A group of WISCIENCE peer leaders and other students pose together outside.

WISCIENCE Peer Leader Program

The WISCIENCE Peer Leader program trains undergraduate students to support their peers in WISCIENCE programs and courses. WISCIENCE Peer Leaders (WPLs) will receive training in leadership skills and engage in leadership opportunities and reflection. WPLs are well poised to complete the UW–Madison Leadership Certificate.

Peer Leader applications are currently closed.

Interested in applying in the future? Sign up to get email notifications about the Peer Leader program.

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Through the WISCIENCE Peer Leader program (WPL), WISCIENCE seeks to train a community of undergraduate leaders from all STEM disciplines.

Goals for the undergraduate students participating in WPL:

  1. Develop and practice leadership skills
  2. Engage in activities that fulfill the requirements of the UW–Madison Leadership Certificate
  3. Develop STEM identity through leadership training, leadership experiences, and professional development workshops
  4. Support fellow undergraduate students to be successful in STEM by providing peer leadership in WISCIENCE programs and courses

Questions? Contact WISCIENCE (connect@wiscience.wisc.edu).

 

WPL undergraduate students complete three components:

  1. Learn: Complete Integrated Science 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership before or during their Peer Leader placement.
  2. Lead: Serve in a Peer Leader position in a STEM course or program.
  3. Develop: Participate in professional development workshops while serving in their Peer Leader placement.

 

WISCIENCE Peer Leader Positions:

There are several ways to get involved as a Peer Leader depending on your interests and schedule. Note: not all programs are available each semester (see position information below for details).

 

Peer Leader applications are open twice a year in fall and spring.

Reminders

  1. Before you apply, review the WISCIENCE Peer Leader positions and identify which one(s) you are interested in and qualified for. Note that the application period differs by position and may be in the fall semester, spring semester, or both. 
  2. All students must complete Integrated Science 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership before or during their service as a Peer Leader. 
    • INTEGSCI 230 is offered in person in both fall and spring semesters. Lecture is on Tuesdays from 11:00–12:15 p.m. and discussion is on Thursdays from 11:00–11:50 p.m.

How to Apply

When the application window is open, please assemble the following materials to submit through the online application form.

  1. A statement of interest for each position you are applying for. If applying for multiple positions, please submit a separate, unique statement for each. Statements should be 250–500 words and address the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in serving in this specific WISCIENCE Peer Leader (WPL) position?
    • What do you hope to learn in this WPL position?
    • What skills and experiences would you bring to this WPL position?
  2. If applying for multiple positions, please rank your preferences.

 

Questions about the application process? Contact connect@wiscience.wisc.edu.

Questions about a Peer Leader position? Contact the course/program director listed for that position (see below).

 

“If you are even considering it a little bit, do it! I have loved my time being a peer leader and have met some really amazing people along the way. I have learned how to be a better public speaker, how to be better at having difficult conversations, how to work with all different types of people, and how amazing collaboration can be!”

–Cole Witt, 2024 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership and Mentoring Peer Leader


“Being a peer leader is the most rewarding opportunity I have had on campus so far. It is a unique position to use your college experience, including all of your successes and mistakes, to help younger students while simultaneously becoming a more knowledgeable and confident leader yourself.”

–Fiona Flint, 2024 Exploring Biology Peer Leader


“I have learned skills in working with the other peer leaders, how to network with campus faculty, how to facilitate discussions and events, and overall how to provide a comfortable environment for undergraduate students to connect and create a community.”

–Natalie Andorfer, 2024 STEM Immersion Peer Leader


“My peer leaders helped me overcome so much during my first semester. Their peer leader chats, one-on-one meetings, and genuine advice truly had an impact on me. I hope that now as a new peer leader myself, I will be able to have that same connection with future students and help them through the difficult times that college can bring.”

–Aileen Perez-Aguilar, 2024 Exploring Biology Peer Leader


“Becoming a peer leader is a great opportunity to push yourself into new territory and to grow as a person.”

–Hayden Pattridge, 2024 Exploring Biology Peer Leader


“Being a peer leader, I have learned many valuable concepts that I can apply in my everyday life. Overall, being a peer leader has helped me learn a lot about myself and I am so thankful for this unique opportunity!”

