First Year Experience

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2017-2018 PEER MENTORS


Carly Ball

Carly Ball 

Major: Psychology 

Hobbies & Activities: Laughing, playing cards with my family, spending time outside/admiring nature, writing/journaling and hanging out with friends!

Fun Fact: I love heights! I went skydiving for my 18th birthday and am going again this summer!

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? Last year at the Art Under the Elms event, I, along with the rest of the Psychology Club, walked around campus and handed out balloons and gave out free hugs! It was such a good experience and a neat opportunity to connect with students, parents, and kids!

What inspires you? Seeing people grow, change and truly find themselves.

What do you love about LCSC? The personal relationships I have with my peers and teachers as well as the incredibly beautiful campus!


Major: Business Administration

Hobbies & Activities: Camping, boating and being outdoors, volunteering for the 4-H program, and I'm also starting to get into photography.

Fun Fact: We had 4 chicks abandoned on our front door, we raised them and we are now urban chicken farmers.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? Completing my first year of college.  I was so worried about juggling my family life and work along with being a full-time student.  Once I had those first 2 semesters under my belt, I knew that there was no stopping me on my way to graduation. 

What inspires you? My husband and daughter.

What do you love about LCSC? That the professors know me and remember me from previous classes.  I feel comfortable to simply chat with them about how my semester is going or classes I am interested in taking in the future.  My advisor has been so easy to contact and speak with. I truly believe that she and my other professors want me to succeed, not only in school but in the workforce as well.

Holli Balmer

AJ Baron

AJ Baron

Major: Political Science 

Hobbies & Activities: As a man who wears too many hats, I compete for the LCSC speech and Debate team, write a column for The Pathfinder, host of a talk radio show on KLCZ, hold a seat on the ASLCSC Council, serve as VP of NSLS and I also somehow find time to be a member of the Political Science and Spanish clubs here on campus as well. Plus I love trail running and ice fishing.

Fun Fact: I've played hockey and soccer, trained in tae kwon do and krav maga, fenced with both a foil and an epee plus I once won a state-wide poetry contest. 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite memories from my time at  LCSC would be getting to travel for academic conferences and speech & debate tournaments.

What inspires you? The desire to know about the world and understand others. 

What do you love about LCSC? LCSC is making education accessible and affordable for all while still offering all the same clubs and activities for students. If I went to another college, I never would have been able to do as many things as I've done while in my undergrad still. 


Major: Kinesiology 

Hobbies & Activities: Listening to music, hanging out with friends, and working out.

Fun Fact: I'm really good at sound effects.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite memory probably winning the Lip Sync Battle my sophomore year during Homecoming.

What inspires you? Something that inspires me is the fact that everyone is different. I really want to learn someone's story.

What do you love about LCSC? Everyone is so nice and people actually get to know you. As well as the teachers. It's a great community.

Ariel Bencomo

Andrea Bodden

Andrea Bodden 

Major: Social Work

Hobbies & Activities: Baking, trying pinterest ideas, hanging out with friends, and meeting new people!

Fun Fact: I love narwhals. 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My best educational experience was transferring to LCSC!

What inspires you? I'm inspired by individuals who find their strength and courage in what others say are their "weaknesses". 

What do you love about LCSC? I love LCSC for so many reasons but my favorite reason is that you have the opportunities to connect and build relationships to faculty and professors, and they REALLY care. 


Major: Nursing

Hobbies & Activities: Hiking, reading, art, swimming

Fun Fact: I have never been stung by a bee!

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite memory has to be all the relationships I've made with new people this year!

What inspires you? What really inspires me is my love for kids and working with them!

What do you love about LCSC? What I love about LCSC is the feeling and sense of a community that the school provides for its students.

Star Bower

Michelle Conn

Michelle Conn 

Major: Elementary Education

Hobbies and Activities: Reading, painting rocks for LC Valley Rocks

Fun Fact: I have an incredibly diverse taste in music; along with the many American genres I listen to, I even enjoy foreign genres like Latin pop and Kpop.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? I loved spending time in a second grade classroom as part of my first practicum assignment at LCSC.

