Club & Greek

The Commuter Student Mentor Program

Commuter Student MentorThe Commuter Student Mentor (CSM) Program originated in 2015 with the goal to help first-year commuter students acclimate to Monmouth University smoothly. Fast-forward to today, the program has flourished into a service that offers a mentor personalized to any incoming commuter student who wishes to have one.

To date, the program has mentored over 500 students since its birth. In that time, there have been 10-12 mentors each year who have helped transition their respective students. Between finding on campus parking and acclimating to your classes, CSMs are there to help every step of the way.

Vaughn Clay, Ed.D., Director of Off-Campus and Commuter Services and Director of the CSM Program said, “The mission of the commuter student mentor program is to help the first-year commuter students make the successful transition to life as a Monmouth University student.  We do that by showing the students how to navigate the many programs and services that are offered at Monmouth University.  It is also a way for us to assist the first-year commuters in connecting with other students and in helping them understand that they have a support system available to them if necessary.”

The previous Lead Commuter Student Mentors (LCSM) have assisted the mentors and guided them in the right direction to help the program thrive. Looking toward the future, the newest Co-LCSMs are Shannon Lawrence, a junior music industry student, and Amber Galati, a sophomore accounting student.

Galati, upon receiving news that she was going to be working alongside her close friend said, “Becoming the new Co-LCSM is an amazing opportunity to help a new class of students. We love this program so much and want to share our journey with the mentors and mentees. This program really aided me in my time of need as an incoming freshman and I am honored to do the same with another.”

The two are excited to help develop the program for the coming year. Lawrence said, “I hope to get more people involved with the program. To be able to help incoming freshman with their transition to college is very rewarding. I am excited to work with Amber Galati and having incoming freshman feel less nervous about their first semester in college.”

Danielle Wolfe, Graduate Assistant (GA) to the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services and a graduate student pursuing an M.S.Ed in student affairs and college counseling said, “One of the most rewarding parts of my Graduate Assistantship has been working with the CSM program. The program sets out to help any new commuter student get acclimated to campus, and that’s huge. Commuters may feel a disconnect to campus because they’re not here all the time, but having someone like a CSM to be your first friend on campus has been a rewarding process for many of the commuter students and helps them become a greater part of the Monmouth community. I couldn’t be more proud to be their GA,” said Wolfe.

This is Wolfe’s second year working with the CSM program, after working with the past LCSM, she said, “Working with the past LCSM, Alexandria Afanador, was one of the best introductions I could have had to what the CSM program really was all about. As a first time commuter student myself last year, she really gave me insight to places on campus I had never explored or knew about. Seeing her passion for the program helped guide us to pick a number of students to become the CSMs and it was a pleasure working with a group of students that were so passionate to help other commuter students get their footing through a number of interactions and events.”

“As we move forward this semester, I have the pleasure of working with the new Co-LCSMs Amber Galati and Shannon Lawrence as we set out to select our new group of CSMs to guide next year’s group of new commuter students. I know Amber and Shannon will do great things as LCSMs based off the mentorship and guidance that Alexandria had provided to the both of them,” she continued.

Summer Shaheed, a junior biology student and CSM said, “I loved being a CSM, the program allowed me to meet some great friends and help a bunch of freshmen get acclimated into the school.”

This past year, the CSMs helped acclimate roughly 120 incoming commuter freshman and transfer students. Galati and Lawrence are hopeful to involve more students as mentees and mentors in hopes that the lasting effect will continue to impact the community in a positive way.

IMAGE TAKEN from the MU Commuter Student Mentor Instagram