What is Plexus?
The word “plexus” is taken from the Latin plectere, which means a network of interwoven parts. Juniata College’s Plexus program is a physical support network comprised of faculty, peer mentors, and staff that help to enrich the students’ experience by assisting in their academic and social transition to college and the surrounding Huntingdon community. Plexus represents various interwoven, intersectional identities that have become a community of support and scholarship.
What is the Plexus Fellowship Program?
The Plexus Fellowship is a student-focused institutional support program run through the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI), which offers support for traditionally underrepresented students. The Fellowship is guided by an intentional goal to motivate and assist students toward achieving academic and social success.
Plexus Fellowship participants are paired with a peer mentor, and are also offered faculty mentoring. They participate in leadership skill development workshops and retreats.
Short-term outcomes include a strong mentoring relationship which will allow students to navigate the often confusing and intimidating world of college life. This relationship will grant students greater knowledge of and access to resources available on campus that will help them realize their full potential. Furthermore, we feel these efforts will enhance retention and graduation rates for student success.
In its essence, the Juniata College Plexus Fellowship program challenges our peers to develop skills to achieve success by promoting self-advocacy, self-empowerment and self-care through partnership, participation and persistence.
What Do We Do?
All participants in the Plexus Fellowship program are required to engage in several in-house activities, as well as campus-wide events. These include:
Becoming a Mentee
Based on recommendations from Enrollment counselors, EDI invites incoming freshmen to participate in the Fellowship.
Initial criteria for immersion into the program include, but are not limited to, being an individual who is:
- A First-generation college student
- Pell grant eligible
Additional considerations include:
- MALANA (Multiracial, African descent/black, Latino, Asian, Native American)
- Permanent residence outside of Pennsylvania
- Large, urban hometown
- LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning)
- Religious minorities
- Students with disabilities
Who Are Our Mentors?
Plexus Fellowship mentors are upperclass students who exemplify what it means to be a Juniata Eagle – someone who is interdisciplinary, knowledgeable, engaged, ethical and multicultural. Mentors are selected through an application, recommendation and interview process. Our mentors are active and engaged in the Juniata community and have a desire to lend a comforting, helping hand to first year students as they transition and adjust academically and informally, in their social circles outside of the classroom.
Mentors participate in trainings that focus on their role in developing a relationship with the mentee, the art of appreciative inquiry, mindful empathy and active constructive responding. Plexus mentors are paid through federal work study.
For more information, please contact the Plexus Program Coordinator: