Peer Advisors Help Students Find Meaningful Service Opportunities

Whether a student knows just the type of volunteer opportunity they are interested in or they have no idea where to start, our student peer advisors Sam Battenberg and Emily Merkel are here to help.

They meet one on one with students to help them discover how to get involved in the community and will spend on average 20 to 30 minutes during an appointment discussing potential places to volunteer.

Peer Advisor Sam
Sam Battenberg

“What I love about peer advising is the opportunity to connect students with a vast array of career paths and interests,” says Battenberg. “I learn a lot about the student body through advising appointments, and there really is a volunteering opportunity for everyone.”

Battenberg’s path to public service has been cultivated by positive civic engagement experiences on and off campus — inspiring her to be a peer advisor at the Morgridge Center.

During her freshman year at UW–Madison, she joined Badger Volunteers. In spring 2020, she attended the IMPACT conference where it helped refine her understanding of what it meant to be civically engaged.

After a year of virtual peer advising due to COVID-19, Battenberg and Merkel look to reconnect with students as they’ll be transitioning back to in-person appointments and hosting drop-in hours.

“To me, peer advising means connecting students and the community,” says Merkel. “Volunteering in Madison helps students better understand the community in which they live, work and play.”

Like Battenberg, Merkel joined Badger Volunteers her first semester of college and has volunteered every semester since. As her interest and passion for public health have developed throughout college, Merkel hopes to give back to students trying to find their own passion.

Peer Advisor Emily
Emily Merkel

Students that meet with them can expect a list of several volunteer opportunities that match their interest and goals based on the survey that they fill out.

Most importantly, Battenberg and Merkel will serve as resources to help students discover what respectful and meaningful civic engagement look like to their peers and the community around them.

Schedule an appointment today.