Meet some amazing student mentors

A great way to help navigate your way through university is to get a mentor—someone like these Together@Dal SuperUPS.

Photo: Carter Hutton

If you’ve never had a mentor before, it can make a huge difference in your life—especially when you start university. I felt totally lost in my first semester of university, and signing up for a Dal program that connected me with upper-year students was a lifesaver.

There are a bunch of ways you can do it: connecting with people from your high school who go to Dal; talking to your profs during their virtual office hours; getting to know your TAs; or signing up for a Dal program like Together@Dal.

This new program is designed to match you with upper-year students like me. I wanted to be a part of Together@Dal because I love to make things a little easier for my peers. I’ve been blessed to have a lot of people help me out in my life, so I decided to become an upper-year mentor (UPS) so I could pass on the favour to new students.

There are also students called SuperUPS who act as your mentor’s mentors. They’re the people who are deeply involved in making this program the absolute best it can be, so you can get the most out of your university experience. Here are a few of them talking about why they got involved.


Sierra Sparks


5th year, Electrical Engineering with Co-op
Hometown:
Dartmouth, NS

Why did you decide to get involved with Together@Dal?

Dalhousie has a fantastic community of students, and I’ve enjoyed every minute being involved in the community. When I was entering my first year, I was fortunate to have upper-year mentors through various societies, who made me feel welcome to the Dal community. I want to be that mentor for incoming students!

How do you think Together@Dal will help first-year students?

It will help them build connections with other incoming students, as well as with upper-year students and faculty. Opportunities like the ones offered through Together@Dal will be an important part of the university experience, especially with classes being online in the fall. The program will be able to help students feel welcome to the Dal community, no matter where they are in the world!


Sebastien (Seb) Clairmont


4th year, Bachelor of Social Work (with a BSc in Psychology)
Hometown:
Barrington, NS

Why did you decide to get involved with Together@Dal?

I remember what it was like to feel lost and confused in my first couple of years at university. The transition to university life is not easy for many people, and I think it’s super important to learn how to connect with the Dal community. Things are certainly different this time around, but I'm confident the program will be an awesome resource to guide new students into a smooth transition to university life.

Why are you excited about the program?

I'm excited to meet students who are ready for the challenge of our current online future, and to see how their resilience and collaboration can help each other out to be successful in their first university experience!


Iyana Doyle


3rd year, Bachelor of Environmental Design
Hometown:
Trinidad and Tobago

Why are you excited about the program?

This program is the first of its kind at Dal. There are new activities in store that have not been done virtually in the past and I'm happy to be a part of it!

How do you think Together@Dal will help first-year students?

By being grouped with fun and engaging upper-year student mentors, first-year students will be better equipped to navigate useful online resources. They’ll also meet many people within their faculty and begin making real connections and friendships before the winter semester. This is a big plus since they won’t have in-person classes and faculty get-togethers to meet new faces. They’ll also benefit from their mentor's personal accounts of what university life has been like for them and what to expect.


Raphy Magboo


5th year, Political Science & Law, Justice and Society (Certificate in Intercultural Communications)
Hometown:
Angono, Philippines

Why did you decide to get involved with Together@Dal?

As a student leader, it’s important for me to be a part of an initiative that will show incoming students that they are more than capable and are being supported, especially during these unprecedented times. I vividly remember my first-year experience and I know I wouldn’t have done the things I have accomplished without the people who cheered me on and believed in me.

Why are you excited about the program?

I can’t wait to help students navigate their way around this university transition. Although everyone knows that first year can be really challenging, I find value in reassuring students that it’s also exciting and full of life. I’m also looking forward to building a community between current and incoming students. I strongly believe that each of us can learn from each other, as we all bring different experiences that brought us to where we are right now.