Welcome to Peer to Peer, the CAS Peer Advising Blog! Check out our posts for FAQs, advising tips, and current events!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Can you believe that we’re now over one month into the semester?!? The beginning of a new school year is a busy time, especially for new students. Now that you’ve had a month of great (or maybe not-so-great) experiences at AU, now is a good time to reflect on those experiences and prepare for the rest of the year. That’s where MAP-Works comes in!

MAP-Works is a brief (15 minutes or less) survey that gauges both your academic and social progress. It will ask you about homesickness, homework, and other issues affecting your transition to AU. The survey is designed to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and to help them find resources specifically suited to their needs. Once you complete the survey, you get immediate feedback on your results as well as links to relevant resources. AU also uses the survey to determine what kinds of programs they can plan for the upcoming semester to address students’ needs. To access MAP-Works, simply log into your myau.american.edu portal and click on the icon on the top left of the home page.

While we hope that everyone loves their AU experience so far, we also want to know what you are struggling with or have concerns about. Take 15 minutes to complete the MAP-Works survey and help us help you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Freshman Interviews

By now you should have received an email from your peer advisor asking you to set up an appointment for a freshman interview- many of you have already responded, so thank you! All CAS freshmen are required to meet with their peer advisor for a freshman interview by October 13th. We know that your schedules are getting busier and busier, but you really will benefit from taking the time to come in for a freshman interview.

The interview is an opportunity for us to meet you and for you to learn how the peer advising program can help you. We also use the interviews as a chance to check-in and ask how your classes are going and how you are adjusting to college. If you have any concerns about your workload or professors, we can help you find academic resources and talk about tips for a successful semester. If you are enjoying your classes, we want to hear about that as well! As part of the freshman interview we also show you how to access and read your DARS report, a great tool for helping you plan your upcoming semesters. We can also talk about majors and minors, and can give you contact information for faculty advisors in all the CAS departments.

To make an appointment with your peer advisor, go to: http://www.american.edu/cas/advising/undergraduate.cfm If you cannot make it to any of your advisor's office hours, just email us and we'll work something out! Remember, you must make an appointment by October 13th! Thank you to everyone who already signed up, and we look forward to seeing the rest of you soon!

Friday, September 16, 2011

You're in the Majors!

When: Tuesday, September 20
1:30-4:30 pm
Where: LA Quad (rain site Letts Formal Lounge)

What do free food, prizes, baseball and picking a major have in common? You’ll find them all at You’re in the Majors! Join CAS and the Office of Residence life for an afternoon of baseball-themed fun. Now in its fourth year, You’re in the Majors brings together information about majors, minors, and more. We know that choosing a major can seem overwhelming sometimes, but it should also be fun and exciting to explore all the possibilities AU has to offer! The event will feature representatives from every AU school (not just CAS). Do you find yourself asking, “What can I do with a degree in ___”? Career Center advisors will be there to answer your questions! This is the place to find information about the pre-med program, or the new public health program, while also presenting opportunities to talk with students from different departments. Your lovely peer advisors (that would be us!) will also be there, so stop by and say hi!

Fun Fact: In the spirit of You’re in the Majors, TDR will be serving baseball-themed food, so stop by for a hotdog and then come explore your majors!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Professors' Office Hours

Sitting across the room from a very knowledgeable and passionate person can be a rewarding, yet intimidating, experience. I remember when I came to college I was amazed by my Econ professor; his credentials, experience, passion and knowledge made me want to talk to him, but at the same time, it was a three hundred person classroom where the professor had no idea who we were. There was also the fear that, given that he is a university level professor, he would have no time (or preferred not) to talk to a fresh-out-of-high school student. Then the class started getting a little confusing, and I wanted to ask many questions, but still felt like it would be dumb of me to go ask him questions about stuff that had already been covered in class. But finally, I armed myself with courage, found his office in some remote building and went to his office hours. To my surprise, he was a very down to earth guy, but most importantly, he was happy to see a student come in with questions and enthusiasm. During that visit, not only did he clarify all my questions (even though some took a lot of patience) but we also chatted about his academic career and economics in general (even though I did not know much). From then on, I realized that attending class and doing homework and readings was not all the college academic experience had to offer; here I had the opportunity to go beyond that and enrich my learning through talking to professors and getting to know what they do in their field.

The lesson here is, do not be afraid of the person standing at the podium. These professors are here because they are passionate about their fields, but most importantly, because they love sharing that knowledge with their genuinely interested students. Whether you have questions or simply want to talk, your professors will be glad if you pay them a visit during their office hours—talking with students is the purpose of office hours, so take advantage of them!

-Triana Tello Gerez

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why Meet with a Peer Advisor?

Welcome to the CAS Peer Advising Blog! My name is Lindsay, and I'm one of four undergraduate students who make up the CAS Peer Advising program. We serve as an additional advising resource for freshmen and undecided sophomores. Drawing on our experiences as current undergraduate students at AU, we advise students on the General Education program, university requirements, choosing courses, exploring majors, and finding academic resources to help you have a successful and rewarding experience at AU.

Why meet with a peer advisor? Because we've gone through everything you are experiencing now: we've sat through the classes, met the professors, and experimented with majors and minors till we found the perfect one. If we can't answer your question, we will know exactly who on campus can! Here is a little more information about the four of us:
Kate Bodman is from South Jersey. She advises students with the last names E-K. Kate is a senior majoring in art history working part time as a teacher’s assistant and interning at an art gallery in DC. She enjoys watching the Philadelphia Phillies, and visiting the museums on the National Mall. This past summer she studied abroad in Rome, Italy.

Lindsay Inge is from Westminster, Maryland. She advises students with the last names L-P. Lindsay is a senior majoring in history with a minor in art history. Last summer Lindsay interned at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. This is her second year as a peer advisor. 

Emma Morgan is a senior from Turlock, California. She advises students with the last names A-D. She is majoring in math with a minor in music. She loves playing the viola and is a member of the AU Symphony Orchestra. Emma spent last spring abroad at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and loves talking about study abroad and the other great opportunities AU has to offer.

Triana Tello Gerez is a junior from Mexico City, Mexico. She advises students with the last names Q-Z. Triana is double majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies. She just spent last summer studying abroad in London at the London School of Economics and would love to talk about the study abroad experience.

We all love to work with students, so don't be shy! Email us (caspeeradvisors@american.edu), stop by to chat (our office is Battelle 164), or make an appointment to meet with us by following this link: http://www.american.edu/cas/advising/undergraduate.cfm.We look forward to seeing you all soon!