What is PAM?

Peer Advisors and Mentors (PAM) helps first-year students make the transition to college life while developing effective leadership skills.

Through thoughtful matching with mentors, first-year students form meaningful bonds with older students who offer advice and assistance for navigating the challenges faced in the first year of college. This extra attention not only fosters a sense of community beginning when students first set foot on campus but also encourages higher retention rates and improved satisfaction with the collegiate experience.

Over more than 20 years, participants of PAM have found great satisfaction from the development of academic, leadership, and personal skills. Many mentees and mentors have left with a greater sense of their roles and responsibilities as leaders and transform that awareness into an eagerness to act for the benefit of others.

Academic Advising

While the community aspect is important for first-year students, mentors also offer informal academic advice, relying on their own personal experiences in the classroom at Richmond. Mentors encourage mentees to take a mixture of courses with the intent that a diversified curriculum will aid in the transition to the University. This assistance contributes an additional perspective to the formal advising students receive from staff and faculty advisors.

Leadership Opportunities

A primary component of the PAM experience is developing leadership skills that will serve students well past graduation. Mentors serve as positive guides for first-year students and, in turn, the program self-generates strong mentors from past mentees, establishing a four-year, integrated leadership experience. The application process to become a mentor begins the second semester of the student's first year in the program.

PAM supports leadership development for both mentors and mentees by providing funds for students to attend national leadership conferences and other leadership-related activities.

Applying to PAM

The selection of first-year mentees and upper-class mentors is a competitive process. If you are interested in participating in PAM, you are encouraged to apply as a Mentor or Mentee (first-year students).