Campus Life

Our Community Leaders

The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health develops student-leaders who create student-led programs that create positive impact. Our student-leaders work with student-athletes, domestic and international students, and community members to improve their resilience, improve their well-being, and motivate them to become leaders. See below to learn more about some of our SMUWorks student-leaders and how they create impact. 

 

Andreas RobinsonLaura LangilleNikolas Shymko

Entrepreneurship student,

Saint Mary's University

Master of Social Work, Wilfrid Laurier University 

Bachelor of Science Psychology, Saint Mary's

Economics honors student,

Saint Mary's University

• Peer Mentor in 'Here 4 Peers' program for the previous two years

• Led the development of the 'Here 4 Peers' student-athlete peer mentoring program

• Co-developed and actively manage 'Here 4 Peers' program
• Lead facilitator for 'Safe @ SMU' cultural safety and sexual consent workshop for all first year students

• Facilitated Student-Athlete Resiliency Workshops at Saint Mary's to help students transition into university

• Peer Supporter on-campus through the Counselling Centre and Stay Connected Mental Health Project

• Lead facilitator for 'Student-Athlete: Ready and Resilient' workshops with local high-school students and athletic teams

• LEAP Peer Mentor for first year university students at Saint Mary's University • Co-lead Mental Health 101, 202, and 303 workshops for students and faculty

 

 

 


 


Here for Peers: Fall 2016 Review

As the New Year rolls in, we begin the second semester of our student-athlete developed program, Here for Peers, which was launched in September 2016. The program would not be possible without the coordination and leadership of Nikolas Shymko, Hannah Wallace, Kanaar Bell and Erin Smith. Our program has helped first-year student-athletes integrate themselves into the Saint Mary’s University academic community, and facilitated the tightening of the Student-Athlete Village at Saint Mary’s University.

The Here for Peers program, consisting of thirty-three outstanding veteran student-athletes and over one-hundred first-year student athletes focuses on a theme each week pertaining to achieving success as a student-athlete. Each mentor is paired with three first year student athletes; with whom they meet weekly to discuss the week’s theme. Beyond the weekly themes, mentees are encouraged to and actively communicate with their mentor, whether that be for academic assistance, socializing, or simply to foster new friendships.

"The peer mentor program has provided me with the opportunity to connect with other athletes who have gone through the same experience as you in your first year as a student athlete, and that's comforting"

- Carly Baker, 1st Year Bachelor of Arts, Women's Hockey

"Being a leader and a part of the student athlete village. It's nice to have a network of other athletes to talk to."

- Erin Smith, 4th Year Bachelor of Science, Women's Volleyball

 Highlights from Fall 2016:

  • 12 Peer Mentors awarded Academic All-Canadian achievement
  • $690 raised through Here for Peers Bracelet Promotion which is donated to the Cayley Fox Memorial Award, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia and Rugby Nova Scotia
  • Pumpkin Carving Competition Winners: Ryan Bell, Robie Berhane and Katie Pike

With Jhovan Mcpherson, Lindsay Donovan, Stephen Goodyear and Alexa Tymkiw. 
With Nevin Becker, Mary Bennett, Julie Naugler and Maggie MacPhee.
Lindsay Donovan,  theme with Jhovan McphersonStephen Goodyear, and Alexa Tymkiw Mary Bennett, and mentees Nevin Becker, Julie Naugler, and Maggie MacPhee smiling for the camera!

 

Mentor Training Events: 

  • Lyne Brun, Emera Peer Support 
  • Paul McKenzie, Halifax Professional Firefights and Family Support Program
  • Bev McCann, Recruitment Consultant at Randstad Sourceright

We encourage everyone to stay up to date with the Here for Peers program by following our Facebook page, “Here for Peers”. Our Facebook page features the successes of our mentors and mentees, photos of us in action, and various events around campus where you can find our student-athletes!

 Weekly Theme Content

Week 1: Developing Distractions and Academic Success

Week 2: Developing the Mind of a Champion

Week 3: Regrouping Week

Week 4: Take Care of our Peer Mentors Week

Week 5: Managing Homesickness

Week 6: SMU Student-Athlete Village and Test Anxiety

Week 7: Challenges and Competitions: Pumpkin Carving Contest

Week 8: Leadership

Week 9: Teamwork

Week 10: Academic Excellence and Exam Preparation

Week 11: Maintenance Over the Holidays


Peer Mentor Roster


Omar Abdallah, Sport Wellness, Here for Peers
Omar Abdullah

Sport: Football
Year: 3rd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Among my biggest challenges was balancing a full course load with athletics.