What inspires you? My wonderful parents and all the amazing teachers I have had throughout my life.

What do you love about LCSC? I love the small size, the beautiful campus, and the fact that your professors actually get to know you personally.


Major: Business Administration 

Hobbies & Activities: Watching college football, reading, eating, sleeping.

Fun Fact: I have been to Disneyland 42 times!

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? Getting to represent LCSC at events in New York, L.A. and D.C. through the American Enterprise Institute. 

What inspires you? Music.

What do you love about LCSC? I love how down to earth and involved all the professors are.

Stuart Gillin

Meredith Hibbard

Meredith Hibbard

Major: Psychology

Hobbies & Activities: I enjoy hiking, and going on random outdoor adventures. I also like golfing and playing recreational sports with friends!

Fun fact: I'm Hawaiian (Pacific Islander) 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? Living in Clark Hall over the year and gaining so many friendships through the experience. 

What inspires you? The goals for my future are what inspire me the most. I want to become an analyst for any justice system. Understanding the difficulties to come, I am constantly striving to prepare myself. 

What do you love most about LCSC? I love how caring and helpful the staff and professors are. Between the students and staff, it's such a great community to be a part of.


Major: Elementary Education 

Hobbies & Activities: I love listening to music, reading, hanging out with friends. Nothing too interesting.

Fun Fact: I made my mom fulfill her promise of 12 years to take me to an orphanage she visited in Roatan, Honduras because I spent my own money to send stuff with her when I was 8 years old, so I was promised I would actually get to go next time. We went in January right before spring semester started and not only got to take stuff to the orphanage, I got to take school supplies to children in a village in need as well.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? While this didn’t take place at LC, it was because of LC… I went back home to do an education practicum in a 1st grade classroom with the teacher and class I had helped the year before an hour a day, everyday. I walked into that classroom and had a small child run and practically jump into my arms saying how much they missed me helping teach the class. I got to teach almost everything in that class for a week and it was one of the best things I have ever done in a practicum, because I already had a bond with those students.

What inspires you? My younger brother. I don’t know what I would do without him, even if there is a 7 year age difference.

What do you love about LCSC? I love the small class and campus size at LCSC. It just feels like a family wherever you go on campus with people knowing who you are and actually caring about you as a person. I feel important in all of my classes and professors from over a year ago still stop and talk to me when they see me.

Shannon Hicks

Jeada Lay

JeaDa Lay 

Major: Business and Communications

Fun Fact: I once won a watermelon eating contest at an elderly home and won $50. I then proceeded to vomit on several of the elderly people’s feet.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student?  My favorite educational experience can truly not be condensed to only one experience. I get to have a fun new experience every day. I would have to say that having Rhett Diessner as a teacher has been one of the best experiences as a student. Not only has Diessner taught me about the human psyche and different elements of psychology, but each day that I leave the classroom I feel I have received greater depth to my perspective on life.

What inspires you? I am inspired by watching people do what they love. I am inspired by seeing qualities such as hard work, determination, perseverance, resilience, and optimism throughout rough situations.

What do you love about LCSC?  I love that even though campus is small I get to meet a new person every day. Coming from a small town it has been amazing to not know everyone I walk by. In addition, I have met some of my favorite people in the world at LC and that is truly the best thing about LCSC.


Major: English, Publishing Arts Emphasis

Hobbies & Activities: Reading, Volleyball, Painting, and Netflix.

Fun Fact: I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student?  My favorite memory as a college student was the capture the flag in the dark game Welcome Weekend that we played with glowsticks. That game is how I met 70% of the people I know here, and it was a ton of fun.

What inspires you? I am inspired by the emotions of those around me. If I can make someone's day, then that's going to make my day in turn.

What do you love about LCSC? I love that LC gives me the opportunity to have the full college experience without the staggering culture shock that comes with large schools and huge campuses. LC is like a family, and I love that.

Anna Martens

Kayla Monroe (1)

Kayla Monroe

Major: Elementary Education 

Hobbies & Activities: Golf, drawing/painting, and helping others.

Fun Fact: I’m on the LCSC Women’s Golf Team.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? I was accepted into the education program last year! It just validated that I am going into the right major.

