Submitted to the Optic
Six outstanding New Mexico Highlands University peer advisers presented a workshop at the New Mexico Association of Student Affairs Professional Symposium earlier this month in Albuquerque.
The peer advisers competed with public college students from throughout New Mexico for the honor to present their workshop titled, “What’s Your Story?” It’s one they present to fellow students on the Highlands University campus.
“This is a social integration workshop that illustrates how students are interconnected no matter who they are or where they’re from,” said Thomasinia Ortiz-Gallegos, director for the university’s Office of Academic Support. “One student might come from Mexico and one might come from North Dakota but the common denominator is being a student and wanting to be accepted without judgment.”
Ortiz-Gallegos said the peer advisers received positive feedback about their workshop from college students and student affairs professionals interested in implementing similar workshops on their campuses.
“This symposium was a concrete validation for our peer advisers that what they do is important,” Ortiz-Gallegos said. “It opened doors for them to share their ideas with people from across the state, and also network to learn more about student leadership.”
The university’s peer advisers who presented at the student affairs symposium, and also received scholarships to attend, include:
Yolie Elias, public affairs/sociology graduate student
Caitlin Syner, rehabilitation counseling graduate student
Pedro Castillon, freshman biology major, Spanish minor
Analicia Casaus, sophomore media arts major, advertising minor
Robert Vazquez, public affairs/sociology graduate student
Melissa Quintanilla, junior marketing and media arts major
Ortiz-Gallegos serves on the board for the New Mexico Association of Student Affairs Professionals. She also presented a talk at the symposium about best practices used at Highlands for retention and intervention.