Mentors for Academic and Personal Success (MAPS)

Pitt-Johnstown Student Mentors

Apply to become a MAPS today >

Applications are due by Friday, March 31, 2017

Our Mentors for Academic and Personal Success (MAPS) support first-year students in their transition to the academic and social aspects of college. Class MAPS serve as mentors in the INDIST 0004 Career Exploration and Planning course. They help to facilitate class discussions and share personal experiences with students. Class MAPS also provide assistance to the instructor and help to plan and implement first-year programs.

FYSP MAPS work individually with 5-6 first-year students who are enrolled in the First-Year Success Program, which supports provisionally admitted students. FYSP MAPS meet with their students on a bi-weekly basis to assist with transitioning into college.  FYSP MAPS also help students develop their time management skills and study strategies.

Elizabeth Bolden


Major: Early Childhood Education

Year: Sophomore

Dream Job: Teaching in a Hospital

Involvement: Secretary of Education Club, Historian for Dance Ensemble, 

Advice for Freshman: "Go to class, even if your professor does not take attendance, you will miss important information. You will feel overwhelmed a lot, but everything will work out in the end. Learn how to balance your social life and academics, you are enrolled and paying lots of money for a reason." 

Kylie Dillon

MAPS: Class

Major: Political Science (Minor: History)

Year: Sophomore

Dream Job: Family Law Attorney/Juvenile Law Prosecutor

Involvement: MAPS

Advice for Freshman: "Take advantage of all the opportunities to get involved on campus!  It's the best way to acclimate yourself to campus, and to get to know people that make the experience so much better!"


Courtney Durica

MAPS: Class

Major: Biology

Year: Junior

Dream Job: Pharmacist

Involvement: Chemical Society, Dance Ensemble

Advice for Freshman: "Study and do your assignments ASAP! Don't wait until the last minute because your other classes may add a quiz or homework assignment that week, making things pile up quickly!


Marley Elbin


Major: Psychology 

Year: Junior

Dream Job: Licensed Social Worker

Involvement: UPJ Women's Softball Team, Psi Chi, Phi Eta Sigma, SAAC

Advice for Freshman: "Don't pull all-nighters! You can find enough time to study at reasonable hours if you manage your time."


Lauren Faure


Major: Communication/Professional Writing

Year: Senior

Dream Job: Crime Reporter/Writer

Involvement: Public Speaking Tutoring, International Peer Mentor, LPE President

Advice for Freshman: "Stay organized."


Marshall Kuhn 


Major: French & Biology

Year: Sophomore

Dream Job: Professional Blackjack Player

Involvement: Club Francais, International Peer Mentoring

Advice for Freshman: "Remember what you're actually here for."


Clarissa Nepereny


Major: Psychology & Sociology

Year: Junior

Dream Job: Inpatient Therapist in a Hospital or Psychologist for High Risk Teenagers/Children

Involvement: VP of Programming Board, Alpha Phi Omega, Dance Ensemble, Psychology Club 

Advice for Freshman: "Do not wait until the last minute to get help if you are struggling in a class.  It is better to set aside your pride and ask for help, it will be so beneficial to you."

Victoria Nicotra

MAPS: Class

Major: Communication

Year: Junior

Dream Job: To be employed; work with people; something with business

Involvement: President of Cheer Team, Sports Center Employment

Advice for Freshman: "Take every opportunity possible, go outside your bubble."


Nicole Panichella

MAPS: Class

Major: Accounting, Finance, MIS

Year: Junior

Dream Job: Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Involvement: Tutor and Payroll Coordinator

Advice for Freshman: "Work hard and don't be afraid to ask for help.  Talk to your professors!"


Jasmine Penn


Major: Marketing/Management

Year: Sophomore

Dream Job: Becoming a CEO

Involvement: International Peer Mentor

Advice for Freshman: "Set a good foundation for yourself."


Ashley Shor 


Major: Psychology/Pre-Occupational Therapy

Year: Sophomore

Dream Job: Occupational Therapist for children

Involvement: Softball Team, Fellowship Christian Athletes, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Psychology Club 

Advice for Freshman: "Work hard and don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!"

Alyssa Smith 


Major: History

Year: Sophomore

Dream Job: To be a mom and use my history degree to work in a musuem

Involvement: Dance Ensemble

Advice for Freshman: "Even if it seems rough don't stop trying.  It gets better, I swear."


Kristy Speranza

MAPS: Class

Major: Biochemistry

Year: Sophomore

Dream Job: Working with people, working in a lab, and helping them in every way I can

Involvement: Liason of Natural Sciences, Supplementary Instructor for Prep Chemistry

Advice for Freshman: "Do everything and work hard; you have 4 years to make the best of your life and career, so do everything."

Katelyn Thomas


Major: Biology

Year: Senior

Dream Job: Physician Assistant

Involvement: Housing Liason, Historian of Chemistry Society

Advice for Freshman: "Manage your time."


Aley Zaracki

MAPS: Class

Major: Early Childhood Education & Communication

Year: Junior

Dream Job: Working with children in a third world country

Involvement: Dance Ensemble, Lamda Pi Eta, Education Club

Advice for Freshman: "Do what makes you happy! Do not worry about what everyone else is doing, as long as you are happy that is all that matters!"