Graduate Peer Mentors

Aspirational Graduate Peer Mentors

Peer Support

 

As a student, it helps to have the support and encouragement of a near peer that has experiences similar to your own. Undergraduate students that are interested in (or already are) working with faculty on original research and creative works projects can benefit from the advice the CSR Graduate Peer Mentors can offer! 

 

What can a Peer Mentor Do for Me?

Our Peer Mentors are available to answer your questions about the research and scholarship process. They have the experience and training to answer questions such as:

  • “What is the timeline for my research goal and how can I balance that with my other obligations? 
  • “Will I get paid to work on research, or am I eligible for a special scholarship?”
  • “How do I approach a mentor who can oversee my work and give me lab experience?”

Our mentors are also skilled in professional development as students who have been successful reaching graduate programs in their chosen field. Ask them things like:

  • “How do I even begin to write a personal statement?”
  • “What career opportunities exist if I don’t want to attend graduate school?”
  • “How do I pass the LSAT/MCAT/GRE ahh! Or, wait, do I really need to take the test?”

Meet our mentors

Branden Schaff CSR Program Developer

Branden Schaff, B.A., is a second-year graduate student in clinical psychology. Branden attended his undergraduate education at Truman State University, where he managed the Center for Applied Psychophysiology with Dr. Fred Shaffer. Working with Dr. Rachel Weiskittle, he is pursuing his research interest in the treatment of older adult loneliness, especially as it pertains to minority status. Invested in the education and promotion of psychological science, Branden works as an assistant for the Geropsychology Podcast. He is also the Center for Student Research Peer Advocate Program Developer, seeking to help build a research community for undergraduates at UCCS.

Andre Jordan

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Sport Management

Graduate Program: Leadership with emphasis in Student Affairs in Higher Education

Research Interests: "Early alert" students, academic advising

What I can help you with:

1. College of Education interests (teaching, counseling, and leadership

2. Graduate school advice

3. Stress management

Favorite activity to do outside of research: Basketball: playing, watching, officiating 

 

Meet with Andre!

 

Brandon Collins

Undergraduate Degree: BS in Computer Science

Graduate Program: PhD Security Engineering

Research Interests: Game Theory, Multiagent Systems

What can I help you with: 

1. Research as an Undergraduate

2. Computer Science graduate school applications

3. Bioinformatics

4. Computational and Theoretical Research

Favorite activity to do outside of research and school? I enjoy racket sports like tennis, table tennis, badminton as well as hiking!

Meet with Brandon!

Colleen Mock

Undergraduate Degree: BS in Psychology, minor in Criminal Justice; MA in Clinical Psychology

Graduate Program: Clinical Psychology PhD Program, Geropsychology Specialization

Research Interests: Older Adults, Suicidal Ideation, Personality, Death Anxiety, Intrapersonal Functioning

What I can help you with:

1. Navigating being a first-generation student or having other barriers to education (SES, justice involvement, etc.)

2. Time management

3. SPSS navigation

4. Psychology graduate school admissions

5. Career and graduate school alternatives

6. Fostering professional relationships

Favorite activity to do outside of research: Engaging with nature (and thrift shopping!)

Meet with Colleen!

Emma Schmidt

Undergraduate Degree: BS in Atmospheric Physics

Graduate Program: Doctorate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Interests: Solid rocket propellant combustion, computational methods

What I can help you with:

1. Scholarship and graduate school applications in engineering, mathematics, and physics

2. Oral and poster presentations

3. Internship applications and professional development opportunities in defense and national security

4. Computational methods and theory for fluid-thermal systems

5. Applied mathematics

Favorite activity to do outside of research: Painting and making paper flowers.

 

Meet with Emma!

 

Eric Muchow

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Psychology

Graduate Program: Clinical Psychology M.A.

Research Interests: Grief, Meaning, Gratitude, Evolutionary Psychology, Mindfulness

What I can help you with:

1. Graduate school admissions

2. Quantitative research methods and design

3. Statistics for the social sciences, SPSS, Qualtrics

4. APA-specific writing, General writing

Favorite activity to do outside of research: I enjoy hiking the many mountains Colorado has to offer (and jumping in the few lakes Colorado has to offer). 

Meet with Eric!

 

Ikenna Ozor

Undergraduate Degree: BS in Biology

Graduate Program: MA in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Research Interests: Microtubule damage checkpoints, CRISPR, Yeast

What I can help you with:

1. Biological research techniques

2. Tool usage

3. Understanding the role of a masters-level graduate student

4. Troubleshooting

5. Student habits for success

Favorite activity to do outside of research: Play basketball and video games. I'm at the Rec Center a lot!

