Tyra McKinney


AUBURN -- Tiffany Verrett, who holds degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi and Troy State University, has been appointed as the first full- time coordinator of Auburn University's Minority Peer Mentoring Program.

"My goal for the Auburn University Minority Peer Mentoring Program is to make it a nationally recognized and respected national peer mentoring model program, " says John Bello-Ogunu, assistant provost for multicultural affairs.

Verrett will be responsible for developing and managing the program. Her duties will include recruiting, training, programming, counseling, advising, monitoring, assessment, advocacy, referral and community outreach.

One of Verrett's main concerns for minority students will be retention. Bello-Ogunu says a disproportionate number of minority students drop out after the first year at Auburn.

Verrett said AU's program "can increase and maintain minority student retention rates by creating a more aware and active minority student body through the provision of first- year academic assistance, life skills training outlets to celebrate self and culture and the building blocks toward a cohesive community environment."

She holds a bachelor's degree from Troy State in international studies and a master's degree in education -- with emphasis on college student personnel -- from Southern Miss.

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CONTACT: Bello-Oguno, 334/844-4184; and Verrett, 334/844-3492.