Jenna Pattee

Jenna Pattee helps Iowa State freshmen as a peer mentor

Jenna Pattee stays active in various clubs and activities, making the most out of her college  years. She joined a learning community as a freshman. Her involvement there inspired her to apply for a peer mentor position.

Before the end of her sophomore year, Jenna received her acceptance letter. Immediately, she began planning for the next year.

“I was so excited,” she said. “I know how scared I was as a freshman, and I wanted to help make their experience easier.”

The fall semester came. Jenna worked with other mentors and advisers to plan informational meetings, guest speakers, and fun activities for the HDFS freshmen. Jenna took a personal interest in her group members and strived to make their first experience at Iowa State a positive one.

To do this, she set up one-on-one meetings for students to come and talk to her about their life. This was her favorite part because students would open up to her on a personal level, not just academically.

“I wanted my students to know they could come to me with any problem,” she said. “Being a freshman is intimidating enough, so I made a big effort to get to know them.”

Jenna’s dedication and kind attitude paid off. Her adviser, Pat Walsh, nominated Jenna for the 2014-2015 Exemplary Peer Mentor award — and she won.

All around, Jenna said the experience was very rewarding. She learned a lot about leadership and how to help people in all aspects of their lives. She recommends other students apply to be peer mentors.

“Everyone should apply because it is an amazing opportunity,” she said. “It taught me how to help students in a variety of ways and how to be a leader.”