Twelve students posing in front of the WMU sign in the Bernhard Center.

Program Mentors

Academic Mentors

Delaney Alward

Delaney Alward

academic mentor Delaney Alward

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: psychology
Hometown: Gladwin, Mich.
Program: psychology
Year in school: graduate
Interests: reading, running, boating, psychology, mental health, traveling, history, writing
Why I want to be a mentor: New beginnings and big transitions, like college, are tough. Providing a welcoming, capable, helping hand to peers in need is a meaningful way I can put my personal education and experiences to good use.
Career goals: Once completing my master's in counseling psychology, I want to practice for a few years with a limited license before eventually obtaining a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, working both in private practice and teaching at a university. I have an interest in a range of psychological areas, some being eating disorders, trauma, complex trauma, and complex post traumatic stress disorder.
Advice: The point of learning is to not yet know--allow yourself to get comfortable not knowing and be open to growth! Take it all in and be patient with yourself, you will get there.
Quote: “For what it’s worth... it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be...I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sandra Espinoza Montes

Sandra Espinoza Montes

academic mentor Sandra Espinoza

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: psychology, sociology, Spanish
Hometown: Wapato, Wash.
Major: counseling psychology
Year in school: graduate
Interest: social justice
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to become a mentor because programs such as this one is the reason why I got accepted into a doctoral program, thus, it is important for me to give back and serve students.
Career goals: My professional goals are to establish a public mental health counseling facility and a culturally-based substance abuse prevention program in my community. I want to become the first bilingual Latina psychologist that will address the needs of my community and I intend to provide a safe environment for Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) by hiring psychologists who look like them and who share my values of racial justice and decolonization.
Advice: Seek help from family, friends, and community.
Quote: "Sometimes we must choose between what is right and what is easy." – Albus Dumbledore

Menuka Ghalan

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

Katie Powers

Katie Powers

academic mentor Katie Powers

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: mathematics, education courses, psychology, general education courses
Hometown: Jackson, Mich. 
Major: early childhood education
Year in school: senior
Interests: sewing, painting, crafting, camping, being outdoors, watching movies
Why I want to be a mentor: It will allow me to make a significant impact on someone's life and college career. It will also help give me some experience in the field of education and learn more about how to better help others. I want to be a positive influence on someone's college experience.
Career goals: I plan to become a second grade teacher.
Advice: Don't be afraid to be yourself. You were born to be you and nobody else. Embrace how unique you are!
Quote: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

James Ross

James Ross

academic mentor James Ross

Pronouns: he/him/his
Subjects: political science, history, geography, global and international studies
Hometown: Vicksburg, Mich.
Program: political science
Year in school: graduate
Interests: reading, traveling, science fiction/fantasy, video games, hanging out with friends and family
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to help students understand both course-specific material and share strategies for general success. I strongly believe that when I discuss history or political science with someone, I also learn. Everyone has a unique perspective on the world to share, and I want to learn from that too.
Career goals: My professional goal is to become a professor of history and political science, specifically at the community college level.
Advice: Don't be afraid to talk to your professors. Either send an email or visit office hours. I've found my professors to be very understanding, especially in the past few years.
Quote: “It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives day by day, and we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge.” – Benjamin Sisko

Leyla Sadigova

Leyla Sadigova

academic mentor Leyla Sadigova

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: political science, public administration, economics, research methods
Hometown: Baku, Azerbaijan 
Program: political science
Year in school: graduate
Interests: reading, shopping, working out
Why I want to be a mentor: As an experienced student, I am well aware of the challenges in the college environment. As a student, you must develop academic skills and adopt the best study habits to graduate successfully. In this case, I want to be a mentor to respond to my students' educational needs and encourage them to explore their talents and their potential.
Career goals: My primary goal in my career is to be a professor at the university, obtain research grants, and publish academic articles.
Advice: Live, learn, enjoy!
Quote: “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West

Samridhi Singh

Samridhi (Sam) Singh

academic mentor Samridhi Singh

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: biology, chemistry, math
Hometown: Kolkata, India
Major: biomedical science
Minors: chemistry and general business
Year in school: junior
Interests: reading, writing, animals
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to be able to help students in their academic journey.
Career goals: To be a doctor.
Advice: Never lose hope. An intelligent person may be unsuccessful, but a hardworking person can never be unsuccessful.
Quote: “The secret of life is to fall seven times and get up eight times.” – Paolo Coelho in "The Alchemist"

Lexi Yanez

Lexi Yanez

academic mentor Alexis Yanez

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Subjects: biology, chemistry, nursing, sociology, Spanish
Hometown: Shelby Township, Mich. 
Major: nursing
Minors: sociology, Spanish
Year in school: junior
Interests: Reading, nature, outdoors, traveling, exploring, and learning about other cultures.
Why I want to be a mentor: I want to make a positive impact on others. I want to learn how to help and teach others to better themselves since I will be doing this in my future career. I also want to meet new people and make connections with other students and faculty.
Career goals: To become a registered nurse.
Advice: My advice to my students is to be your own best friend throughout your educational journey. Although things can get challenging, never give up and try to stay focused on your end goal. Try your best with the resources that are available.
Quote: “All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney