Program Mentors

Academic mentors

Hannah Anttila

Group Leader Hannah Anttila

Subjects: mathematics, biology, psychology, sociology
Hometown: Dearborn Heights, Mich. 
Major: pre-occupational therapy
Minor: American Sign Language studies
Year in school: sophomore
Interests: Video games, music, performing arts, learning new things, and embroidery!
Why I want to be a mentor: Success occurs in many ways. I believe everybody has something to teach someone, no matter what their differences are. Being a group leader gives me the opportunity to share my unique tools on how to improve and succeed in a difficult or unfamiliar setting.
Career goals: After finishing a master’s degree in occupational therapy, I want to specialize in the neurology field and work with clients who suffer from neurological disorders.
Advice: Never forget that small progress is still progress!
Quote: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Menuka Ghalan

academic mentor Menuka Ghalan

Subjects: mathematics, economics, intro chemistry, intro biology, intro computer science
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal 
Major: computer science
Year in school: sophomore
Interests: reading, traveling, dancing, music
Why I want to be a mentor: Knowledge only increases when you share. We are all in this college experience together and by supporting and guiding each other, we can excel. I want to help students find their niche and fulfill their goals.
Career goals: To become a software engineer.
Advice: Believe in yourself. There is nothing more beautiful than being absolutely honest and confident in yourself. Having a little faith in yourself amidst all the adversity and challenges takes you far.
Quote: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theordore Roosevelt

Melissa King

Group Leader Melissa King

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: business courses, general education courses
Hometown: Northville, Mich.
Major: supply chain management
Year in school: junior 
Interests: Reading, hiking, music, working out, and Netflix.
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to be able to support and aid my fellow peers into pursuing their own goals as I am. Being given this opportunity is exciting and I hope I can share my study habits, time management skills, and organization habits with everyone.
Career goals: After finishing up my degree in ISM I hope to land a job in Chicago pertaining to my degree.
Advice: Dreams don't work unless you do.

Ashwathy "Ash" K.P. Balakrishnan

academic mentor Ash Balakrishnan

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: business, intro statistics
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major: health informatics management
Minors: business analytics, general business
Year in school: senior 
Interests: Vedanta studies, working out, traveling
Why I want to be a mentor: I believe that everyone in life needs help to be successful in life, and I want to take this opportunity as a group leader to be a catalyst in the success of WMU students.  
Career goals: My ultimate goal is to develop a secure software that enables everyone in the world to have access to their personal health records electronically from any part of the world.
Advice: Always be open and unapologetic about any questions you may have, and you should greatly increase your likelihood for success.
Quote: “You gain knowledge from teachers and textbooks. But wisdom you attain when your intellect reflects, contemplates upon the knowledge acquired.” – A. Parthasarathy

Abigail Lee

academic mentor Abigail Lee

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: mathematics, physics, statistics
Hometown: Clinton Township, Mich.
Major: industrial and entrepreneurial engineering
Minor: integrated supply management
Year in school: junior 
Interests: Dancing, painting, and traveling.
Why I want to be a mentor: It provides me an avenue to help contribute to the growth and development of people, in some way helping to shape a better future.  
Career goals: In everything you do, do your best, and do it with passion. Learn with an open mind and think before you speak.
Advice: Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try new things!
Quote: “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” – Chuck Swindoll

Amber Lim

academic mentor Amber Lim

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: business courses, Chinese 
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major: marketing
Minor: economics
Year in school: junior
Interests: Playing the piano, singing, working out, and travelling.
Why I want to be a mentor:  It allows me to have the opportunity to journey with someone to help them succeed in the pursuit of their goals.
Career goals: After obtaining my degree, I hope to work with an organization with a vibrant and creative company culture in Chicago.
Advice: There is no such thing as a dumb or stupid question. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Quote: "Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later." – Og Mandino

June Lim

Peer Mentor June Lim

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: sociology, gender and women's studies, Chinese 
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Majors: sociology, gender and women's studies
Year in school: junior
Interests: Reading, doing yoga, learning new languages, and playing the piano.
Why I want to be a mentor:  I want to empathize with students who feel like they are struggling in college and let them know that they can get the support and help they need to succeed not just academically, but in all other aspects. Through this, I hope to make a positive impact on the student community at Western.
Career goals: After completing higher education, I aim to be an official advocate for social change and fight against social inequality.
Advice: In everything you do, do your best, and do it with passion. Learn with an open mind and think before you speak.
Quote: "Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." – Winston S. Churchill

