Lizette Munoz

An exemplary peer mentor

Lizette Munoz, Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence Mentor

When Lizette Munoz arrived at IU Bloomington in the Fall 2015 semester, she had a leg up on most of her fellow freshmen. Not only did the Whiting, Indiana, native have a family connection to the university—her older brother, Alejandro, was a 2015 graduate—she was a participant in IU’s Balfour Scholars Program, and prior to her senior year of high school, spent a week on campus as part of the Balfour Pre-College Academy, which is operated through IU’s School of Education’s P-16 program and directed by Dr. Christina Wright-Fields.

From the outset of her time at IU, Munoz took part in an array of programs through the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA)—the 21st Century Scholars Program, the Groups Scholars Program, and the Hudson & Holland Scholars Program—in addition to Hutton Honors College.

No wonder the bubbly sophomore, a secondary education in mathematics major, claims: “I cannot live without my planner.”

She’s an outstanding person, very well-organized, motivated, and coachable. Being open-minded to all possibilities that are available really helps.

Patrick Smith, Executive Director of the Office of Mentoring and Leadership Development

But perhaps Munoz’s most meaningful experience through OVPDEMA has been her involvement with the peer-mentoring program Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence (FASE). As a freshman, Munoz was a FASE protégé and participated in yet another OVPDEMA initiative, the Mentor Apprenticeship Program (MAP), further developing leadership skills that will serve her well at IU and beyond.

“I never had a designated mentor until last year, so it was different for me. I had role models, but I never had a person who would sit down with me just to check in on me. I think it helped with my success as a freshman here,” explained Munoz. “I’ve always been academically driven, so just focusing on my classes and having fun afterwards was definitely a priority for me as a freshman.”

Another reason her transition from high school in small-town Northwest Indiana to a massive college campus was relatively seamless? The programs Munoz was a part of made her feel like she truly belonged to something.