"Abbie was extremely good at creating a sense of community among the students in the course. She brought in snacks periodically, which gave us some welcome social time during class. She also organized and accompanied the students to an outside event. In addition, she met with all the students individually throughout the semester. She was a catalyst at bringing the group together."
Tim Phillips Department Coordinator, Senior Instructor, German
"I just want to say that I have been SO thoroughly impressed by Elwand Kamal, my PAL, this semester! Her passion, enthusiasm, and dedication to the program and to the students in our class was just amazing. She worked incredibly hard going above and beyond anything I asked of her. My students loved Elwand and it was obvious. I have been teaching in the FYE program for a few years now and Elwand is the best PAL I have ever had. Want to keep the PAL program strong? Hire Elwand again next year. You don't want to lose the incredible assets she brings to your program, trust me."
Sarah Olivier Lecturer, Department of English
"Hue really connected the students with some of the alternative break trips, which I think are invaluable experiences for students. I truly think students applied for these trips because of Hue- I don't think they would have applied on their own. Hue's energy, enthusiasm and genuine spirit really helped create a sense of community (and not just a sense, but a true community!)."
Nora Scanlon Criminal Justice Advisor, Lecturer
"They are an excellent bridge between the instructor and the students. She was able to share with me information about things the students were dealing with both in and outside of the class so I could better support them."
RaKissa Manzanares, Ph.D. Assistant Professor C/T
Peer Mentor Testimonials
PAL has helped me to realize that vulnerability strengthens relationships between leaders and mentees.
Also, being in a leadership position means doing what is truly best for those you are serving. Therefore it is important to set aside any self interests.
Damarcus McGill, First Year PAL
With the various deadlines of event planning, module presenting, funding requests, etc., I developed a higher sense of time management which inevitably boosted my ability to complete school assignment in a reasonable fashion. The Social Justice League professional development series has truly
helped me to think critically of my view of other people and the systematic world, a skill that I take with me to both PAL and my own classes. It has taught me importance of empathy and open-mindedness, two characteristics I hope to attain."
Mariah Johnson, First Year PAL
One way PAL developed my skills as a student and leader is learning how to take criticism. I'm not the best at taking criticism, but it's a part of life and something I need to get used to. PAL has given me a chance to practice how to take it with a grain of salt. I'm definitely a people pleaser and throughout my time as a PAL I've realized that I can't make everyone (including my students and other PALs) content with everything I do which is fine. But that doesn't mean I don't take what others say into consideration and try to improve upon what I can do. I have tried to take criticism as an opportunity to change the way I do things (instead of seeing it as an attack towards me as a person). Another way PAL has developed my skills as a student
and leader is improving my assertiveness. I've realized that I do need to be more confident in the things I do because if I myself am not confident and don't believe in what I am doing then how can others. Because of this I am more willing to stand up for what I believe now than before when I would just stay quiet.
Hithu Kodicherla, Second Year PAL
I have always been a student who wanted to earn an A in every class, but PAL has helped me see how hard that can be for other students--especially first-year students. This past semester, I had the opportunity to meet students from both ends of the spectrum and to talk to them about the struggles they had to deal with. It has been a very humbling experience and I now know to not take my educational situation for granted.
Whenever I was told that I had to lead someone or a group of people, I would get extremely nervous
because I wasn't confident enough to lead them. Now, PAL has taught me that leadership isn't as scary as I perceived it to be. The program has provided me with more than enough tools and people to help me grow as a leader; to be confident enough to lead. One of the most helpful things that helped me grow as a leader was the amazing support network that we have. Molly, Lynda, Chelsea, Mercy, and all of the PALs are so supportive and have such amazing leadership tips and tricks. I am beyond thankful to have met all of the amazing people in our program. Everyone has taught me to not be afraid to ask for help.
Elwand Kamal, First Year PAL
One way PAL has helped me develop my skills as a student and a leader is by helping me build self confidence and in that way help me become more responsible and outspoken in and
outside the PAL office. It has also helped me with my interpersonal skills and I feel I'm much better at communicating with coworkers and students and hopefully it will keep improving.
Carla Rivera Matos, First Year PAL
I think PAL has helped me balance my life and work on my social skills. With PAL, I have a job; I have new friends; I am a bit more talkative. I also don't spend all of my time with schoolwork. I budget
my time and learn to spend it wisely. Additionally, PAL has lead me to engaging with diverse groups of students and sharing my thoughts with them.
Yuki Wu, First Year PAL
I feel that I developed flexibility in my ability to be a mentor. Throughout the 1on1 meetings I had with my students, I was consistently reminded that each student is at different points in their student life cycle. Based on what I learned about each individual student, I needed to be versatile in what resources, goals
and options I would share to help them succeed. This was something that I previously felt much more rigid about back when I started being a PAL in August. I felt that I was reminded how hard it can be to be a first-year. Being a senior, I feel incredibly removed from what it felt like to be brand new to a university. Hearing their stories and experiences was humbling and it gave me hope for the future leaders of this university
William Card, First Year PAL
My communication skills were boosted tremendously all because I had to reach out to the students so that they could reach out me. I emailed them on a weekly basis to check in but I also made the effort of being present in class which helped. I participated in discussion and remained in the classroom to provide
guidance is needbe. I now feel empowered to reach out to other people that may need help in addressing a problem. My organization skills improved because I had to deal with many conflicts and realized that I had to be on track to keep my students on track. I used a planner and planned out projected due dates for things needed whether it was for an event or simply sending out an email on a particular day.
Pedro Ramos, Jr., First Year PAL
PAL has helped me strengthen my interpersonal skills. I learned that this program is full of people to turn to when you have any issues at all. Anytime something came up that I didn't know what to do or what next steps to take I had so many people to seek help from (other PALs, Chelsea, Molly and Lynda). This taught me that you cannot just rely on yourself to solve problems, but instead need to reach out to others to be the most
effective student leader possible. One of the most important things that PAL taught me was taking on a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset. We first learned this skill in a lecture that Molly had given us during PAL level 2 training and then I passed it along to my students during a study skills lecture. I think that this is one of those concepts that will serve me in every aspect of my life - including future careers, hobbies, and my final semester here at CU Denver
Abbie Luman, First Year PAL