Peer Haven Mentors
Gretchen | Peer Haven Coordinator
Hey y'all! I'm a senior here at UWEC, soon to graduate in December. I'm a double major in Women's Studies and Public Relations. I'm originally from Eau Claire and, in fact, both of my parents are UWEC alumni! I played on the UWEC tennis team for four years and feel it will always stand as one of the greatest experiences of my undergraduate career. When my time isn't taken up with school, I love the chance to go up Nort' to my family's cabin or have a cozy movie night with friends. An interesting fact about me: I know all the lyrics to the song Ice Ice Baby. Karaoke anyone? As an ally, I think the Peer Haven program is a crucial addition to the University, which continues to actively foster a safe and welcoming environment for the LGBTQ community.
Heyo. I'm Serena Wagner and I'm currently of senior status here at the U. I'm originally from Eau Claire (didn't fall far from the tree) and I'm majoring in Graphic Design. I love making all sorts of art, whether it be in the 3D realm or on the computer. I also love music--singing with it, playing it, dancing to it, anything really involving music I love. I love being outside doing whatever. I like to meet new people, like really. I enjoy talking to nice strangers and picking their brain. I love conversation. I love reading. A LOT. I love thinking. I currently hold two graphic design positions through the University: one through Housing and Residence Life and the other through the University Recreation and Sport Facilities. There, I get to make publications and prints that are visible to almost everyone on campus. I'm also very actively involved with my campus here and participate in several student organizations and university programs (Peer Haven being one of them!). I'm super excited to start this wonderful program, as I think it is much needed not only in today's society but in this college community. We as college students need strong support systems as we are all going through various self-discovery processes. I feel that especially in the Chippewa Valley, there is a huge need for LGBTQ mentoring programs such as these, so that we can all grow as a collective community. Needless to say, I'm very excited to start the Peer Haven mentoring program!
Heyyo! I am Brittany Gartner, but most call me Brit! I am from Roseville, MN, which is just outside of St. Paul and a short hour and a half from the gorgeous city of Eau Claire, WI. This fall marks my 4 year anniversary with this beautiful city. Coming to Eau Claire has been a huge facilitator for many things in my life; one of the biggest has been joining the Women's Ultimate Frisbee team on campus. It has become quite a passion of mine and something I spend too much of my free time doing. I have spent most of my time in Eau Claire majoring in education (first Physical Education and then Special Education) but at the end of my 4th year decided to switch to Liberal Studies focusing on Community Development. When I am not playing Ultimate or struggling through yet another week of classes, I like to cook, read, get involved with prank wars, and of course the classic hang out with my friends and family. In the past few years I have wanted to be more involved in mentoring, so combining that with one focused on the LGBTQ community seemed like something that would be a great fit for me! I am excited to be part of a program that helps to build our community to make Eau Claire better yet!
Hey there! My name is Aaron, and I am a junior studying Mass Communications (Public Relations) and Global Studies here at UWEC. Aside from drowning in homework, I spend my time hanging out with friends and family, performing, reading, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. I am a Resident Assistant on the 4th floor of Towers South, which is currently an International Student floor. When I'm not on the floor, I squeeze a few hours in at American Eagle Outfitters, and serve on the board of directors for a small community theater back home. Thanks to my involvement in theater, my coming out experience was full of support and love. Unfortunately, most young people identifying as LGBTQA don't experience that same love, and that's why I got involved with the Peer Haven program. I love that Peer Haven is such a positive stepping stone for the students of UWEC, and I can't wait to see where this program goes!
Hello! I am a student here at UWEC, and I am a Creative Writing major, Women's Studies minor, and I am pursuing a certificate in American Sign Language. I'm from the Minneapolis area; I enjoy cycling and board games. Something interesting about me is that I live at Progressive Valley Co-op, a local housing cooperative. I am a Peer Haven mentor because I want to make resources conspicuous for incoming queer students.
Hey there! I'm a fourth year student at UW-Eau Claire. My major is Liberal Studies and I have a topical minor in Student Affairs. I'm from Merrill, a small town in North Central Wisconsin. In my free time, I like to work (weird right?), relax, watch Modern Family, or kick it with friends. Fun fact about myself: I created both my major and my minor! I think the Peer Haven program is really important to help students feel comfortable with who they are and to help them succeed in school and in life.
'Ello! I'm Sara. I grew up in Barron, WI, and I received an Associates in Arts and Sciences from UW-Barron County and a BS in Psychology and Philosophy from UW-Steven's Point. I am currently pursuing a BS in Social Work from UWEC. In addition to attending classes part-time, I have a full-time job. What little spare time I have, I like to spend reading, swimming, and spending time with the kids in my family. I have nine nieces and nephews, including a great niece! I got involved with Peer Haven at the suggestion of one of my professors, as I often advocate for the LGBTQ community in the classroom. After learning more about the program, it seemed like a great opportunity to get involved with the LGBTQ community on campus and to help newcomers get involved, too.
Greetings! My name is Quinn Forss. I'm a third year Creative Writing/Women's Studies double major, with a certificate in LGBTQ Studies. Most of my life revolves around school, but when I'm not reading or writing, I'm probably watching Star Trek or the latest iteration of Sherlock Holmes-themed tv shows. I grew up in Wausau, WI and helped to start a chapter of PROUD Theater there, just before I graduated high school. I'm very excited to be a part of the mentoring group this year! I'm honored and happy to be able to offer myself and my experiences as a resource for other queer students at UWEC. Visibility is so important for queer folk, and I hope this program allows everyone in it to shine and really foster a sense of community.
Hello! My name is Katie Jepsen, and I am a Social Work major with a certificate in LGBTQ Studies, and I will be graduating in December. I'm originally from Marshfield, WI, which is about an hour and a half east of Eau Claire. In my free time, I enjoy anything to do with the outdoors. I love camping, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, climbing, and playing soccer. I also love watching movies and spending time with my friends and family. I wanted to be a Peer Haven mentor, because I know the transition into college can be challenging and can be even more so for someone who identifies as LGBTQ. I would like to do whatever I can to help make this transition as smooth as possible for incoming students.