Kaleigh Love, left, and Sofia Delgado, two undergraduate students at The University of Texas at El Paso, were elected to the Peer-Led Team Learning International Society (PLTLIS) board of directors during the society’s virtual annual conference, which was hosted by the University. | Photo courtesy UTEP

UTEP duo elected to Peer-Led Team Learning International Society Board of Directors

Two undergraduate students at The University of Texas at El Paso were elected to the Peer-Led Team Learning International Society (PLTLIS) board of directors during the society’s virtual annual conference, hosted by the University.

Professional educators and undergraduate peer leaders representing 24 institutions across 11 states in the United States and four countries came together at the conference to learn about the latest advances in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Sofia Delgado and Kaleigh Love were elected to the PLTLIS board of directors by their attending undergraduate peers. They will serve on the board for the next two years.

PLTLIS fosters student learning through peer-led teams by supporting practitioners and institutions to develop opportunities to transform formal education through collaboration, research and dissemination. PLTLIS practitioners, faculty, learning specialists and peer leaders represent a wide range of academic disciplines.

“UTEP peer leaders have been instrumental not only in securing STEM sufficiency but enabling STEM proficiency among 79968 (the University’s ZIP code),” said Mahesh Narayan, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and biochemistry. “Their efforts have borne fruit via retention of undergraduates in traditional gatekeeper courses. They have become community leaders, organizers, team-builders and the keepers of safe learning spaces for our students. Within online education, they have embraced technology and driven innovation.”

Delgado is a biochemistry major who describes herself as a naturally curious person. The aspiring neurologist helps welcome new Miners to campus and prepares them for success as an entering student experience peer leader and as a first semester general chemistry peer leader. In the future, she hopes to contribute to research for treatment of diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

“I hope that my experience as a PLTLIS board member will help me connect to other PLTLIS programs and help peer leaders find that sense of belonging outside of their campus to help them embrace being a part of the real world,” Delgado said.

Love taught high school English before attending UTEP to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology with plans to attend medical school. While teaching, she observed a need for medical education and health professionals serving lower socioeconomic neighborhoods.

The UTEP biology major hopes to be part of the solution to this problem and help fill the gaps of communities in need. She looks forward to helping the PLTLIS promote its mission to positively impact more students and institutions around the world through peer-lead team learning.

“The PLTLIS is an empowering program for students and Peer Leaders,” Love said.

“The students are given another resource to bolster their learning and peer leaders are taught several beneficial skills. These skills range from improved interpersonal communication to enriching their leadership abilities to better time management and organization. Being part of this society as a peer leader is incredibly gratifying; becoming a PLTLIS board member and representing the hundreds of peer leaders’ concerns and voices is a true honor. I want to serve on the PLTLIS board to help enrich a program that empowers students.”

Author: Christina Rodriguez – UTEP Communications

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