Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

Former ExSEL Mentors

Caroline Spezia

Caroline Spezia

Hometown:  Wyckoff, NJ
Current Home:  Buffalo, New York
Graduated:  May, 2018
Major:  Chemical Engineering
ExSEL Member:  2 Years
ExSEL Mentor:  3 Years
Peer Assistant:  3 Years
On-Campus Involvement at MTU:  Cheerleading, St. Albert the Great Campus Involvement and Lector Ministry Leader, American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AICHE), Rotaract, Peer Assistant for the Success Courses, and ExSEL Mentor.
Why I chose to enroll in ExSEL: I chose to enroll in ExSEL to help the transition from high school to college.  I wanted to make sure to keep up on my studies and learn more about myself.  I also did this to get to know more people on campus.  Coming to MTU I did not know a single person attending the same college and initially was overwhelmed by this thought.  After reading what the ExSEL program offered, I knew it would benefit me in more that just one way.  It is amazing how much every first-year student changes from walking on to campus for orientation week to going home for Christmas break.
Benefits I received from ExSEL: One of the main benefits I received from ExSEL was creating networking connections throughout campus as well as developing friendships that still remain three years later.  Through the UN 1000 class I got the chance to discover more about who I am personally.  Knowing about my personality led me to find an efficient studying method, and the class even made me realize I cannot study the same way for every class.  Realizing this, it changed the way I received information, allowing me to maximize efficiency for study and homework time and gave me more balance to fit in "fun time" like camping or hiking.  If I wouldn't have been in the program, it would have taken me a lot longer to realize this and it might have been too late in the semester to recover or I may have been too burned out from inefficient studying.
What I’m doing now:  I am working at 3M in the Optimize Operations Rotational Program.  Here I will have the opportunity to learn and focus on both functional tasks and project management projects to further my professional development.


Neffertia Tyner

Neffertia Tyner

Hometown: Detroit, MI
Current home: Manhattan, KS
Graduated: December 2017
Major: Psychology with a Diversity Studies Minor
ExSEL Mentor: 3 Years
On Campus Involvement at MTU: Multiliteracies Learning Center Coach, Orientation Executive Staff, Center for Diversity and Inclusion Staff, Women’s Programming Committee (President), Parade of Nations, Orientation Team Leader (OTL), and ExSEL Mentor.
Why I chose to mentor:  I decided to become a mentor because I really enjoy working with first-year students. Sometimes it's hard and somewhat uncomfortable to throw yourself into a new experience. I wanted to help students immerse themselves in their new college life without feeling overwhelmed for their first few months at Tech and give them as much advice as I could offer.
Benefits I received from ExSEL mentoring:  I've learned a lot about myself as a person and how to use a variety of mentoring  techniques based on students' needs.  Being a part of the ExSEL Program is one of my many experiences that influenced my decision to go into Student Affairs.
What I am doing now: I am attending Kansas State University for the Masters program in College Student Development.  I will be doing my graduate assistantship with Housing and Dining Services as an Assistant Community Coordinator for the Residence Halls.


Kristina Rushlau

Kristina Rushlau

Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI
Current home: Allen Park, MI
Graduated: Fall 2016
Major: Environmental Engineering
ExSEL Member: 2 years
ExSEL Mentor: 4 years
Peer Assistant: 2 years
On Campus Involvement at MTU:  Society for Environmental Engineers, Mind Trekkers, Intramurals, - Wahtera Center positions:  ExSEL Mentor, Success course Peer Assistant, Academic Success Coach.
Why I chose to enroll in ExSEL:  I had to because of a scholarship, but it was well worth it!
Benefits I received from ExSEL: Help in adjustment my first year.  A job for the next 4 years:)  Great mentors on campus, both from professional staff and from other students.  An enjoyable class that was easy, taught me useful information, and I earned one credit with an A!


Jesse Linebarger

Jesse Linebarger

Hometown:  Detroit, MI
Current home: 
Manhattan, Kansas
Graduated: 
Fall 2014
Major:
Management and Marketing
ExSEL Member:
2 years
ExSEL Mentor:
4 years
Peer Assistant:
3 years
On Campus Involvement at MTU
Society of African American Men, Habitat for Humanity, Resident Assistant in Wadsworth Hall, Basketball Club, Intramural Supervisor, Wahtera Center Peer Assistant and Academic Success Coach, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society of Business Excellence, ExSEL, and ExSEL Mentor.
Why I chose to enroll in ExSEL: 
I wanted to give myself the best opportunity to succeed starting my college career.  The presentation by Susan Liebau (Director of the Wahtera Center for Student Success) during O-Week was the deal breaker for me.  I enrolled!
Benefits I received from ExSEL:
ExSEL was a great resource during my college career, and I still use the skills and lessons learned to this day.  Through ExSEL I received an internship after my first year, and I also continuously improved my study skills, time management, communication, and academic success.  Simply put, ExSEL helped to guide me down the right path both academically and socially.
What I am doing now: After graduation, I began working with Parker Hannifin as an Operations Management Associate.  For 18 months I rotated through facilities in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Iowa.  I am now transitioning into a Value Stream Team Leader role, in which I supervise associates and complete projects focused in safety, operations, quality, and lean.


Collin Doerr-Newton

Collin Doerr-Newton

Hometown: Lansing, MI
Current home: 
New York, New York
Graduated: 
Spring 2014
Major:
Sound Design
ExSEL Member: 
2 Years
ExSEL Mentor:
4 Years
Peer Assistant: 
3 Years
On Campus Involvement at MTU:
E-Board member of Society of African American Men, On-Air DJ and Productions Supervisor for WMTU, Student Supervisor/Employee at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Resident Assistant in East Wads, Wahtera Center Peer Assistant and Academic Success coach, ExSEL, ExSEL Mentor, and selected as the student commencement speaker for Spring 2014.
Why I chose to enroll in ExSEL: 
I chose to enroll in ExSEL because I wasn't entirely confident in my ability to be successful in college, and looking at this program made me feel like I would get a much needed step ahead.  I also met Darius Watt at Preview Day when I was a senior in high school and he made ExSEL seem pretty cool.
Benefits I received from ExSEL: 
What I received from ExSEL was a sort of inside scoop on college success, from ways to get involved, to the many resources on campus that I wouldn't have known about otherwise.  One very important thing that ExSEL provides is a structured way to develop the skills that you need to be successful in school, such as time management, study habits, and utilizing campus resources.
What I am doing now:  I'm currently finishing up a Masters of Music in Music Technology at New York University, and I'm also starting a Master of Arts in Teaching of Social Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University.  My research involves the use of music technologies in secondary social studies classrooms.  I've also been traveling a lot, seeing the world.