–Nevaeh Balogh, 2024 Exploring Biology Peer Leader


“[This is a] one-of-a-kind opportunity that is so rewarding. I have grown in so many ways as a leader and developed much more confidence.”

–Nora Thompson, 2024 Exploring Biology Peer Leader


“Next fall, I am looking forward to easing the transition for incoming freshman to this campus, just as the peer leaders from this semester did for me.”

–Marcie Wait, 2024 Exploring Biology Peer Leader

Meet Our Peer Leaders

Learn more about the undergraduate students supporting their peers in WISCENCE courses and programs.

 

WISCIENCE Peer Leader Positions

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INTEGSCI 100: Exploring Biology Peer Leader

Course director:  Dr. Cara Theisen (chtheisen@wisc.edu)

Description

Exploring Biology Peer Leaders support student success in Exploring Biology, a 2-credit course for first-year students interested in the biosciences. Peer Leaders support in-class activities, collaborate with instructors, give presentations about campus involvement, and provide guidance to students on opportunities and strategies to make the most of their Wisconsin experience. Students in Exploring Biology learn about the biosciences at the college level and the diversity of majors and beyond-the-classroom learning opportunities at UW–Madison.

Timeline

For Placement in… Complete These Steps
Fall 2025
  • Fall 2024: Apply
  • Spring 2025: Attend monthly meetings and take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed)
  • Fall 2025: Serve as Peer Leader

Requirements

  • Must be available to attend weekly Exploring Biology class sessions on Mondays OR Wednesdays from 2:25–4:20 p.m.
  • Must be available Friday afternoons during the fall semester; time TBD
  • Majoring in the biosciences or a related field

Responsibilities

  • Complete INTEGSCI 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership before or during Peer Leader placement
  • In spring semester, attend monthly Exploring Biology Peer Leader meetings (all other responsibilities below are for fall semester)
  • Attend assigned Exploring Biology class session each week (Mon OR Wed 2:25–4:20 p.m.) and weekly meetings with the Course Director and PL team (Friday afternoons)
  • Help connect students to co-curricular experiences and campus resources
  • In class, help facilitate student activities, develop and lead presentations about campus involvement and academic development, and work to develop personal relationships with students
  • Outside of class, hold office hours, organize trips to campus events, and correspond with students
  • Be proactive in supporting students and helping the instructional team offer a meaningful learning experience

Internship

Peer Leaders enroll in 2 credits in fall semester.

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INTEGSCI 140: Exploring Service in STEM Peer Leader

Course director: Dr. Anna Bishop Courtier (anna.courtier@wisc.edu)

Description

These Peer Leaders support students in Exploring Service in STEM, a 1-credit seminar for first-year students interested in STEM. Peer Leaders facilitate student participation and active learning, and support and collaborate with instructors. Students in this course get a taste of public service in STEM and get firsthand experience with successful outreach by getting involved.

Timeline

For Placement in… Complete These Steps
Fall 2024
  • Spring 2024: Apply
  • Fall 2024: Take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed) and serve as Peer Leader

Requirements

Previous experience in a first-year seminar, experience working in the community, or participation in INTEGSCI 140 Exploring Service in STEM or INTEGSCI 240 Service with Youth in STEM.

Responsibilities

  • Complete INTEGSCI 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership before or during Peer Leader placement
  • Attend all required classroom sessions
  • Collaborate with the course instructor to provide instructional leadership for the course
  • Meet weekly with the assigned course instructor to assist in planning the curriculum and instructional activities
  • Help connect students to co-curricular experiences and campus resources
  • In class, help facilitate student activities and discussion, and work to develop personal relationships with students
  • Hold office hours and correspond with students outside of class
  • Be proactive in supporting students and helping the instructional team offer a meaningful learning experience

Optional Internship

Peer Leaders may enroll in INTEGSCI 320 (Internship; 1 credit) in fall semester.

(back to opportunities)

 

INTEGSCI 230: Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership and Mentoring Peer Leader

Fall 2024 course instructor: Dr. Amber Smith (amber.smith@wisc.edu)

Description

Peer Leaders in Integrated Science 230 help facilitate student participation and active learning, and support and collaborate with the instructor for Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership and Mentoring, a 2-credit lecture/discussion course for STEM student leaders. Peer Leaders are able to draw on their own previous Peer Leadership experience to help new Peer Leaders consider how course content relates to real experiences supporting diverse students in STEM. Peer Leaders can expect to gain a deeper understanding of the significance of peer mentoring for student success, as well as develop their own skills related to leadership, collaboration, and communication.

