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Mentoring leads to award
for peer leader

by Katrina Phelps

Final year student Adam Norton (R) with Tristana Sidoryn.Mentoring, networking and student-led programs are crucial to success at university and beyond, says final year Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management student, Adam Norton (pictured right).

And Adam can certainly attest to the benefits of mentoring and peer support programs after his involvement with Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) has seen him win a national award.

Adam has been named as one of four winners in the 2011 Outstanding Senior Leader/Mentor category of the Australasian PASS Leader Awards. These annual awards recognise quality contributions to student learning with the winners having demonstrated outstanding commitment, leadership and innovation toward developing a culture of peer learning.

In his role as Division of Business PASS Peer Leader, Adam facilitates sessions in courses with high fail rates. Adam leads sessions in Accounting for Business, Principles of Economics and Academic Writing. In addition, Adam has been involved with a number of other programs such as Business Mates, which is a student mentoring program, Student Ambassadors, U-Buddies and Experience Plus.

Adam initially joined the PASS program at the start of last year with the intention of meeting new people while being able to give back to the student community that inspired and helped him when he was a new student.

“When I was a new student, programs offered through the Division of Business such as PASS and Business Mates really helped me to integrate into the UniSA student cohort,” Adam said.

“By being involved on the other side of the PASS program, I have met many people and made some great friends. In addition, I get great personal satisfaction from assisting students from diverse backgrounds with their studies.

“It is very inspiring being able to aid a fellow student from thinking that they are unable to pass, to have them tell me after exams that attending PASS made the difference for them to have confidence with course concepts to be able to achieve their goals.

“I sincerely believe that mentoring and networking are crucial to professional success, particularly in business.

“A good mentor is a bit like a coach – they can see weaknesses that you can’t, and often they have dealt with problems in the past that you may be facing and can offer wisdom or guidance based on their extensive experience.

“I currently have several mentors and I am also a mentor for other people. I see this as critical to developing as a professional as it demonstrates leadership capabilities and establishes crucial networks.”

Coordinator of Student Transition with the Division of Business Teaching and Learning Unit, Tristana Sidoryn, said Adam’s approachability is one of the keys to his success within the PASS program.

“Adam has exhibited a focus on creating a sense of community on campus, and this is evident in his commitment to the PASS program and in facilitating student learning,” she said.

Adam and Tristana Sidoryn attended an award ceremony for the PASS award in Sydney in late September.

More information about the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program can be found on the Division of Business website.