 

Meet with Ikenna!

 

Keara Werth

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Psychology & Criminal Justice

Graduate Program: Psychological Science M.A.

Research Interests: Criminal psychology, mass violence, impression management, risk assessment, psychopathology, development

What I can help you with:

1. Methodological design

2. Statistical design

3. Statistics

4. Research manuscript writing/editing

5. Research supervision

6. IRB Applications

7. Conference submissions

8. Graduate School Admissions

Favorite activity to do outside of research: I enjoy attending drag shows with my friends! 

Meet with Keara!

 

Lindsey Visscher

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Integrative Physiology

Graduate Program: Health Promotion

Research Interests: Health behavior change, motivation, social connection, wellness

What can I help you with: 

1. Qualitative research

2. Time management techniques

3. Theory-based research design

4. Writing, poster design, public speaking/presentation skills

Favorite activity to do outside of research and school? I love finding new ways to stay active. Pool-side yoga and Jiu Jitsu have been my favorite physical activity staples this summer.

Meet with Lindsey!

Megan Wendling

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Psychology

Graduate Program: Clinical Psychology - Trauma Track

Research Interests: PTSD, sexual assault, resilience, meaning-making (as it relates to trauma)

What I can help you with:

1. Writing

2. Goal setting

3. Scheduling management

4. Work life balance

5. Graduate school application and preparation

6. Networking

7. Qualitative/quantitative research

8. Stress management

Favorite activity to do outside of research: Outside of school and research, I love to travel, see live music, handout with friends, and try new restaurants/bars! 

Meet with Megan!

 

Tristan Paul

Undergraduate Degree: BS and MS in Physics, minors in Math and Astronomy

Graduate Program: Applied Physics

Research Interests: Optics, Instrumentation, Microscopy, Interdisciplinary, Nanotech

What I can help you with:

1. Applying and preparing for graduate school

2. Experimental design

3. Living with ADHD/neurodivergence in academia

4. Lab instruction/design

5. Research presentations

6. Data analysis

Favorite activity to do outside of research: I relax by playing all sorts of games including video games, D&D, and Magic: The Gathering 

 

Meet with Tristan!

 

Tiffany Lundberg

Undergraduate Degree: BS in Biochemistry with Minor in Geology

Graduate Program: MSc in Biochemistry

Research Interests: Genomic organization and chromatin remodeling. Studying how differences in genomic structure has changed between closely related species.

What I can help you with:

1. Research as an undergraduate

2. Biochemistry/chemistry opportunities as an undergrad and graduate

3. Navigating college as a on-traditional student

4. Work-life-school balance

5. Veteran benefits

Favorite activity to do outside of research: I enjoy hiking with my family and friends. I also love the never-ending battle to DIY landscape my yard.

 

Meet with Tiffany!

 

Jon Sundby

Undergraduate Degree: BA in Political Science and Policy Studies

Graduate Program: MA in Clinical Psychology

Research Interests: Death Anxiety, Existential Psychology, Older Adults, Homelessness

What I can help you with:

1. Writing

2. Navigating the research process

3. Graduate school admissions

4. Research into fellowships

5. Gap year(s) planning

6. Personal statements and admission essays

7. Guidance on research mentors

8. Goal planning

Favorite activity to do outside of research: When I'm not thinking about research, I'm thinking about my next cooking "project".

 

Meet with Jon!

 

Now Recruiting Peer Mentors!

Want to Join the Graduate Peer Mentor Program?

The Center for Student Research is seeking to recruit graduate students from a variety of disciplines to serve as near-peer mentors for undergraduates. Students interested in research or creative works or those already involved in them will be able to request a 30-min meeting with a peer mentor to discuss different topics related to research, creative works, and graduate school pursuits. We intend for the peer mentors to serve and inspirational role models for undergraduates and provide informational and social peer support to those that contact them. Each peer mentor will receive training on mentoring best-practices including active listening, interpersonal communication, setting ground rules and trust building, and implicit bias mitigation as well as on-and off campus resources to help support their mentees.

Who can be a peer mentor?

All graduate students are welcome serve as peer mentors. The CSR will also consider advanced undergraduate students as well to serve in this role to mentor novice undergraduate students. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a peer mentor, please contact Branden Schaff at bschaff@uccs.edu today!