Timeline

For Placement in… Complete These Steps
Fall 2024
  • Spring 2024: Apply
  • Fall 2024: Serve as Peer Leader

Requirements

  • Students must have completed INTEGSCI 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership with a grade of B or higher before applying for this position
  • Must be available to attend lecture and/or discussion (Lecture: Tuesdays 11:00–12:15 p.m.; Discussion: Thursdays 11:00–11:50 p.m.). Please note availability in the application.
  • Preferred qualification: has held a WISCIENCE peer leadership position or other leadership position at UW–Madison for one or more semesters

Responsibilities

  • Attend class sessions and weekly meetings with the instructor and PLs
  • Develop and lead presentations and activities in class, emphasizing campus involvement, academic development, and application of leadership and mentoring principles to Peer Leader roles
  • Share your own experiences as a Peer Leader with students
  • Help to create a welcoming and supportive environment in class and work to develop personal relationships with students to more effectively support them
  • Hold office hours and correspond with students outside of class
  • Offer input and ideas from a student perspective to improve the course
  • Be proactive in supporting students and helping the instructional team offer a meaningful learning experience for Integrated Science 230 students

Internship

Peer Leaders enroll in INTEGSCI 320 (Internship; 1 credit)

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INTEGSCI 240: Service with Youth in STEM

Course director: Dr. Anna Bishop Courtier (anna.courtier@wisc.edu)

Description

Service with Youth in STEM (SWYIS) Peer Leaders facilitate student discussion and active learning in both lecture and lab components. Students enrolled in SWYIS learn how to work with community partners and lead after-school science clubs in the Madison area. Peer Leaders taking this 1-credit internship build upon previous work in the community to provide leadership, lead small discussion groups, and support after-school activity development and implementation.

Timeline

For Placement in… Complete These Steps
Fall 2024 or Spring 2025 
  • Apply the semester before your anticipated Peer Leader placement 
  • Take INTEGSCI 230 either before or during semester as Peer Leader
  • Taking INTEGSCI 230 may be waived due to extenuating circumstances; contact anna.courtier@wisc.edu for details

Requirements 

Previous work in the community, preferably in INTEGSCI 240 Service with Youth in STEM.

Responsibilities

  • Complete INTEGSCI 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership before or during Peer Leader placement
  • Attend the lecture section and at least one lab section of the course
  • Complete weekly meetings with the course director and community liaison
  • Help connect SWYIS students with the logistics of working with community partners, including assisting with information on transportation to the after-school sites
  • In class, help facilitate student activities and discussion, and work to develop personal relationships with students
  • Outside of class, manage lab and activity materials, and correspond with students (in-person and electronically) to support after-school site activities
  • Lead a primary discussion or activity for one class period

Optional Internship 

Peer Leaders may enroll in INTEGSCI 320 (Internship; 1 credit) in fall or spring semesters.

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Research Peer Leaders

 Director: Nancy Ruggeri (nruggeri@wisc.edu)

Graduate Intern: Kelsey Reichenbach (kelsey.reichenbach@wisc.edu)

Description

Use your research experience and training to help undergraduates identify areas of research interest and potential research mentors as well as provide insight into navigating lab cultures. Research Peer Leaders share resources with students interested in engaging in (or already engaged in) research through workshops, panels, one-on-one meetings, and courses. Research Peer Leaders also work with WISCIENCE staff to develop new resources and workshops to meet the needs of undergraduate researchers. Through their various responsibilities, Research Peer Leaders will develop skills in public speaking, facilitation, active learning techniques, and more.

Timeline

For Placement in… Complete These Steps
Fall 2024
  • Spring 2024: Apply
  • Fall 2024: Take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed) and serve as Peer Leader

Requirements  

Must be engaged in undergraduate research for two or more semesters before serving in the position. In your application, be sure to describe your research experience and highlight the skills and interests you bring to the position.

