November + December 2022 Peer Advisor of the Month: Ryan Stairs, University of New Mexico

Image of University of New MExico Peer Advisor, Ryan Stairs

From Jesse Preciado, Student Success Specialist, University of New Mexico: “Ryan has two undergraduate degrees, a B.S. in Astrophysics and a B.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, and is currently working on an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Ryan has been with our PAVE team from the start in 2021. He was our very first Peer Advisor, but was a VA Work Study at the UNM Veteran & Military Resource Center and had been helping veterans well before becoming a Peer Advisor. Ryan goes out of his way to help student veterans; we have reached out to him on multiple occasions to see if he is available and willing to take on more student veterans than the ones originally assigned to him at the beginning of the semester, and he is always ready, willing, and able to assist those in need…

Every semester, we have students enrolled in various engineering programs and many of them struggle to complete their degree. Ryan has been instrumental in helping multiple students find their way through with his mentoring and tutoring. He is always at our Peer Advisor meetings and willing to help or support our Peer Advisors with tips that they can use for outreach.”

From Ryan Stairs: “I improved the college experience in a couple of ways. I volunteered to tutor student veterans whenever my schedule allowed. It was mostly in math or physics related topics as those are a kind of specialty of mine. I also have a wide depth of knowledge of the available resources between the VA and the university as I had used most of them during my time in New Mexico. Letting student veterans know what is available to them can change their quality of life tremendously. I’ve been able to do that a few times. My favorite part about being a Peer Advisor is giving back to the veteran community. As someone who enjoys being a veteran much more than being an active duty service member, I have been highly motivated to help other transitioning people. Volunteering my time to help others transition to the university setting has been extremely fulfilling and valuable to me personally.”