A group of graduate peer mentors stand outside of Dunning Hall.

You have a friend in me

Now entering its fifth year, the Faculty of Arts and Science Grad Mentor program is a peer mentoring program that connects prospective students with current MA and PhD students to aid them in their decision-making process. Prospective students can connect with a mentor (general or program specific) to get advice and guidance around applying to grad school, transitioning from your undergraduate degree, and insider knowledge of what your potential grad department and supervisor is like.

“It’s so valuable to talk to folks that are just a little ahead of you, people that are already graduate students who have gone through the things that you are going through and had the same questions,” said James Fraser, FAS Associate Dean (Graduate). “They’ll be able to give you information and advice and ideas that you just can’t get from other sources.”

Second year Environmental Studies PhD student Lydia Addae is now in her second year of mentorship. She came to Canada as an international student and was looking for a program like this one to help her settle into life in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

“It’s important for students to have a peer, someone they can talk to if they have questions about where they are going to study, how they can access funding and even, what is Kingston like,” Addae says. “The last time I mentored there were many questions about Kingston, Queen’s, and how will I fit in here. I enjoyed it the first time and wanted to do it again.”

Addae says the first time she participated in the program, it was online due to the pandemic. She says she’s interested in meeting the students face to face and having the ability to go for a coffee, go for a walk around campus, and really get to know them as a person.

Third year Chemistry PhD student Dan Reddy is a first-year mentor and says he benefitted from a similar program when he was completing his Masters and he found it helpful.

“It was great to have someone that knew the ropes, from basic to more complex questions,” Reddy says. “I saw a chance to give back and help some people coming into the Chemistry department.”

Reddy explains they picked mentors from each department which will allow them to help students studying in their field. “With incoming or prospective Chemistry graduate students, we are the people with the background knowledge that will be paired with them and provide them with support.”

He was recently recognized for his exceptional research and leadership skills by being one of four FAS students named Vanier Scholars. the Vanier program helps Canadian institutions attract highly qualified doctoral students by investing $50,000 per year for three years during their doctoral studies.

“I was fortunate to receive this scholarship so that has given me more freedom to explore and give back to the community that supported me.”

"I worked as a mentor for Gender Studies students last year, so I am excited to be involved in this program again,” Faith Lollar, Marketing and Communications Assistant with the Faculty of Arts and Science said. “It is an honour to work alongside my supervisor, Julia, as the head mentor. We have an incredible group of mentors this year, and I look forward to seeing firsthand the impact they will make on Queen's undergrad students.”

Meet a Mentor