Responsibilities

The Research Peer Leaders work as a team to accomplish the following and will have input on which responsibilities to take on:

  • Complete INTEGSCI 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership before or during Peer Leader placement
  • Participate in monthly Research Peer Leader meetings 
  • Facilitate undergraduate research workshops and/or participate in panels on topics such as “Finding a Research Experience at UW-Madison”
  • Meet one-on-one with students who have questions about undergraduate research experiences
  • Potentially develop new workshops and resources such as workshops and guides in support of undergraduate research
  • Potentially act as a Peer Leader in a WISCIENCE research course, with responsibilities such as attending weekly class meetings, building community among students, leading small group discussions, providing peer feedback, and sharing your research insights and experiences

Internship

Peer Leaders can choose to volunteer their time or enroll in INTEGSCI 320 (Internship; 1 credit) in fall or spring semesters. To receive internship credit, Peer Leaders must develop and implement one new resource or program each semester.

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STEM Immersion Peer Leader

Program Director: Keegan Buscaino (buscaino@wisc.edu)

Description

STEM Immersion Peer Leaders support the STEM Immersion program, which is an immersive learning community for students interested in science, technology, engineering, math, or medicine disciplines. STEM Immersion offers events and informal gatherings throughout the academic year designed to support the transition to college and persistence in the field. Programming focuses on building community among peers, finding yourself in STEM, and sharing resources that support your academic journey.

Timeline

For Placement in… Complete These Steps
Spring 2025
  • Fall 2024: Apply
  • Spring 2025: Take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed) and serve as Peer Leader

Requirements  

Majoring in a STEMM field.

Responsibilities

  • Complete INTEGSCI 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership before or during Peer Leader placement
  • Develop and facilitate programming focused on building community among peers
  • Be a resource and/or know about the resources available to students that can support their academic journey
  • Support WISCIENCE by participating in resource fairs and events offered to STEM students
  • Maintain and support the STEM Immersion e-community canvas page
  • Facilitate weekly Accountability Groups aimed to encourage consistent progress towards academic goals

(back to opportunities)

 

“Being a peer leader is the most rewarding opportunity I have had on campus so far. It is a unique position to use your college experience, including all of your successes and mistakes, to help younger students while simultaneously becoming a more knowledgeable and confident leader yourself.”

Fiona Flint, 2024 Exploring Biology Peer Leader

Summary of Application Timelines & Requirements

Position Upcoming Opportunities Timeline Requirements
INTEGSCI 100: Exploring Biology Peer Leader Fall 2025 Fall 2024: Apply

Spring 2025: Attend monthly meetings and take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed)

Fall 2025: Serve as Peer Leader

Must be available to attend weekly Exploring Biology class sessions on Mondays OR Wednesdays from 2:25–4:20 p.m.

Must be available Friday afternoons during the fall semester; time TBD

Majoring in the biosciences or a related field

Fall 2024 Spring 2024: Apply

Fall 2024: Take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed) and serve as Peer Leader

Previous experience in a first-year seminar, experience working in the community, or participation in INTEGSCI 140 Exploring Service in STEM or INTEGSCI 240 Service with Youth in STEM.
Fall 2024 Spring 2024: Apply

Fall 2024: Serve as Peer Leader

Must have completed INTEGSCI 230 Exploring Discipline-Based Leadership with a grade of B or higher before applying

Must be available to attend lecture and/or discussion (Lecture: Tuesdays 11:00–12:15 p.m.; Discussion: Thursdays 11:00–11:50 p.m.); please note availability in the application.

Preferred qualification: has held a WISCIENCE peer leaders position or other leadership position at UW–Madison for one or more semesters

Fall 2024 Spring 2024: Apply

Fall 2024: Take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed) and serve as Peer Leader

Previous work in the community, preferably in INTEGSCI 240 Service with Youth in STEM
Fall 2024 Spring 2024: Apply

Fall 2024: Take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed) and serve as Peer Leader

Must be engaged in undergraduate research for two or more semesters before serving in the position. In your application, be sure to describe your research experience and highlight the skills and interests you bring to the position
Spring 2025 Fall 2024: Apply

Spring 2025: Take INTEGSCI 230 (if not already completed) and serve as Peer Leader

Majoring in a STEMM field

 

Contact

Connect with WISCIENCE

Email: connect@wiscience.wisc.edu

Phone: 608-263-0598

Address:
445 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706