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Meet the new Flora and Stuart Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Coaches

By skennedy on April 12, 2017 3:28 PM | Permalink
  • The Flora and Stuart Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Coaches include Kameron Joyner, Katia Uriarte, Jason Meza, Bibiana Lopez, Rebekah D'Amato, Priscilla Gutierrez, Eduardo Martiez-Flores, and David Candelas.

  • Rebekah D'Amato

  • David Candelas

  • Priscilla Gutierrez

  • Bibiana Lopez

  • Eduardo Martinez-Flores

UNLV University Libraries welcomed five new Flora and Stuart Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Coaches this year. Peer coaches selected for the highly competitive program receive four years of financial assistance to complete their college degree, as well as specialized leadership and skills training. The peer coaches serve as library ambassadors at outreach events and co-teach library information literacy sessions alongside librarians, working under the direction and mentorship of Outreach Librarian Rosan Mitola. Learn more about our five newest peer coaches:


Rebekah D’Amato
Major: Pre-Med
Learned about the program from: Mom sent the application link.
Why be a peer coach: The program is teaching me better time management skills so that I avoid procrastinating until the last minute. I’ve increased my people skills and I am working on presenting myself in a professional manner. These are skills I will need in my career.
Favorite part of being a peer coach: Therapy dogs! I’m most looking forward to the Paws for a Study Break event at the end of the semester. I’ve been surprised and thankful to be involved in our outreach events and to learn and help my friends learn about all the resources that are available through the libraries. And if I ever feel like I’m struggling, the other peer coaches are always there to offer support. I love being able to share with them and getting to know all of them. Coming to work every day is fun!


David Candelas
Major: Hospitality
Learned about the program from: Newsletter with scholarship and job opportunities for college.
Why be a peer coach: I wanted to have a job on campus that provided me with time to still be involved with my music interests. The academic and work focus will be helpful in my career, along with the event planning aspect of being a peer coach.
Favorite part of being a peer coach: I’ve been able to break out of my comfort zone and go talk to people I never would have met otherwise. By working events for the libraries and helping with courses, we get to network with other students and faculty. I have learned about programs and services that are available for us that I might not have known about otherwise.


Priscilla Gutierrez
Major: Education
Learned about the program from: My high school AP literature teacher and my high school counselor.
Why be a peer coach: When I read the description for the peer coach program, I thought, this is me, this is what I want to do. I came from a high school program that emphasized that students learn in different ways. As a future teacher, I want to know more about how students learn and how we can teach to have the most impact on students.
Favorite part of being a peer coach: Being able to think on my feet while giving a tour, being flexible, and learning to not freak out when I don’t know the answer to a question. I also like the support we get from Rosan and the other peer coaches. Everyone genuinely cares about our academic success. Rosan checks in all the time on how I’m doing in math, and the senior peer coaches have been really nice, helping me become more professional at work and pushing me to be a better student. 


Bibiana Lopez
Major: Psychology
Learned about the program from: College counselor at my high school emailed us about the program.
Why be a peer coach: I wanted a college job that would help me develop skills I could use in my career. I’m not a natural leader, but I wanted to learn those skills so that I could be comfortable handling uncomfortable situations. I want to be a clinical psychologist and to spend time teaching English abroad before going into my master’s program, so I have to be comfortable talking to people and teaching. Being a peer coach is giving me those skills and helping me to learn to think on my feet.
Favorite part of being a peer coach: I came to UNLV to be involved with as many activities and groups as I could. This job gives me the flexibility to get involved in different organizations. I also love the support we get from Rosan and the other peer coaches. That type of camaraderie wasn’t there in previous jobs I had.


Eduardo Martinez-Flores
Major: Criminal Justice
Learned about the program from: Government class teacher in high school
Why be a peer coach: I like that it’s a work program that adjusts to my class schedule. The libraries put education first, and as a college student I really appreciate that. The other coaches are also very supportive and we just meshed together very well. I appreciate that everyone is so supportive and want to see us succeed.
Favorite part of being a peer coach: Learning to interact with a lot of different strangers. I want to be a police officer and I will have to be able interact with many different people. This job is helping me develop those skills that I will be able to use later in life. It’s also cool to see how we can impact other students at UNLV by helping with English 102 classes and teaching students how to use library resources.


The Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Program was founded in 2006 and endowed by Flora and Stuart Mason. Eileen Raney and Victoria Nozero have also become sponsors of the program. For more information, visit the program website.