What does resiliency mean to me?

The ability to endure the hardships of any situation and rising above that to reach a goal.


Beatrice Harrietha , Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Beatrice Harrietha

Sport: Women's Hockey
Year: 3rd
Program: Science, Biology

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Establishing how to balance a social life with hockey and school. It was hard to know when to do what in order to succeed at the best of my ability.

What does resiliency mean to me?

The strength and ability to overcome any hardships that you may face.


Andreas Robinson, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Andreas Robinson

Sport: Football
Year: 3rd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Adjusting to a different time-zone and managing relationships and commitments with time differences.

What does resiliency mean to me?

The ability to not only bounce back from adversity but to excel!


Erin Smith, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Erin Smith

Sport: Women's Volleyball
Year: 4th
Program: Biology & Forensic Science

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Balancing personal, academic, and athletic adversity in a new town without direct contact to my family support group.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Learning to trust in your own abilities and to ask for help when needed to help you get through rough times.


Michael Curtis. Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Michael Curtis

Sport: Men's Hockey
Year: 3rd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Trying to balance my sport, my school work and also my personal life.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Constant pull on the rope. There will always be someone or something pulling you back, but you have to keep fighting.


Hanna Stienburg, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Hanna Stienburg

Sport: Women's Volleyball
Year: 2nd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Time management between studying and team commitments.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Fighting through adversity.


Kanaar Bell, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Kanaar Bell

Sport: Football
Year: 3rd
Program: Arts, Business

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Adjusting to a new lifestyle and maintaining a strong sense of confidence through it all.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Mindset empowering people to conquer all obstacles with dedication, faith and love.


Emilia Conlon , Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Emilla Conlon

Sport: Women’s Volleyball
Year: 2nd
Program: Science

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Learning to balance school, social life and volleyball.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Being able to overcome any obstacles put in your way.


Nikolas Shymko, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Nikolas Shymko

Sport: Football
Year: 4th
Program: Finance, Economics

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Balancing athletics, academics and social commitments, while simultaneously managing my finances.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Relentless effort and determination to continue moving forward despite unfavourable outcomes or circumstances.


Josie Gascoigne, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Josie Gascoigne

Sport: Basketball
Year: 2nd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Feeling accepted by the team.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Staying completely dedicated to your team through ups & downs and giving all you have every time.


Jonathan Peverill, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Jonathan Peverill

Sport: Cross Country, Track & Field
Year: 3rd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Wondering if my choice of program or university was the right one.

What does resiliency mean to me?

To bounce back and power through challenges.


Fiorella Morales, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Fiorella Morales

Sport: Women’s Soccer
Year: 2nd
Program: Science

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Finding out the most efficient way for me to study with a much busier schedule.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Trying to stay positive when facing obstacles and doing everything you can to overcome them.


Kemar Alleyne, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Kemar Alleyne

Sport: Men's Basketball
Year: 3rd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Getting into a groove and comfortable schedule. Meaning to balance both academics and athletics as well as eat properly on a consistent basis.

What does resiliency mean to me?

It means to persevere through a situation or experience and how well you overcome it. Showing courage and strength in how you deal with it.


Katrina Murrell, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Katrina Murrell

Sport: Women's Basketball
Year: 4th
Program: Arts & Business

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Staying confident through adversity.

What does resiliency mean to me?

It means hard work, but in a good way.


Spencer Wiechert, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Spencer Wiechert

Sport: Football
Year: 3rd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Identifying my true personality and interests that impact how I socially fit in on campus.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Even if you drive overtop a couple of pot holes on the road, you are still able to keep driving to reach your goal.


Jordan Lake, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Jordan Lake

Sport: Women's Volleyball
Year: 2nd
Program: Biology

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Being away from home and learning to manage my time between school, social life, and team commitments.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Strength to overcome obstacles and providing support.


Will Fiander, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Will Fiander

Sport: Men's Basketball
Year: 2nd
Program: Science

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Adjusting to a new and much busier life. It was a big difference from high school.

What does resiliency mean to me?

The will to fight back and no matter how difficult things get just to keep fighting and never give up.


Lindsay Donovan, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Lindsay Donovan

Sport: Women's Volleyball
Year: 2nd
Program: Biology, Science

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Balancing school and volleyball.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Persevering even when things don’t go my way.


Matthew Smith, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Matthew Smith

Sport: Track & Field
Year: 4th
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Being able to have a personal life and make time for friends while competing on two teams in the Fall and Winter semester.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Resiliency means the power and will to overcome any obstacle you may encounter.


Belinda Ndaye , Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Belinda Ndaye

Sport: Women's Basketball
Year: 3rd
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Mental toughness and confidence.

What does resiliency mean to me?

When you’re in a dark place, when you fall, when there’s no hope, fight until you get out of that place.


Alfred Burgesson, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Alfred Burgesson

Sport: Men's Basketball
Year: 1st
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Being patient, staying positive at all times and allowing things to work out themselves out.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being confident even when you’re unsure.


Blessing Nwaigele , Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Blessing Nwaigele

Sport: Track & Field, Cross Country
Year: 4th
Program: Science, Biology

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Coming to a new country and being able to adapt and getting to know people.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Perseverance; being able to cope, be strong and persevering in whatever situation you find yourself in.


Tyler Sellers, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Tyler Sellers

Sport: Men's Soccer
Year: 4th
Program: Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Balancing an unhealthy long distance relationship and debating where I should gone to university.

What does resiliency mean to me?

The hardship you go through might just be life telling you to take a new path.


D'shawn Miller, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
D'Shawn Miller

Sport: Football
Year: 3rd
Program: Arts

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Being able to efficiently manage my time.

What does resiliency mean to me?

The power to overcome.


Roster Photo
Hannah Wallace

Sport: Women's Rugby
Year: 5th
Program: Bachelor of Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Never feeling comfortable to publicly explore or discuss my sexuality.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Looking at setback as an opportunity to come back stronger, better, and ready to take on the next challenge.


Roster Photo
Breanna Lanceleve

Sport: Women's Hockey
Year: 4th
Program: Bachelor of Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Effectively managing my time.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Ability to adapt to all situations and maintaining a positive mindset throughout it all.


Roster Photo
Lawson Morassutti

Sport: Football
Year: 3rd
Program: Bachelor of Arts

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Being able to organize my time, navigate a hectic schedule, and stay on top of everything.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Rising above the pressures and stresses of life in a positive manner.


Roster Photo
Jenny Lewis

Sport: Women's Basketball
Year: 5th
Program: Bachelor of Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Underestimating the commitment and time it takes to succeed in the classroom.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Wanting to and being able to bounce back from a setback.


Taylor Burke, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Taylor Burke

Sport: Men's Hockey
Year: 2nd
Program: Bachelor of Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Learning how to study properly and efficiently.

What does resiliency mean to me?

To overcome and persevere quickly when times get tough or you encounter a setback.


Laura Polak, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Laura Polak

Sport: Women's Hockey
Year: 4th
Program: Bachelor of Science

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Managing my time correctly.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Ability to stay positive and bounce back from any situation no matter how many times you may fail or face setbacks in life.


Rebecca Weagle, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Rebecca Weagle

Sport: Women's Hockey
Year: 4th
Program: Bachelor of Commerce

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Finding a healthy balance between athletics, school and my social life

What does resiliency mean to me?

Ability to push through any adversity that is thrown your way


Danielle Cable, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Danielle Cable

Sport: Women's Rugby
Year: 5th
Program: Bachelor of Arts

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Learning how to reach out and ask for assistance, and finding out how to access all available resources on campus.

What does resiliency mean to me?

Using personal and groups strengths to work through issues, and reacting without overreacting to bumps in the road.


Ryan Bell, Sports Wellness, Here for Peers
Ryan Bell

Sport: Women's Rugby
Year: 4th
Program: Bachelor of Science

My biggest challenge in first year was:

Finishing school work ahead of time so as not to leave it to last minute

What does resiliency mean to me?

When things aren't turning out and become hard, you keep a positive attitude and keep going.