Program Mentors

Academic mentors

Keaton Connelly

academic mentor Keaton Connelly

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: chemistry, mathematics, physics, chemical engineering
Hometown: Shelby Township, Mich. 
Major: chemical engineering
Minor: mathematics
Year in school: junior
Interests: pollution prevention and sustainability
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to help other succeed at WMU and provide a service to the university's community.
Career goals: To develop sustainable solutions for chemical processes and green chemistry synthesis.
Advice: Today is a gift. That's why they call it the present.
Quote: “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Matheus Damasceno de Lima

academic mentor Matheus Damasceno de Lima

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: business courses, mathematics
Hometown: Espirito Santo, Brazil
Major: advertising and promotion
Minor: general business
Year in school: senior
Interests: Sports, video games, working out, and going to the beach.
Why I want to be a mentor: It allows me to have a meaningful impact in someone's life. We remember our college experience for many years, and I want to help students get the best out of it.
Career goals: I plan to work full time in an advertise agency.
Advice: Mistakes are inevitable; learn from them.
Quote: "The great danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." – Michelangelo

Menuka Ghalan

academic mentor Menuka Ghalan

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: mathematics, economics, intro chemistry, intro biology, intro computer science
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal 
Major: computer science
Year in school: junior
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

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: senior 
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: After graduating I plan to work in a quality or continuous improvement position as I truly enjoy those subjects.
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: general business
Year in school: senior
Interests: working out, watching Netflix, playing volleyball
Why I want to be a mentor: It allows me to work towards a common goal with someone in order to improve their quality of life.
Career goals: After obtaining my degree, I hope to travel to another country in pursuit of cultural and professional experience in the marketing field.
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: senior
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

Narenderan (Naren) Mageswaran

academic mentor Naren Mageswaran

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: economics, mathematics
Hometown: Selangor, Malaysia 
Major: quantitative economics and econometrics
Minor: political science
Year in school: senior
Interests: volunteering and politics
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to learn more about our society and I want to share and help out the people who need it through my knowledge and experience.
Career goals: To become a noble economist and a successful social entrepreneur.
Advice: We are all citizens of the world; when we start to look beyond borders we become better human being.
Quote: “All is flux, nothing stays still.” – Heraclitus

Catherine (Cate) Sanderfoot

academic mentor Cate Sanderfoot

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: biology, chemistry, sign language courses
Hometown: North Aurora, Ill.
Major: nursing
Minor: American Sign Language
Year in school: junior 
Interests: running, reading, nutrition
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to be a mentor because I think it is a very honorable position being able to watch a student grow into their dreams and being able to assist in any way to make their goals reached.
Career goals: I would like to get my master's in nursing and pursue a flight nurse career.
Advice: Always set goals for yourself, both short-term and long-term, and always celebrate the goals you've accomplished.
Quote: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

Mahesa Saravanan

academic mentor Mahesa Saravanan

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: economics, political science, religion
Hometown: Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia 
Majors: economics and political science
Minor: finance
Year in school: junior
Interests: video games and politics
Why I want to be a mentor: It is greedy to not share knowledge. If we are striving for success, why not bring a few people along with us?
Career goals: I wish to become a top Malaysian ambassador to an Asian nation.
Advice: Don't hang your head too low; your crown might fall off.
Quote: “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray

Mia Sawyer

academic mentor Mia Sawyer

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: holistic health, psychology, sociology, intro Spanish
Hometown: Southfield, Mich. 
Major: general psychology
Minor: integrated holistic health and wellness
Year in school: junior
Interests: Listening to music and watching movies.
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

Rakshya Shah

academic mentor Rakshya Shah

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal 
Major: biology
Minor: chemistry
Year in school: senior
Interests: Cooking, watching movies, dancing, singing, and exercising.
Why I want to be a mentor: I am a transfer student at Western, and I had huge help transitioning to such a big school, compared to my previous university, which was pretty small. I know how important it is to have that support to push you through difficult times. I want to give back the same support I received to students who might be struggling, and help them with their experience here at WMU.
Career goals: I would like to get a PhD in genetics after my bachelor's degree. I would love to work in a research lab and discover new things everyday.
Advice: It's not always fun and it might get tough sometimes, but whenever you're in that situation, open yourself to your closest ones, it will help you realize what you might be missing. Also, exercise a lot, it will keep your heart and your mind healthy.
Quote: “You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth.” – William W. Purkey

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: senior 
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

Firzana Syazania

academic mentor Firzana Syazania

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: psychology, intro statistics
Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia and Selangor, Malaysia
Major: psychology: behavioral science
Minor: general business
Year in school: sophomore
Interests: Reading, traveling, hiking with friends, and self-improvement.
Why I want to be a mentor: I am grateful to have had figures in my life who were mentors to me but I understand that not everyone will have that same privilege. I hope I could have the chance to be that person for someone because my mentors were beneficial for my personal overall development. 
Career goals: After graduating from WMU, I plan to do my master's in industrial-organizational psychology while also becoming a board certified behavior analyst.
Advice: Think of the time and effort you are putting in for your current self as an investment for your future self.
Quote: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

Eden Vansicklen

academic mentor Eden Vansicklen

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects:  business subjects
Hometown: Highland, Mich. 
Majors: marketing, leadership and business strategy
Minor: general business
Year in school: senior
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