What inspires you? My friends, family, and role models.

What do you love about LCSC? I absolutely love the small campus and also how close you get with your professors. Students and faculty are so supportive here and encourage you to do your best every day.


Major: Elementary Education 

Hobbies & Activities: Downhill skiing, cross country skiing, water skiing, mountain biking, hiking, paddle boarding, wake surfing, and running.

Fun Fact: I love to make jewelry. 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student?  Working at "Systems Day," where I got to spend time with 3rd graders doing Physical science. The question of the day was "What has force?" My favorite 3rd grade answer? "Star Wars!" Safe to say, I'm looking forward to continuing the teaching program.

Insider Tip(s): ALWAYS have your Student ID card with you. I repeat, ALWAYS.

What inspires you? David Walker. His welcoming spirit, generosity, and happy demeanor brighten my day, everyday. If you see a man pulling around a mail cart, give him a wave, and I guarantee you'll get one in return. 

What do you love about LCSC? I love the friendships I've made, the bonds I've built to some of the professors, the opportunity I've had to be a part of the amazing Cross country program, and the size of the campus in general. Bottom line: I love LC!

Kea Paton

Cisco Perez


Major: Welding and welding technology – 3rd semester student

Hobbies and Activities: I love to fish and hike, I love to play drums and soccer, and I’m lucky enough to have my major be my favorite hobby ever

Fun fact: I was born in Colombia, South America, and moved to the U.S in 2009. After living in Colombia for 12 years, when I first came to the U.S, I did not speak a drop of English! I knew a handful of words and phrases but not enough to hold any kind of conversation

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? The technical programs at LCSC offer the opportunity for prospective students to come and shadow current students. Over the course of last year I got the chance to be shadowed by 4 different high schoolers from all around the region. The reason this is a one of my favorite memories is because I remember feeling accomplished and proud of my trade when I could see that I had sparked a flame of inspiration in some of the high school students and given them the extra push to go over their comfort zone. I’m going to be very disappointed if I don’t see those students next fall!

What inspires you? My inspiration is inspiring other people. I get my kicks from helping people better themselves. We live in a word where most people think it’s a competition and therefore will try to tear each other down. What inspires me the most is building other people up. In other words, my inspiration is love for one another.

What do you love about LCSC? The closeness of the community because I believe in such a setting, on growth and development will occur. Being in a small, beautiful campus helps promotes my focus and attention by putting academics first and all other distractions second.


Major: Communication 

Hobbies & Activities:I love to be outdoors--hiking especially. I also love college football and am a huge fan of the Tennessee Volunteers, since they are from my hometown. I also enjoy traveling. 

Fun Fact: I was in a music video for the Judah & the Lion song "Reputation" as an extra, because it was filmed in my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite memory as a college student was probably my first day of class at LCSC. I transferred from the University of Tennessee and felt isolated while I was there, despite only being 20 minutes from my family. On my first day at LCSC, I remember walking around and seeing some of my friends and meeting my professors and I just knew I made the right choice to come here! 

What inspires you? My main inspiration comes through my faith in Jesus Christ. I am also inspired and encouraged by my friends, who are so important and dear to me. For their sake and my own, I am always striving to be a better person and make me want to improve every day.   

What do you love about LCSC? My favorite things about LCSC is how small it is. The class size and campus size make it really easy to get connected. In addition, I love the faculty. Since I was admitted, they have always gone out of their way to help me figure our my schedule and plan for graduation. 


Shelby Pryor

Cody Richmond


Major: Business Administration 

Hobbies & Activities: I absolutely love the outdoors especially during winter. Snowmobiling is hands down my favorite thing to do. I also like to ski, mountain bike, and hike really tall mountains. 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? The variety of ways that I've been able to get involved and the variety of memories that I have made through those groups and the great friendships that have come out of it. LC is a special place and I can't imagine college without how involved I've been.  

What inspires you? Great faculty and constantly outgoing people! 

What do you love about LCSC? The small campus has allowed me to get involved in so many ways that would never be possible elsewhere. I also love how close you get with faculty and peers and how easy it is to interact in the small classes I feel like I actually belong here and have had an absolute blast with my time here! 


