Breaking Down Barriers to Success

CJY-team--IUPUIThe CJY faculty and mentors will be attending the National Peer Mentoring Symposium on October 5th at IUPUI. Eunis Lukose and Kayla Warner will be representing the CJY with a poster presentation titled “Center for the Junior Year: Breaking Down Barriers to Success”. The presentation will highlight our unique approaches to peer mentoring, as well as how our mentors and faculty work to resolve some common challenges for students. View Photo Gallery

2019 Summer Institute

Over 20 attendees came to breakout sessions featuring the Center for the Junior Year at GSU’s 2019 Summer Institute – Moving Beyond Articulation Agreements, June 18-20, 2019. The event was sponsored by the Kresge Foundation and featured over 50 attendees from 17 institutions in 8 states. Institutions attended in groups with a community colleges and corresponding 4-year institution working to build partnerships to benefit students. With the Dual Degree Program featured at the institute, Center for the Junior Year was highlighted as one of six different ways GSU innovates and works to serve transfer student populations. Peer Mentor Jennifer Forbes presented with Director Dr. David Rhea to highlight how CJY operates as well as data and success stories from the office. Max Luetkemeier and Dr. Dhruba Dhungel also contributed data to the presentation.

AAC&U Conference

The Center for the Junior Year was spotlighted in a conference presentation at the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting on January 25th, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. The presenters, which included GSU President Elaine P. Maimon, Associate Provost/Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Colleen Sexton, Center for the Junior Year Director Dr. David Rhea, and CJY Faculty Coordinator Dr. Kerri Morris, highlighted the innovative work of CJY at addressing student barriers of degree completion that transcend academic and student affair areas. The presentation also talked about the structure of CJY and how the office benefits students and Peer Mentors alike. Its attendees well received the presentation. Center for the Junior Year Research Analyst Max Luetkemeier contributed to the presentation.  AAC&U has more than 1,350 member institutions with a focus on improving undergraduate and liberal education in the United States.




CJY Research Grants Awarded

CJY would like to congratulate the four recipients awarded the 2018-19 Center for the Junior Year Research Grant (CJYRG). These grants were awarded in January 2019 for CJY Mini-grant research that was to be done in the Spring 2019 semester and presentened in 2019-20.

research grants

Dr. Cipra –  Stressful Life Events and Academic Achievement

Dr. Goode –  Emotional Labor

Dr. Cooney – Mindfulness and Academic Success in the Junior Year.  

Dr. Harris – How Research Immersion Experiences Impact Student Success and Career Choice




Student Success Stories

Told by Jennifer Forbes

I had a friend stop in the office to give me some information for a group project. She is a dual-degree student that I knew from Prairie State College. She and I took care of the project and then out of the blue she said she couldn’t do this anymore and was going to drop out of school after this semester. She is in mostly senior classes with me and I asked her why. A simple meeting for a project turned into an advising/career discussion. After looking over her degree audit with the help of Dr. Rhea the student was able to see that she only had four classes left in her major and a few electives. She was surprised at how little she had left to finish. She chose to stay and finish her degree and has a renewed sense of hope that she will be able to graduate at her anticipated time.

Told by Kayla Warner

Many of the freshman I have worked with have been overwhelmed by the changes that accompany moving from high school to a university setting. They usually feel at a loss for direction and do not really know where to look for help. I know from my own experience that sometimes it is easier to get information from someone who has recently been in your position. That being said, I have taught quite a few new students how to do things I now find simple, like registering for and picking classes. When new students transition, even the simple things can seem overwhelming and frustrating. Having someone you can relate to and who can walk you through things can really make all the difference. I have definitely found this to be true for many of my mentees.

Told by Megan Frick

I spent this Spring semester working with a graduating senior. She had been working with a paid internship since her junior year, but did not know what her next step would be after graduation. After working on her resume and refining her LinkedIn account together, we starting looking into job openings that would hire new graduates. I helped this student submit a number of applications and then we waited to hear back from the employers. She heard back from two companies and we practiced her interviewing skills before she went in. She was able to land the job she wanted, and they even allowed her to start working part time right away as she works on finishing her degree. This student will graduate this month, and she can rest assured knowing she has a full-time position in her field after she graduates!

IsaiahM-smlIsaiah Moore recently featured in GSU News

Hi my name is Isaiah Moore and I am a peer mentor at the center for the junior year! I’ve been working in the center for about 2 years now and I absolutely love working with students! As I am in my last year of college I am starting to solidify my legacy here at governors state by impacting students lives and being an exemplary leader! This summer I will graduate with my Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. As far as next steps go I will be at UIC obtaining my Masters in Urban Planning and Policy.