Jane Kayarian

Meet an ACE Mentor
Jane Kayarian, ACE Peer Mentor

Name: Jane Kayarian
Hometown: Greenland, NH
Major: Social Work and Women’s Studies
Graduation Year: 2020

Why be an ACE Mentor? What attracted you towards the position?
There are so many wonderful ways to engage with the UNH community. Despite my various campaigns, student orgs, internships, and courses I felt slightly detached from my college. I desired a closeness to the College of Health and Human Services that I was not getting through prior activities. When the opportunity to mentor incoming freshman came about, I jumped at the opportunity. Not because I thought of my experiences at UNH to be particularly unique, but because I wanted to share my passion for CHHS with the undeclared population. Just being a freshman myself two years back, I knew the feeling of being in a new environment with so many overwhelmingly amazing opportunities. I knew that if I were to be given this position that I would use it to instill confidence in new learners, empower forms of deeper career exploration, and use my knowledge and passion for CHHS in a positive way.

Looking back on your time at UNH so far, what are you most proud of and why?
To pick one moment or event that brought me the most pride is a difficult task. It is almost impossible, considering UNH gives a multitude of opportunities for success to all students. I was most proud of the first time I got out of my car on move in day. This seems silly, in part because it is not on my resume, it holds no scholarly weight, and it does not translate, in any way, to my accomplishments here at UNH. But, I mention it because I got out of my car on a hot August day, leaving everything that I knew, and I had the courage to embark on a journey through the unknow. I believe that this was the essence of freshman year, and looking back, I am proud of not only myself for making this transition but to the thousands of people that got out of their cars on freshman move in day before me.

Let's talk favorites: do you have a favorite course and/or professor? Why is the course or faculty person so great?
Freshman year I took a course, with a recently hired feminist theory law professor named Dr. Lyn Tjon Soei Len. The class was called “gender, power, privilege” and I wholeheartedly believe that it shifted the trajectory of my life and career path. This professor fostered my learning, encouraged my questions, pushed me to look beyond myself through a different lens, and made me into the writer I am today. This course built the framework I have for my social justice theories, understanding of identify, and appreciation for my recognized privilege. It is disappointing that my ability to experience higher education was the primary source for the illumination of all the ‘isms and their function in greater society.

What motivates you?
I am propelled by the resiliency of the remarkable people that get out of bed everyday despite insurmountable tasks and adversities. I truly am standing on the shoulders of giant. I work each and every day knowing that there is so much history to be made, like Michelle Obama would say. I am motivated knowing that there are systemic issues that must be analyzed, dissected, and understood in order to promote peace and diversity.

How is your experience at UNH preparing you to achieve your goals?
A person could fill their entire day from 8am until 9pm with enriching activities at UNH. My classes and professors make me a stronger listener, a better note taker, reader, and writer. My internship equips me with better collaborative skills, work ethic, professionalism, and stronger career plans. My student orgs make me a better organizer, planner, creative thinker, and teammate. All of these building block skills lead to a more productive career which is essential for the work that I will be doing in the future. There are so many people that help me reach my goals and think of new ones. My freshman and sophomore year I went to D.C. to lobby for international family planning and reproductive health. This experience on Capitol Hill not only taught me how to lobby, but also unlocked parts of my future plans for making change on a larger scale that did not yet knew existed. Experiences at UNH may overall lead me to reaching my goals but these experiences have proven to actually multiply my goals.

What are you planning to do after graduation?
I plan on getting my JDSW after UNH. I am unsure where, but I know that there is a future for me in this career path or one similar to it.

What do you love about UNH?
I love UNH because it brought me to some of the most talented professors, researchers, friends, and colleagues. It has every resource a student could ever want all in one place. And the College of Health and Human Services is always looking out for me no matter where I am. It is a place that grows with you, is constantly innovating, and is truly a community I can call home.