New mentoring program aims high for first year

The transition from high school to college can be tough, but through a new mentoring program, first year students can receive the

help they need in making it through their first year.

WIN group photo online

Director of Multicultural Programs, Jason Rodriquez, and senior Elizabeth Guzman work to start up the Wildcat Intercultural Network
mentor program for first year students. YuCheng Zhang/Senior photographer

The Wildcat Intercultural Network, or WIN, was initiated by Jason Rodriquez, director of multicultural programs. With the help of Amy

Bumatai, the multicultural programs intern, and senior Elizabeth Guzman Arroyo, the student cordinator and multicultural programs

summer intern, the program came to life during the summer leading up to the 2013-2014 school year.

“WIN was created to help students succeed inside and outside the classroom,” Rodriquez said.

Through WIN, first year students and transfer students are matched up with an older peer, who can help them by being another

source of support on campus. Mentors can help their new students with anything, such as finding tutoring, where to eat off-campus, and

go to get their hair done. They also help with meeting their cultural needs, by leading them to their cultural food and religious practices.

Rodriquez and the Multicultural programs staff worked through the 2013 spring semester to find mentors for the program.

“I was really looking for a diverse group of students,” Rodriquez said. “I was excited to see a lot of applicants apply for this program.”

Mentors’ majors range anywhere from anthropology to chemistry, English to Japanese, and exercise science to psychology. Mentors

are also involved around campus in with big groups like Greek life to something more personal like outdoors club, and pre-nursing club

to Hawaiian club.

WIN online“All the mentors we selected have an academic requirement they have to meet,” Rodriquez said. “They have to have a minimum of a

2.5 [grade point average], we prefer [them to] have to be involved. We have such a strong mentor group, and they know the benefits of

be mentored, so they’re going to lead by example so the first year students are successful.”

Starting the school year off, WIN has around 50 first year students registered, but is still hoping to grow.

There is still time for first year students to join WIN. Another interest meeting will be held at Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. in the Pioneer

Reading Room.

Kaylyn Peterson / Managing editor

Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at