Posted October 2, 2014 by Scarlett Winters 

Instant Replay: Supervising Your Peers

On Sept. 23, there was a virtual round-table discussion held about supervising peers. Topics addressed in this discussion related to benefits and challenges present when supervising peers. The program was facilitated by Erin Morrell, Region VIII online learning coordinator, and was presented by Laura DeArmas, Jessica D’Ascanio, Andrade Fearon, and Molly Bower. This post gives insight into some of the discussion during the program. Students on Stairs

This round-table kicked off with a statement from Laura DeArmas. She discussed her experiences at Tufts University Office for Campus Life. She gave advice for supervising students who are older than you and supervising your friends. She recognized the positive aspects of acquiring leadership skills, being involved with student organizations, getting a behind-the-scenes perspective, and preparing for the job market. She also noted the challenges of dealing with difficult students, making customer service your priority, and coordinating busy class schedules. Laura ended her time with tips for training.

Next, we heard from Jessica D’Ascanio. She shared her insights from Central Connecticut State University, where she supervises the Information Desk and is the most senior operations manager in the Student Center. She talked about her experiences of observing a friend in a supervisory position as preparation for becoming a supervisor herself. She also talked about what it was like starting a supervisory position for the first time.

Andrade Fearon took the floor next. He brought insights from Northeastern University, where he assists with hiring, supervision, training, and evaluation of the CSI Programming Lab Crew. He recognizes the benefits of having commonality, making positive mentor/mentee relationships, becoming aware of personal triggers, and swapping knowledge, experiences, and resources. He also recognized the challenges of having to let friends go from positions, not hiring friends in the first place, having difficult conversations, setting boundaries, and having a life outside of work. He also had plenty of tips for supervising your peers that you will want to check out in the archived program.

Last up was Molly Bower from Fitchburg State University. Molly has had leadership roles at both Fitchburg and Southern New Hampshire University. The positive aspects she noted were leadership skills, team-building skills, learned delegation, input that matters, and opportunities to inspire staff. She’s also experienced the challenges of gaining respect, feeling comfortable giving criticism, and managing her time. Finally, she covered some of the trainings she went through to improve her leadership skills.

After the panelists shared their experiences, the floor was opened for questions from the participants. There were some great questions and discussion from the audience. A copy of the chat transcript is available in the archived version.

Let’s continue this discussion! 

  • What issues does your institution face with peer supervision?
  • What are some of the benefits of peer supervision?
  • How does your institution prepare students to supervise their peers?


Scarlett Winters

Scarlett Winters is the at .


Thank you to everyone that participated! It was a great program with a lot of good questions posed by both students and staff. Thank you to our four presenters for sharing all of their knowledge and advice! If you have any other suggestions for online learning programs, please let us know!
Comment posted 10/03/2014 9:16 AM
How does your institution prepare students to supervise their peers? At The University of Akron we intentionally train our student managers through monthly meetings held with our Executive Director. These meetings are meant for open dialogue and to address concerns or provide our student managers with the opportunity to give insight and feedback. We provide the opportunity for our students to partake in online learning programs (such as this session) and also provide an in depth training manual which outlines global policies and ways in which to reinforce these policies with staff. Most of our training also comes during on-the-job shadowing of their FT supervisor and 1:1 meetings to discuss addressing concerns, issues, or recognition. Overall, it's all about communication!
Ali Doehring
Comment posted 10/06/2014 9:27 AM
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