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Pod Leaders

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Whatcom's Peer Mentor and Student Ambassador Program

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Who are Pod Leaders?

Pod Leaders are student leaders who provide support for their peers in all stages of their Whatcom journey. From calling newly admitted students to make sure they know how to register, to meeting with a peer who is struggling to make time for homework, they do it all.

What do Pod Leaders do

The Pod Leaders support orientation efforts in making students feel welcome to campus during Wave New Student Orientation. They do this through detailed campus tours, assisting with facilitated session management, and building relationships with and between students during Orientation. Pod Leaders serve as the first point of contact between new students and the greater Whatcom community; and contribute to a more accepting campus climate by modeling Whatcom Community College values. Pod Leaders also assist in the coordination of the Whatcom Wave through regular communication with the Coordinator for Student Success and Retention to ensure continuing development of this important program.

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Pod Leaders also support students who are struggling throughout the academic year by completing outreach calls to students with early alerts, tabling, visiting classes to inform students about opportunities and resources on campus, and meeting with students in the role of a peer mentor or connecting the students to other appropriate support staff on campus.

Current Pod Leaders


Eva-Marie Richardson - My name is Eva, and this is my sixth quarter at WCC! I aspire to graduate winter 2019 with a transfer degree, and gain admittance to Western Washington University with plans of enrolling into their political science, philosophy, and economics (PPE) program. When I'm not on campus I'm playing trivia with my friends and going on bike rides with my partner! I'm an advocate for students supporting students, so it would be my pleasure to help you if you're looking for someone to talk to!


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Nick Williams - My name is Nick Williams and I'm a Pod Leader here at WCC. I'm currently majoring in Cyber Security and plan to graduate with my bachelor's degree in 2021. As a Pod Leader, I'm here to offer support to students at all phases of their educational career. If you find yourself falling behind, struggling to make time for your classes, or need to reassess your educational goals, come down and see us during Open Space in the Laidlaw building in LDC-121.



Blayze Kiefer-Vanderyacht - Hi! My name is Blayze, and I started WCC in Fall of 2018. During my time here at Whatcom, I will be earning my Associates of the Arts and Sciences, and I hope graduate in spring of 2020 and transfer to WWU. Likely, I will pursue a major in fine arts, and perhaps another major (or minor) in gender studies. Outside of Whatcom’s campus, I greatly enjoy working on art, hanging out with friends, and indulging in a good Marvel movie. As a pod leader, I’m here to help you create plans for success, work through any problems that you find are getting in the way of your goals, or just to talk about what’s been going on. You can come see me, or another pod leader, in Laidlaw Center 121 during Open Space!



Chloe McCabe - I am currently working to earn my certificate in the Chemical Dependency Professional program. I will pair that with my Bachelor's in Psychology from Western to work in a counseling field. I've worked in the clothing, food, and building industry. I'm here to assist in some research, planning, and brainstorming to make the college experience awesome.



Luke Harrington - My name is Luke and I’m honored to serve as a Pod Leader! I’m simultaneously working on a Substance Use Disorder Professional associates degree and a transfer degree to Western Washington University for Human Services. In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my dog, playing video games, and nature photography! My goal is to provide my peers with a safe place to come for support, encouragement, and resources (both on and off campus) that can help you succeed. It would be my privilege to walk with you through any part of your journey at WCC!



Javier Zavala Yescas - My name is Javier, and I am currently getting my degree in Manufacturing engineering, and plan to get a masters in Civil/Environmental engineering. As a Pod leader, I am here to assist anyone who needs help developing a plan to achieve academic success and career goals; providing you with a bundle of resources! I enjoy talking about anything (especially pets, food, and music), so come hang out with us during Open Space in LDC-121 in the Laidlaw building.



Mayra Garfia - My name is Mayra, and I am a first generation student. My goal is to gain an AAS transfer degree to Western Washington University by next spring, where I plan on getting a Bachelor's degree in Human Services. Along with that, I gladly offer students a helping hand in their road to college success. I want to create a wonderful college experience for students in need.


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Maddie Federici - My name is Maddie Federici and I’m a student here at WCC! I’m currently working towards earning an AAS degree with the intention to transfer to a 4-year university to study Political Science and History. My goal as a Pod Leader is to create an inclusive and welcoming community for students to help and support each other. I’m here to serve other students in any way that I can through mentoring and by connecting them to other resources, support, programs, and opportunities across campus and within the community. Come by Open Space in Laidlaw 121 to see me or another Pod Leader to make the most of your time here at WCC!



Bekah Vandermay - Hello! My name is Bekah and I am the Pod Leader Program Support Assistant with Student Success & Retention. I am working on my transfer to Arizona State University online for my Bachelors of Science in Healthy Lifestyle Coaching. I am passionate about finding balance between emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health, as it varies person to person. Some of my favorite classes at Whatcom Community College have been in the Psychology and Anthropology department. My favorite courses overall though have been my three quarters in American Sign Language. I enjoy learning a from life around me and I want to use what I know to help others.


Become a Pod Leader

If you're interested in becoming a Pod Leader, review the questions below and find out if you are work study eligible today by contacting Laurie Comley in the Financial Aid office!

Who is eligible to be a Pod Leader?
Do Pod Leaders get paid?