Peer Success Coaches

Peer success coaches are available to meet with students during office hours. Liberal Arts students can meet with a peer success coach through the Chaiken Center for Student Success to get help navigating college and University resources. The peer success coaches act as guides, listeners, and motivational partners to undergraduate students in the College of the Liberal Arts. Students should sign-up in advance to meet with a peer success coach during office hours, which are every Monday and Friday from 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. in the Chaiken Center for Student Success, 138 Sparks Building. 

Mandoline (Mandy) Bhuiyan

Mandoline Bhuiyan Mandoline is a third-year student majoring in Criminology and Psychology. She is from Norristown, Pennsylvania. At Penn State, Mandoline is the treasurer and outreach chair for DMAX Club, which aims to eliminate the stigma of issues related to mental health and encourage safe and caring conversations about mental and emotional issues among students. She is also a liaison for Penn State Infusion, which organizes a large Bollywood-fusion dance competition on campus. In the College of the Liberal Arts, Mandoline has enjoyed the connections she's made with students and faculty with diverse experiences. She is excited to support students on their academic journey and help them find resources and experiences they didn't imagine were possible.

“As a first-generation college student, I was responsible for navigating through the entirety of the college process by myself. Through copious amounts of trial and error, I feel that I have gained a lot of insider knowledge and tips and tricks that could only have been achieved through personal experience.”

Tatiana (Tia) Drebot

Tatiana DrebotTatiana is a third-year student majoring in Labor and Human Resources. She is from Dover, Pennsylvania. At Penn State, Tatiana is a member of PAWS, an animal lovers club focused on supporting a local animal shelter; an undergraduate learning assistant for the Department of Statistics in the Eberly College of Science; a member of the Society for Human Resource Management/Society of Labor and Employment Relations; and a member of Everyday Benefitting THON. Tatiana enjoys how interconnected all of the majors are within the College of the Liberal Arts and is looking forward to meeting students and using her knowledge to help others have the best college experience they can possibly have.

“I struggled getting used to the whole college dynamic as a first-year student, and I hope I can assist others in getting used to this amazing and exciting campus. I am a first generation, minority student. I know what it is like to struggle academically or be lost in who to go to for academic concerns, and I want to be that guidance who can help others facing similar circumstances. My college journey is thankfully supported by several academic scholarships through the College of the Liberal Arts, and I would love to guide others in finding that same support.”

Kaisha Garvin-Darby

Kaisha Garvin-DarbyKaisha is a third-year student majoring in Psychology. She is from northeast Philadelphia. Kaisha is involved in the Penn State Student Black Caucus and Penn State Planned Parenthood Generation Action. Within the College of the Liberal Arts, Kaisha has enjoyed all of the opportunities and resources available and the wide range of majors. She is excited to connect with and serve as a resource for other Liberal Art students.

“I have struggled in finding out what I truly wanted to do and what path I wanted to take, so I think showing students how to ground themselves and figure out how to find their passion will be the major way I can connect to them.”

Michelle Kengkart

Michelle KengkartMichelle is a third-year student majoring in Criminology. She is from West Palm Beach, Florida. At Penn State, Michelle is involved with the Multicultural Undergraduate Law Association, which has helped her meet other students who are also interested in the legal field. She is also a Liberal Arts Ambassador where she enjoys getting to represent the college to prospective students and alumni and participating in events that strengthen the Liberal Arts community. What Michelle enjoys the most about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is knowing how many resources there are for her as a student.

“I am inspired to help others achieve their goals. The best feeling is talking to others who understand what you go through as a student and as a person, so I wish to be that for other students. I want to guide students in the right direction so they can be successful and content with themselves...I understand the hardships that students may be going through academically, personally, and socially. Even if there is something I haven't directly experienced, I have the proper resources and knowledge so that I can help a student no matter what their needs may be.”

Nykeima Roberts

Nykeima RobertsNykeima is a fourth-year student majoring in Japanese and Sociology. She is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At Penn State, Nykeima is a member of the Japanese Friendship Association, the vice president of K-Pop Music and Dance, and the marketing director of Innoblue. Nykeima has loved the versatility of the College of the Liberal Arts and the vast number of classes and opportunities available. She is excited to be helping fellow students and applying the knowledge she’s gained from her own experiences.

“I am a person with many experiences. My unique position as a Black, female, queer, first-generation student means that I am able to relate to many different experiences shared with other students. During my time at Penn State, I have dealt with difficulties with making friends and social anxiety, class scheduling, applying to study abroad, and more.”

Nia Smith

Nia SmithNia is a third-year student majoring in Psychology with a minor in Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies. She is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nia is a mental health and wellness coordinator for the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) and president of Hope Here Hope Now, which is a human trafficking awareness organization at Penn State. Nia, a first-generation student, really enjoys the humanities and the endless possibilities within the College of the Liberal Arts.

“During the first half of my second year, I experienced a lot of change that I navigated myself through, and those changes helped me learn how to make executive decisions regarding my own college journey. Also, being a first-year student during the pandemic made me figure things out on my own, and therefore, I feel when it comes to navigating Penn State in person or online, I have a pretty good understanding already.”

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