OMSA Mentors

The Division of General Studies partners with the Office of Minority Student Affairs (OMSA) to host on-site mentors for select undeclared students.

OMSA mentorship is intended for freshmen who are admitted through the Educational Opportunities Program or President's Award Program or selected based on departmental criteria or advisor recommendations. Students assigned a mentor will be notified by email early in the semester and are strongly encouraged to schedule and connect with their mentor as early and often as possible. While DGS academic advisors continue to be a primary resource for all matters related to academic course planning, academic progress, and major exploration, the focus of the mentor-mentee relationship is positive encouragement, campus engagement, personal growth, and transitional success to the university environment.

Students may meet with their mentor one-on-one at the DGS advising center and other campus locations, in group sessions with other students of similar backgrounds, and through campus events throughout the year.



“My OMSA Mentor was my main source of advice and encouragement throughout my entire Freshman year and his advice then and now continues to push me to always excel towards my aspirations.”

Zaid Hameed, Class of 2017

“Having an OMSA Mentor helped me find my niche on this campus. The relaxed environment and having someone to talk to about school and other topics is always nice. This program is definitely an experience that I would recommend to every freshman!”

London Thomas, Class of 2017


Meet our Mentors
Maurice Haney
Maurice Haney


  • Master of Science in College Student Personnel: Arkansas State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Life Science: Logan University
  • Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Science (Communication Major, Chemistry Minor): University of Illinois

Best Part of My Job:

  • Using an inclusive, equity-centered, and holistic lens to advocate for and help students overcome challenges/barriers, navigate the University Campus along with its resources, and take advantage of the many opportunities available to enhance their overall ILLINOIS experience and development.


  • Spending time with family, nature, life-long learning, service in underrepresented communities, music, cooking, and sports.
Jennifer Mendez
Jennifer Mendez


  • Master of Arts in Higher Education Student Access and Success: University of Michigan 
  • Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Best Part of My Job:

  • Mentoring students to realize their full potential through the breadth of opportunity available to them at the University of Illinois.