michael Sanseviro, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at Kennesaw State University.

While having been at KSU for about eleven years and in the University System of Georgia for about 20, he has also worked out of state. One place Dr. Sanseviro mentioned in particular was his time at Polytechnic University in Farmingdale and Brooklyn, New York. While in New York, he noticed a trend in what graduate schools and employers looked for in students. It’s not just about GPA, although a good or great GPA is important, more than that, were the applied skills that were gained outside the classroom. In his introduction, Dr. Sanseviro said that in addition to his other responsibilities, he is “the Dean of all that goes on outside the classroom.” This aspect of college he says is vital to building critical thinking skills, problem solving, and even empathy. As Kennesaw State University extends its presence further in the global society, such as through the new campus being developed in Montepulciano, Italy, its students have a higher chance of ongoing success by developing these skills by being involved. That’s why mentorship is an investment in the future. Being a part of an organization like Odyssey shows that students are committed to more than just text book knowledge, and are developing marketable skills that are transferable for life.

In addition to his sound advice about becoming involved and developing valuable life skills, Dr. Sanseviro encouraged students to reach out to others about the “hidden gems” on campus like Odyssey. He reminded them that they are able to give feedback, make suggestions and invest in the University and future students by engaging in life outside the classroom.

–Tabi Lawson 9/18/2015
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“Graduation starts today.” –Dr. White, Vice President of Student Affairs, Kennesaw State University

Welcome to the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Blog

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  • The mission of the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program is to advocate for the complete integration and success of students into Kennesaw State University through the use of quality programs, services and resources. Mentors will advise and coach new freshman and transfer students to help with the transition process into KSU. You will receive training and resources to ensure success.

 

Welcome to the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Blog!

Odyssey is a program designed to benefit students through building relationships with peers, and to that end, we would like to introduce you to some of the students working hard to make the program a success:

Odyssey is very fortunate to have as its President Monique Jones, a senior studying Information Systems. Because she transferred to Kennesaw State University from a non-traditional art school, she has a unique perspective on the difficulties of adjusting to a new environment and new expectations. Monique struggled at first to make the shift from kinesthetic learning to research and essay writing, but she says that jumping in to Odyssey helped her to get out of her shell and meet new people. Building those relationships on campus has helped to succeed and has given her a hope that she can pass that success, through her experience and knowledge, onto others.

Although she was new to KSU, Monique was not new to mentoring. After getting her feet wet and learning her way around, she looked forward to the opportunity to open up to others who might be going through the same difficult transition that she went through.

MoniqueJonesDuring the 2011-2012 school year Monique found the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program, and loved being a mentor. She also found satisfaction in helping others who felt the loneliness of being a new face in such a big place. As a mentor there were personal benefits for her as well, “The benefits from mentorship I believe are; personal growth and academic growth, finding one’s self, self-diversity, knowing that someone is there for you no matter what. Something that can help push you to limits you never knew you could explore, or help you explore something you was scared to explore.”

Because she enjoyed her experience with Odyssey so much, she continued on with the program, becoming a board member, and now in her final year at KSU, the President of the organization. This year she is looking forward to breaking new ground with Odyssey, accepting many new members, and seeing it grow in a big way.

“I am so beyond blessed to be the president of a growing organization. I have been part of this organization for years and now to finally see it blossom in the hands of Nicole Simmons, [our staff advisor] is such a beautiful thing. I am so excited about the new e-board, they are all special in my eyes and are truly doing an amazing job already. Odyssey is great organization and I hope everyone can give it chance and join or volunteer or at least know what Odyssey truly stands for. Odyssey is really on its way up to greatness.”

–Monique Jones

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One of Odyssey’s co-Vice Presidents and someone soon to hold the personal honor of being the first male in his family to graduate college, Keenan Woods-Scott has found that success comes from more than getting great grades:

“I believe the benefits of mentorship for the mentor is having the opportunity to guide someone, not just through college, but also through life in general. Many first year students enroll into universities not knowing anyone nor know how to get involved while balancing their class schedules. With the help of a mentor, we can strive to put them on the right track to success.”KeenanWoodsScott

These ideas about mentorship are something Keenan learned from first hand experience. Though now a senior, and very involved, there was a time when he wasn’t as active on campus as he is now:

“Many of my friends believe I know everyone at Kennesaw State University. But, I didn’t know a single soul when I first started at KSU back in 2012! I was afraid to get involved and just worked for a majority of my freshman and sophomore year. By the end of sophomore year, I decided it was time for a change so I joined the Orientation and Transition Programs, which allowed me to help provide a smooth transition for first year and transfer students.

My goal was to give the students an opportunity to get comfortable with the university since I had not been able to at first. This organization molded me into the university and pushed me to join other organizations. Over the past two years, I have joined the Center for Student Leadership, T.R.U.S.T. KSU, Xtreem Modeling Team, KAB, and of course the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Program. These organizations have molded me into a leader and continued to enhance the leadership skills I have built over the years.”

Keenan is a Psychology Major and is Minoring in Criminal justice. He is looking forward to getting the Kennesaw State University community at large more involved in Odyssey through the many events and opportunities that are being offered through the program this year.

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Heading up Odyssey’s Public Relations and Social Media Committee is Courtney Smith. She is not far out of her field of interest in this role, because she is a Public Relations Major.CourtneySmith

Even though she is on the fast track to graduation, Courtney is taking time to be a part of Odyssey because she believes in its benefits for the KSU community and herself

“Public Relations is my major so it is nice to be able to have experience with my major before I graduate. I wanted to be part of something that helped others succeed as well.

In high school, I was a peer leader and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to have something like that in college as well because I had such a great time with it. Also, I think having someone to trust and share interests with is one of the main benefits of mentorship. If you know you have someone that will be there for you, you are more likely to stay and graduate form Kennesaw. I am also looking forward to getting my second mentee. My first mentee and I, we had so much fun together, and I really can’t wait to start building another friendship on campus.”

Written By: Tabi Lawson (08/24/2015)

Welcome to the Odyssey Peer Mentoring Blog