Fall 2014 Outstanding Peer Mentor Award: Nicole Outman

Name: Nicole Outman

Nicole with her mentees. Photo courtesy of Nicole Outman

Year: Sophomore

Major: Psychology

Involvement: Student Psychological Association (2013/2014), Honors Peer Mentor Program (2014/2015), Pre-Optometry Club (Fall 2013), Symphonic Band (Fall 2013 to present), Researcher for the new Sexism Museum in Starr, Honors Day of Service at WISE, Honors Fun Day Leader, Survey Booths for Birkam Health Center, Safe Ride, Walk for Life, Tunnel of Oppression, Manna Pantry, Miss Houghton Lake Scholarship Program

Achievements/awards: Vice President of the Honors Peer Mentor Program (Beginning Spring 2015)

From Dr. Peter Bradley, Honors Program Director:

“Nicole Outman is an outstanding Peer Mentor in the Honors Program at Ferris State University. Nicole was nominated for her extraordinary dedication to her mentees. By ‘putting a fun twist’ on the mandatory meetings, making sure that all her mentees are aware of opportunities available, and orchestrating a group service project, Nicole exemplifies the values of the Peer Mentor Program.”

Photo courtesy of Bill Bitzinger/smugmug.com

Having a helpful Peer Mentor as a freshman can make all the difference in that crucial first year of college. Due to her involvement in Honors, Nicole has gained awareness of campus events and works to share that awareness with her mentees.

“I knew from my own experience that as a freshman you know next to nothing, and having someone to answer their questions can be invaluable,” she said.

Without a dedicated Peer Mentor, the weekly required meetings during the first few weeks of freshman year can be something mentees don’t necessarily look forward to. Nicole, however, incorporates entertainment into her meetings to make them not only more bearable, but even enjoyable.

“College can get stressful very easily, and I tried to provide my mentees with ways to relax, have fun, and make friends,” she said. “On our weekly meetings, I provided new games to play every week, along with information of what was required of them as Honors students.”

Nicole not only helps her mentees, but also enjoys assisting others through the volunteer opportunities presented through Honors. She recently participated in the Honors Day of Service with her mentees, where they worked to benefit WISE, a women’s shelter in Big Rapids. The Day of Service was her favorite experience at Ferris so far because her and her mentees “overcame obstacles, problem solved together, and gained some great memories.”

After she graduates, Nicole plans to attend graduate school and obtain a doctorate in Clinical Psychology with a focus on Child and Adult Psychology. She hopes to either go to UCLA, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, or the University of Colorado Boulder.

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