Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success

Former ExSEL Mentors

Erin Richie

Erin Richie

Hometown:  Ypsilanti, MI
Current Home: 
California
Graduated: 
Undergrad - Dec. 2017,
                          Masters - Dec. 2018
Major: 
BS Mechanical Engineering,
              MS Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors
ExSEL Member: 
2 Years
ExSEL Mentor: 
4th year, Fall 2018
Peer Assistant: 
3 Years
On-Campus Involvement at MTU: 
Pavlis Honors College, Honors Ambassadors, After School STEM Teacher, Academic Success Coach, Society of Women Engineers, MUB Board, Career Ambassadors, Young Women Leaders Program Mentor, Peer Assistant for Success Courses, and ExSEL Mentor.
Why I chose to enroll in ExSEL:
Joining ExSEL was required for one of my scholarships.
Benefits I received from ExSEL: 
OI gained a second family in the Wahtera Center(!), lifetime friends and a growth in teamwork skills and empathy.
What I’m doing now: 
After graduating I accepted a position with Pacific Science and Engineering as a Human Factors Engineer in San Diego, CA.  My boyfriend, dog (Bean), and I enjoy living the beach life and exploring our new home, though we admittedly miss the snow and hockey!  We try to keep alive the Michigan Tech spirit for any and everything outdoorsy with a hike in the mountains almost every weekend.  I'm thankful for my time at Michigan Tech, the Wahtera Center, and the love and support from the family I formed there; all of those experiences allowed me to grow into who I am today.


Caroline Spezia

Caroline Spezia

Hometown:  Wyckoff, NJ
Current Home:  Hutchinson, MN
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 recently graduated from the 3M Optimize Operations Rotational Program and am working as a manufacturing engineer.  Here, I have the opportunity to apply hands on learning while focusing on both day-to-day machine improvements and manage longer term projects.  The products I help manufacture impact people's everyday lives!


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!