First Husker Peer Mentors

First Husker Program

Peer Mentors

The First Husker Peer Mentors are your peeps, your squad, your tribe. They’re first-generation students just like you. They’ve been through the program and survived that tough first semester. And they’re excited to get you started on your own journey and help you thrive. Meet the team!

2018 Peer Mentors

Alejandro Alarcon

Alejandro Alarcon

Sophomore

Learn more about Alejandro

Major(s)
Theater Performance
Hometown
Sutton, Nebraska
Favorite quote
“The noblest art is that of making others happy.” – P.T. Barnum
What are you most afraid of?
People who don’t like cheesecake
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
Listen to Sam Smith and cry it out
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Pompeii
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Real!!!
What words of advice would you give an incoming student?
Breathe
Alexis Grossnicklaus

Alexis Grossnicklaus

Junior

Learn more about Alexis

Major(s)
Psychology
Hometown
St. Louis, Missouri
Best advice you ever got?
“Lex, sometimes in life you have got to be your own cheerleader.”
What app do you use most?
Twitter? To be honest, Canvas and Google Calendar, but that’s lame.
What’s your dream job?
Anything involving helping others realize/achieve their potential.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Real.
What words of advice would you give an incoming student?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and use your campus resources!
Andrew Burke-O’Kane

Andrew Burke-O’Kane

Senior

Learn more about Andrew

Major(s)
Graphic Design
Hometown
Omaha, Nebraska
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
Video games or doing something creative
Dream job?
Working for Pentagram Design in New York City
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Getting artwork accepted into a gallery
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Obviously real
What words of advice would you give an incoming student
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL. Failing is a necessary step for learning.
Hunter Ramer

Hunter Ramer

Sophomore

Learn more about Hunter

Hometown
Wilbur, Nebraska
Favorite toy/game growing up?
Super Mario Bros. on Nintendo 64
What is one thing you wish people knew about you?
I graduated high school with 25 people
What’s your best childhood memory?
Hanging out with my grandpa, hunting and fishing
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Fake
What words of advice would you give an incoming student
Find a place where you study your best.
Jarrett Austin

Jarrett Austin

Junior

Learn more about Jarrett

Major(s)
Landscape Architecture
Hometown
Shelton, Nebraska
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be and why?
Bugs Bunny. I love the bamboozles.
What are you most afraid of?
Humidity—Look at my hair.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Cross stitching a butterfly in five days
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Real, seen in exploded axonometric drawing.
What words of advice would you give an incoming student?
Learn your traits!
Jesse Ferguson

Jesse Ferguson

Junior

Learn more about Jesse

Major(s)
Political Science
Hometown
Norfolk, Nebraska
Favorite quote?
“People don’t care about how much you know. They want to know how much you care.” – a quote from my dad
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be and why?
Archer. He lives dangerously and succeeds effortlessly.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Admittance to the Harvard Public Policy Leadership Conference.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Fake
What words of advice would you give an incoming student
Learn how to build relationships and network with students, faculty, and especially professors.
Jessica Van Buskirk

Jessica Van Buskirk

Senior

Learn more about Jessica

Major(s)
Psychology and Environmental Studies
Hometown
Lincoln, Nebraska
Favorite toy/game growing up?
My Easy Bake Oven. I would bake little cakes for myself and my friends. I was basically a pastry chef at age 8.
What app do you use most?
Snapchat—I am the QUEEN of the “ugly face” selfie!
Favorite quote?
“No single raindrop believes it’s responsible for the flood.” – Dr. K (from my Quality of the Environment course)
What is your dream vacation?
Any place where it doesn’t snow in April.
What words of advice would you give an incoming student
Don’t stress out about not knowing exactly what you want to do with the first few semesters of college. You’ll find your passions along the way. College is a time of exploration.
Kendra Quiroz

Kendra Quiroz

Sophomore

Learn more about Kendra

Major
Psychology
Hometown
Hastings, Nebraska
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Making it to Nationals for speech and surviving my freshman year
If you could time travel, where would you go?
To the 60’s to see The Beatles in concert.
What’s one thing you wish people knew about you?
That I low-key want to drop out and adopt all the dogs in the world and become their overlord.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Real. There was an appearance of him in my hometown.
What words of advice would you give an incoming student
Don’t be afraid to fail. ‘Cause if you’re like me, you’ll fail a lot your freshman year.
Kimimilawin Flying By-Fire Thunder

Kimimilawin Flying By-Fire Thunder

Sophomore

Learn more about Kimimilawin

Major(s)
Criminal Justice
Hometown
Pine Ridge, South Dakota
You can invite 3 famous people to a dinner party. Who would you choose and why?
Bob Ross, Mr. Rogers, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. It would be a table filled with love and care and that’s all anyone needs.
What are you most afraid of?
Losing my culture and language.
What’s your best childhood memory?
When I flipped my Little Tyke yellow and red dome car because I rode it down our porch ramp even though I was told not to.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
REAL!!!!!
What words of advice would you give an incoming student?
It’s okay to not be okay. You’ll always have someone standing with you and supporting you.
Madison Miller

Madison Miller

Sophomore

Learn more about Madison

Major
Chemical Engineering
Hometown
Lincoln, Nebraska
What’s your dream vacation?
It would have to be Barcelona. It’s basically the total package. Barcelona has history, beaches, Spanish food, Mediterranean food, the main language is Spanish, and it’s cheaper than a lot of other European countries.
Who was your favorite teacher? Why?
My high school English teacher, Mrs. Maddux, is one of the smartest people I know and if I had a question about anything she could answer it. She was always supportive and was someone I enjoyed having teach me.
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
Pull out a bucket of cookie dough from the fridge and watch Friends or That 70’s Show
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Duh, have you watched Finding Bigfoot?
What words of advice would you give an incoming student
Being scared or nervous is okay. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing because there are so many others in the same boat as you. Find student organizations to join, maybe a sport and a group related to your major or interest. Find a study group and surround yourself with people going through the same classes and struggles. That way, you have a support system which is always nice.
Makala Reeves

Makala Reeves

Senior

Learn more about Makala

Major(s)
English
Hometown
Central City, Nebraska
What is one thing that drives you crazy?
People who tap their feet or bounce their legs constantly.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
My middle school English/Literature teacher, Mr. Mallam. He was super passionate and hilarious. He taught me that hard work and a little laughing produce the best results.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
England in the 1790s/1800s. Although they were at odds with the French, a lot of other exciting things were happening—the abolishment of slavery, exploration, and the formation of the United Kingdom.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Totally fake. But mermaids? Mermaids are real.
What words of advice would you give an incoming student
Find an on-campus activity! It’s a way to have fun and meet other students. And it’s a way to do something you enjoy doing, something that doesn’t have to be related to your major.
Shelby Jones

Shelby Jones

Junior

Learn more about Shelby

Major(s)
Biological Science/Pre-Nursing
Hometown
Gretna, Nebraska (originally from East Moline, Illinois)
If you could switch places with anyone for one week, who would it be and why?
My dog—No responsibilities. Just eat and sleep and people would love me.
What app do you use the most?
Spotify – I have a playlist for almost every mood and activity.
What’s one thing that drive you crazy?
Rattling sounds while I’m driving in a car. I will stop to fix it.
What’s your best childhood memory?
Going to my grandparents’ house after school. My grandpa used to crack pecans with me and it was our special little treat. I still think of him when I eat pecans (which is often).
What words of advice would you give an incoming student?
Academics are super important, but so is getting involved. Make friends. Join an RSO. Don’t just go to class. Enjoy college, too!