Mia Sawyer

academic mentor Mia Sawyer

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: psychology, sociology, intro Spanish
Hometown: Southfield, Mich. 
Major: general psychology
Minor: sociology
Year in school: sophomore
Interests: movies, dancing, relaxing, listening to music
Why I want to be a mentor: We all need a little extra support and motivation to achieve our goals. Becoming a peer mentor will allow me to create a positive and supportive environment for students.
Career goals: Once I obtain my bachelor's degree in psychology, I plan to continue school to receive a master's degree in clinical psychology. I want to eventually become a clinical psychologist.
Advice: No matter what you're going through, try your hardest to keep a positive mindset. It might not seem like it, but everything will be okay.
Quote: “Fall in love with the process and the results will come.” – Eric Thomas

Álvaro Serrano

academic mentor Alvaro Serrano

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects:  computer science, mathematics, Spanish, French, intro chemistry
Hometown: Madrid, Spain 
Major: computer science
Minor: computer information systems
Year in school: sophomore
Interests: Cybersecurity, fitness, and soccer.
Why I want to be a mentor: There is nothing more exciting than seeing how people make progress while pursuing their passion.
Career goals: software engineering and cybersecurity professional
Advice: Do it with passion or not at all.
Quote: “Everyone wants to eat, but not all will hunt.” – anonymous

Aashray Shrestha

academic mentor Aashray Shrestha

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: mathematics, biology, chemistry, biological anthropology, intro psychology, intro Spanish
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Major: computer science
Year in school: junior 
Interests: reading, hiking, learning about new places and visiting them
Why I want to be a mentor: To give back to the community at Western, help students, and guide them to do better.  
Career goals: To become a software engineer.
Advice: College can be tough, but it will get the best out of you. Take on whatever challenges come across and put your best foot forward. It's going to a be a rollercoaster ride, that will prepare you for everything that will come ahead in life.
Quote: “There's no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar

Jyoti Shrestha

academic mentor Jyoti Shrestha

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: mathematics, computer science, intro chemistry, intro statistics
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Major: computer science
Year in school: junior 
Interests: reading, hiking, movies, dancing, traveling
Why I want to be a mentor: I have always had an idea of sharing what I have and the most important thing I believe I can share is knowledge that I have. To be able to give back to the community at Western. 
Career goals: To become a software engineer.
Advice: Do your best in everything so you are content with your results.
Quote: “Strive for progress, not perfection.” – anonymous

Eden Vansicklen

academic mentor Eden Vansicklen

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects:  business subjects
Hometown: Highland, Mich. 
Major: marketing
Minor: general business
Year in school: junior
Interests: Disney movies, reading, walking trails, listening to music, adventuring
Why I want to be a mentor: The transition from high school to college or university can be difficult. I believe having a support system and community to guide you through this process can give students the confidence and tools to succeed. I want to be able to help students be successful in not just their college career, but for careers to come.
Career goals: When I complete my marketing degree, I plan to work full time and begin my master's in education to teach at an early level.
Advice: You don't have to have everything figured out right now. Focus on one goal at a time, enjoy the process, and learn from it.
Quote: “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” – Audrey Hepburn

Darian Vargas

Peer Mentor Darian Vargas

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: mathematics, physics, electrical engineering, Spanish
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Undergraduate degree: B.S. in electrical engineering
Graduate program: M.S. in electrical engineering
Interests: running, playing the piano, learning, watching series, video games
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to help other students be successful and take advantage of the opportunities and resources that are available for them.
Career goals: Once I complete my graduate studies, I would like to work with electric power systems and renewable energy, developing more environmentally-friendly and efficient electric machines.
Advice: There is always time for everything; don’t overwhelm yourself. Manage your time and don’t stop doing the things you enjoy.
Quote: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

Hailie Wadley

Group Leader Hailie Wadley

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: biology, gender and women's study, healthcare services and sciences, psychology, anthropology, occupational therapy
Hometown: South Haven, Mich.
Major: occupational therapy
Year in school: senior 
Interests: Color guard, working out, cooking, hiking, fishing, and anything else that involves the outdoors.
Why I want to be a mentor: Everyone learns differently. Everyone has their own way at encountering situations. Being a group leader allows me to help guide others in their own path in life and their academics.
Career goals: After finishing with a master's in occupational therapy, I plan on finding a career that specializes in outpatient rehab or with individuals struggling with addiction.
Advice: We all have something we can work on. Once you hit a goal, don’t just be content, move forward!
Quote: “Almost anything can become a learning experience if there is enough caring involved.” – Mary MacCracken