SUNY Morrisville EOP peer mentors prepare for EOP Summer Academy

Published date
8:30 a.m.

Communication and collaboration were key for 15 Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) peer mentors taking part in team-building exercises in preparation for this year’s EOP Summer Academy.

More than 100 students are expected to participate in the academy, a four-week intensive summer program designed to assist students with adjusting to college and providing a foundation for academic success. The program runs from July 14-Aug. 10.

“This (program) provides fundamental academic support and builds community for the scholars before the semester starts,” Kayle Light-Curtin, director of SUNY Morrisville’s Opportunity Programs, said.

The EOP Summer Academy focuses on building foundational academic skills through intentionally designed one-credit courses with 24 sections. In addition to classes, students will have hands-on exploration with various academic departments, including a cooking class, a hike to the food forest, a look at nursing and more.

“Besides helping our scholars understand the critical skills to be successful in their classes, we hope to create a positive environment focusing on developing a sense of pride for our campus community and feeling like they belong here — not just in EOP, but at SUNY Morrisville,” Light-Curtin said.  

Peer mentors, who play a vital role in the success of the summer program, are in training for a week leading up to its start.

“We focus a lot on team-building and communicating effectively throughout the training,” Light-Curtin said.  

Michael Duignan, director of the college’s Advancing Success in Associate Pathways (ASAP) and Advancing Completion through Engagement (ACE) program, led several activities which focused on teamwork and leadership.

“Think of creative ways to find solutions, to communicate ideas and work as a team,” he advised the peer mentors tasked with multiple exercises that challenged their way of thinking and communicating.

In addition to team-building activities, peer mentors are also participating in mandated training.

Ed-Son Jean-Baptiste, an exercise science student from Brooklyn, didn’t hesitate to sign up 
for his third year as an EOP peer mentor for the summer academy.

“It is a lot of fun and leadership experience,” he said. “I am also learning how to help students with different backgrounds.”

Jean-Baptiste added to his leadership skills this year, attending the EOP Summer Leadership Conference in Albany.