Graduate Student Peer Mentorship Program

graduate and law students participating in a peer mentorship program

The Grad Center provides a structure for graduate and law students to participate in a peer mentorship and support program. Connect with fellow graduate students in a low-key, non-judgmental format. What to expect with the Peer Mentorship Program:

  • The Grad Center hosts one social event for mentors/mentees each semester to foster connection and serve as kick-off or check-in with graduate students.
  • Mentors will work with their assigned mentee group to schedule meetings based on the group's availability. The goal of the program is that the peer mentorship groups meet once per month.
  • Mentors and mentees will enrich their graduate student experience by connecting with other graduate students from across the University.

Peer Mentorship Program

The program is designed to provide support and encouragement as well as information about events and resources on campus - all while building connections among students.

•Build peer-to-peer graduate student relationships while sharing skills and experiences in order to learn from different perspectives.

•Develop a sense of trust and focus on academic achievement.

•Provide advice and guidance on networking opportunities.

•Allow mentees to learn from and collaborate with multiple mentors and peers.

•Improve communication and interpersonal skills.

•Develop leadership and organizational abilities.

•Increase confidence and motivation.

•Enhance CV with valuable volunteer experience.

•Make new friends across disciplines and build your network.

•Serve as an ambassador and promote campus resources.

•Gain a sense of fulfillment and personal growth.

•Give back to the Villanova University graduate community.

•Gain practical advice, encouragement and support.

•Improve communication and networking skills.

•Learn from the experiences of others.

•Increase social and academic confidence.

•Develop strategies for dealing with personal, academic, and professional issues.

•Identify academic and personal goals and establish a sense of direction.

•Gain valuable insights into the next stage(s) of your career.

•Make new friends across colleges and disciplines.

  • This program is offered through the Center for Graduate Research and Education (Grad Center) and is a supplement to existing departmental/college mentoring programs.
  • While participants may be paired based on similar interests, one aim of the program is to offer graduate students ways to meet and build community across disciplinary boundaries and affinity groups.
  • Participants are free to set their own meeting schedules, but we expect that you will try to meet at least once a month throughout the academic year.
  • All mentors and mentees will attend an orientation event at the beginning of the fall term in which we will discuss mentorship training, expectations, and available campus resources.
  • There will be a mentor/mentee social event to kick off the program, where matches can meet each other online or in-person.
  • Throughout the year, we will offer a variety of social events to foster connection with mentor/mentee matches (e.g. Meet your Peer meet-up, pop up hour, ice cream social, coffee chats, etc.).
  • We expect that each participant will make a good faith effort to communicate regularly with their mentor/mentee.

The form to join the Graduate Student Mentorship Program in 2023-2024 is now open! Please fill out this form to sign-up. Both mentors and mentees use the same form.

  • Graduate Student Peer Mentorship Program Information Session: On Zoom - August 29, 2023 at 4:00pm.
  • Mentor Training Session hosted by Dr. Eloise Berry, Assistant Vice President and Director of Intercultural Affairs: September 11, 2023 at 6 p.m.
  • Graduate Student Retreat (everyone involved in the Peer Mentorship Program strongly encouraged to attend!): Saturday, September 9th from 9 am - 4 pm.
  • Kick-Off Dinner: Fri., Oct. 6 at 3p.m. Register here!
  • Mid-Semester Coffee Chat: Date TBD.  

Ms. Joyce Harden, Graduate Student Peer Mentorship Program Facilitator

photo and bio text for Jared Grizzle, GSS President 2023-2024

Ms. Joyce Harden is the Coordinator, Graduate Student Experience in the Center for Graduate Research and Education (Grad Center). As part of this role, Ms. Joyce serves as the staff facilitator of the Graduate Student Peer Mentorship Program.

Ms. Joyce has extensive experience working with students and acting as a mentor, confidante, and sounding board. In addition, Ms. Joyce knows what you are going through because she is currently pursuing her master's degree in the Villanova School of Business.

Do not hesitate to reach out to Ms. Joyce with any questions about Villanova, Grad School, or the Graduate Student Peer Mentorship Program. Ms. Joyce can be reached by email at or by stopping by her office in the Grad Center.

Joyce A. Harden, Coordinator of the Graduate Student Experience

The Villanova University Center for Graduate Research and Education

St. Mary’s Hall, Suite 109
800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085


Office Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.