Major: Kinesiology & Education

Hobbies & Activities: I enjoy being outdoors, playing soccer, traveling the world, and being with my friends.

Fun Fact: I think I can sing, but I really can't.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite memory as a college student was playing soccer my sophomore year. I gained so many new friends, experiences, and got to play the sport I love the most.

What inspires you?  The thing that inspires me the most is traveling. I know that there is always somewhere new that I can go, I just have to work a little to get there.

What do you love about LCSC? The thing I love about LCSC is the staff. The staff here at LCSC really care about you and they work hard to help you succeed. 

Aislynn Robertson

Arie Sands

Arie Sands 

Major: Nursing 

Hobbies and Activities: Hiking, hunting, golfing, snowboarding, and dogs. (Dogs are a hobby right?) 

Fun Fact: I have a really... let say... interesting laugh? 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite memory as a college student was orientation week. Moving in to college, meeting new people and learning a whole new life style was a huge change but such a rush. It felt like I was attending summer camp for a very long period of time. 

What inspires you? I am inspired by all of the nurses and the care givers I get to work with on the daily. I have been a CNA for about 3 years now and never have I been more sure about taking this path in my life.  

What do you love about LCSC? I love how small the campus is. I don't get lost anywhere, is easy to maneuver, and it's got a very friendly community vibe. 


Major: Elementary Education 

Hobbies & Activities: Playing guitar, singing, writing music, college ministry, and RCC worship and kid city. 

Fun Fact: I was born in Bristol, Connecticut. 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? Rhett Diessner's Developmental Psychology Class. 

What inspires you? My faith and relationship with God. 

What do you love about LCSC? I love how everyone is accepted. 

Cameron St James

Keriana Stroupe

Keriana Stroupe

Major: Psychology

Minor: Addiction Studies

Hobbies & Activities:  The main activities i enjoy are paddle boarding, road biking, reading, snorkeling, and going on road trips/travel of any kind.

Fun Fact: While some may think monkeys and/or gorillas are adorable creatures, I, for one, think they are terrifying and refuse to watch any film where these creatures may be the sole focus of the story line. For example any of the Planet of the Apes movies, King Kong, Kong, etc. 

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite educational experience was driving up to Spokane with a classmate to watch a film, at a theater called the Magic Lantern, just so we could get extra credit in our film class. 

What inspires you?  Currently, what inspires me is knowing I am almost done with my Bachelors. Having only two semesters left inspires me to finish my senior year strong and prepare myself for graduate school. 

What do you love about LCSC? I love we have an opportunity to get to know our professors here at LCSC and I also love how LCSC is always trying to improve things on campus. 


Major: Business Administration 

Hobbies & Activities: Playing/watching sports, reading/collecting comics, music, exercising, board games, Sudoku, being outside, and breakfast food. 

Fun Fact: I drove from Eugene Oregon to New York City in 4 days. 

What inspires you? Being around other passionate people. 

What do you love about LCSC? I have made friends here that I will have for the rest of my life. 

Zach Swan

Sierra Thiede

Sierra Thiede 

Major: Elementary Education

Hobbies & Activities: Traveling, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Fun Fact: I grew up on ranch in northern Nevada

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? Going on a rafting trip to Riggins with the LC Rec Department

What inspires you? My loving family 

What do you love about LCSC? The beautiful, green campus


Major: Accounting

Hobbies & Activities: Running, piano, reading, and volunteering.

Fun Facts:
I started playing piano at 5 and continue to take lessons at LC.
In high school, I was a national competitor in BPA for Accounting and Web Design.
I'm on the LC track team as a sprinter.

What is your favorite memory or educational experience as a college student? My favorite memory as a college student so far is either Intramural competitions or recording a music video (still in progress), and my favorite educational experience so far is learning a Beethoven piece in one semester and performing it in the Silverthorne Theatre alongside a story competition.

What inspires you? People, music, and witty, well-constructed phrases.

What do you love about LCSC? I love the intimacy of LCSC.  I enjoy getting to know professors and other students really well in the small environment.

Sam Weeks