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

Okem Kalu

Group Leader Okem Kalu

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: mathematics, intro chemistry, intro psychology, aviation sciences
Hometown: Abuja, Nigeria
Major: aviation management and operations
Minor: business
Year in school: senior 
Interests: Writing, soccer, music, travel, and video games.
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.  
Advice: After completing my degree, I plan to fly commercially, transition to management, and eventually establish an airline.
Quote: “If you want to go quickly go alone, if you want to go far go together.” – African proverb

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

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

Nautika Tyler

Nautika Tyler

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects:  business, intro mathematics
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich. 
Major: accountacy
Minor: business
Year in school: senior
Interests: Basketball, laughing, working out, romance movies, relaxing, adventures, and listening to music.
Why I want to be a mentor: It is easy to come into college and feel overwhelmed with life. I want to work with students to let them know that they can get over all obstacles in their way. Sometimes we forget to breathe and see the beauty in college. As a peer mentor I want students to know that they are not alone and together we can get through and enjoy every part of their college journey.
Career goals: Once achieving my bachelor’s degree, I plan to continue school to receive my CPA. I am working on becoming an accountant for a professional sports team.
Advice: It is okay to be different, and you should not let other people’s opinions keep you from doing what you enjoy. You never know what could come from those moments.
Quote: “Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden

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