Engage Dallas Grants Housing Operations Recognition and Awards Residence Life

Peer Leader Program is Awarded Innovation Grant

Congratulations to our Peer Leader program for
being awarded the Division of Student Affairs
Innovation Grant!

The Associate Director for High Impact Practices in Residence Life & Student Housing, Audryanna Reed, is “excited to share that the Peer Leader program was awarded Innovation Grant funding to facilitate the Mustang PEP Talks.” Reed shares that “current Peer Leaders will be able to apply to participate in a smaller cohort to collectively pursue the NASPA Certified Peer Educator credential.” This training focuses not only on the NASPA competencies, but will also be customized specifically for students leading at SMU. Peer Leader’s “learning will be publicly demonstrated over a 4-week peer to peer learning series known as the Mustang PEP (Peer Education Program) Talks. The PEP Talks will be open to all students on campus to attend, with special emphasis on first-year students, students who hope to pursue leadership positions on campus, and students who want to grow in leadership development” says Reed. The first cohort will launch in the spring semester, with plans for the Mustang PEP Talks to be hosted at the end of the spring semester.

SMU students gather on SMU campus to volunteer for the Residential Commons Day of Service, a student-led initiative, on Saturday, October 16, 2021.

The Innovation Grant offers an opportunity for SMU departments to apply for supporting funds benefiting their new programs. When a department wins the grant, they can pilot programs or revamp current ones without risking operational dollars. This year, the Peer Leader program’s “Mustang PEP Talks” was one of two winning proposals. Winners of past years include the “Relaxation Room” in the Health Center and Engage Dallas.

SMU students volunteer for the Residential Commons Day of Service at Restorative Farms, Saturday, October 16, 2021 in Dallas, Texas.

Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) is proud to house the Peer Leader program, a coordinated effort between several offices around campus including the Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life, Office of Wellbeing, University Advising Center, University Honors Program and Engage Dallas. The Peer Leader program empowers student leaders with different focus areas and strengths, to enhance the Residential Commons culture and increase supportive resources for residential life on the Hilltop. Peer Leader roles include Engage Dallas Student Directors, Honors Mentors, Peer Academic Leaders, Spiritual Life Mentors, and Student Wellness Champions. You can learn more about the various roles here.

Reed concludes that “the Peer Leader supervisor team is excited to help lead this initiative and [is] stoked about the student learning and development possibilities.”