Alina Ivan

PASS Peer Leader

Critical thinking and problem solving

Name Alina Ivan
College College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Peer Support

Alina is the Head of the Peer Assisted Study Scheme (PASS) for a challenging first year module, Biological Psychology. Alina explains that “the PASS is a form of support for students, led by students. It’s a friendly and informal place where second and third years get together and can share their knowledge with new/first year students. Mentees get to choose the focus of the sessions, and ourselves, the leaders, facilitate discussions to get them on the track to answer the questions themselves, rather than giving them a ready-made answer.”

“It’s more of an active learning process, which helps [students] develop their study skills so that they can… work independently.”

Developing critical thinking

As a Peer Leader, Alina believes she has been able to improve her critical judgement. Within meetings, Alina ensures enough time is allocated at the same time as ensuring everyone has their say. “We make sure that the one hour we have is split effectively so nobody goes back home with an unanswered question.” Being able to answer these questions and solve these problems is a key skill enhanced through being a Peer Leader.

Becoming a confident individual

Alina’s confidence has also been improved within her role, through the impact she has been able to make with the mentors and mentees; “it’s so satisfying to see that your guidance has been good enough to improve someone’s knowledge and to make them feel more comfortable studying for the module”.

Critical thinking in the PASS

“Mentees sometimes come up with questions we'd never thought of..."

An adaptable Peer Leader

“Resilience means being able to adapt positively when the situation goes against you.”