Student Mentoring

The English department student mentoring committee hosts weekly mentoring hours and sponsors programs that assist students. The mentors can help students with any of the following topics:

  • Finding out how to apply for scholarships, internships, and study abroad programs
  • Becoming an Honors student
  • Pursuing any writing-related major beyond QCC (English literature / Journalism / Creative Writing / Rhetoric)
  • Learning more about transferring to a 4-year college
  • Choosing a major or career path
  • Receiving advice about how to successfully work toward long-term academic and career goals.

Mentoring Hours
If students would like to meet with any of our mentors please come visit us during our mentoring hours for Spring 2021:

Mondays - 10AM to 11AM or 12:30PM to 1:30PM
Tuesdays - 2:15PM to 2:45PM
Wednesdays - 11AM to 12PM
Thursdays - 10AM to 12PM

For Connection Information to Attend Mentoring Hours Contact Madiha Shameem at


The English Department Mentoring committee maintains a Mentoring Calendar with useful information on scholarships, internships, essays contests, and department events. More about English Dept Events

We encourage students to subscribe to the calendar because we are constantly updating it! (If you click the “+” button all the way on the bottom right corner of the calendar it will ask you if you want to add it to your calendar.)

Video Resources for Students:

The committee has put together a range of videos to assist students while they’re going to school online. There are videos on campus resources, Blackboard, purchasing textbooks, reading a syllabus, writing emails, and more!  

You can easily watch them by visiting this playlist on YouTube:

Faculty members on our mentoring committee:

Madiha Shameem
I remember starting college and feeling like I was in completely unfamiliar territory. My first year was quite difficult but I was able to find my way because of some very helpful mentors. They provided crucial information and helped me navigate my college journey. I am extremely grateful to these people and want to give the same support to someone who may find themselves in the place that I did as a college student. I am happy to help with anything relating to your educational journey. Outside of teaching and mentoring, I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts on various topics (education, science, psychology, etc) and being in nature.

Sybil White
I decided to become a mentor after thinking about my college days, particularly my first two years at school. To put it simply, I was overwhelmed, uninformed, and too afraid to seize opportunities that presented themselves to me. Looking back, I would have welcomed the guidance of a mentor in college if I had been lucky enough to stumble upon a mentoring program. As a mentor, I can advise students who are interested in transferring to a four-year college. I can assist with writing transfer and scholarship applications. I can discuss career goals and dreams (no dream is too unrealistic to me. I will encourage you.). I enjoy travel, literature, visiting museums, music (particularly opera), and post-World War II French fashion designers, particularly Christian Dior and his groundbreaking New Look.

Faculty members on our mentoring committee:

Kathleen Alves
Born and raised in the Philippines, I learned English as my third language. I have spent most of my American life defending my right to belong here--in this nation, in school, in academia--and I am deeply indebted to all of my mentors who provided guidance and support throughout my academic and professional life. I am thrilled to offer the same support to the students at Queensborough, especially with writing scholarship or transfer applications, or selecting the best programs that align with their professional and intellectual interests. When I’m not caring for my two young children and two massive dogs, I bake, garden, and practice yoga.

Alisa Cercone
As a first generation college student myself, I enjoy mentoring and assisting students with navigating the overwhelming world of selecting a major, transferring, and possible career choices so that is less intimidating for college students. I can specifically help with academic plans for becoming a teacher in the K-12 environment in New York as well as entering the publishing and public relations fields. I am happy to assist with transfer and scholarship applications. I enjoy cooking, reading, music, and cycling.  I am also a mother to two growing boys and a rescue dog.

Melissa Dennihy
Born and raised in New York, I grew up as the daughter of a single mother who did not attend college, but always encouraged me to pursue my educational goals. I knew I wanted to get my bachelor’s degree and go on to graduate school, but I worried about the cost and the debt of so many years of schooling.  It was with the help of academic scholarships—as well as the support of a few wonderful mentors—that I was able to complete my BA and go on to graduate school, leading me to the career I have today.  I’m here now to offer you the same support I was fortunate to have as a student: we can discuss your educational and career goals, chart out the best plan to get you there, and work together on written materials such as personal statements and scholarship essays.  I’m also happy to help you with aspects of everyday life as a college student, such as study habits, time management skills, and finding a balance between school, work, and personal life. If you are thinking about majoring in English and wondering what that might be like (as well as what you can do with an English degree), I’d love to talk with you about that as well. A little about me: I love reading novels and non-fiction; spending time with my family and friends; enjoying the natural world; and traveling (some of my most recent trips were to France, Mexico, Portugal, and the Netherlands). I also truly love working with students and look forward to the opportunity to work with you!

Raquel Corona
Before becoming a faculty member I used to work in residence life and academic advisement helping students prepare for and navigate their collegiate experience. I would say that I have a pretty good understanding of college campuses and the wide-range of resources available to students and this is why I wanted to become a mentor.  As a Dominican American and the first person in my family to go to college, often, I was left to figure all this out on my own and my goal is to be able to help students get through college in a much easier fashion than I did. I’m happy to mentor students on any part of navigating college and helping them determine a major or career path that suits their passions and skills. I love writing poetry and creative nonfiction and especially enjoy baking (gluten free enthusiast), reading books on audible, and writing immersed in nature.

Tanya Zhelezcheva
Since I am a first-generation college graduate, originally from Bulgaria, I know how challenging it was to understand the mystifying world of two higher education systems.   I found the process of researching scholarships and applying for them daunting, and now that I am on the other side of these challenges, I want to help back. If you are reading this while still a freshman, I want to encourage you to contact me because it is not too early to start. I would be happy to help you chart the path ahead, find resources, understand the requirements of colleges where you are interested in applying, cultivate your interests so your application can stand out, and draft a strong personal statement. In my spare time, when I am not teaching and before this virus struck us, I enjoyed dancing Argentinian tango, but that hobby is on hold for the time being. Now I am embracing bread baking.

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