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Meet the Mentors

2017-18 Minority Mentors

Kalon Hightower- Lead Student Mentor (LSM)

Kalon HightowerHello! I am Kalon Hightower and I am a senior majoring in public health with a minor in business to prepare myself for a career in healthcare administration. I am from Augusta, Ga, home of the Master’s which is ironic because I’ve never played a round of golf in my life. Although I have never played golf, I am a huge sports fan which is one the reasons I have participated in nearly all of the Intramural sports offered since my freshman year.  Aside from sports, I enjoy spending time with friends and engaging in the numerous activities and organizations offered at Mercer such as MerServe (community engagement organization), RHA (residence hall association), Midnight Movies and much more. I am a simple family guy who enjoys a good laugh and getting to know others. Speaking of my family, I have a very big one nearly 30 first cousins and I am the oldest child with two brothers, and a sister. I believe I have been a positive influence on my younger family and I hope that this could carry over and help me be a source of encouragement and support for others.  I really look forward to meeting all the new faces and hope that we all can have a successful year.

Ashley Batten

Ashley BattenHi, my name is Ashley Batten. I was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia, but I was raised in Riverdale, Georgia my entire life. So, I guess you can say the only home I know is Riverdale. I am a senior Public Health Major, Spanish minor, and I am on the Pre-Nursing Track. My ultimate career goal is to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with my own practice, as well as utilize my public health background, and work in HIV/AIDS intervention, to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, as well as promote testing and getting those with HIV/AIDS to treatments. I am currently the Vice President the Omega Mu chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. I am also the chaplain for the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and a member of Mercer's Rural Health Association and Public Health Association. I enjoy playing volleyball, working out, singing, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. I am so excited to be a mentor, and can't wait to welcome this year's incoming freshman and mentees. I know the transition from high school to college can be a difficult one, and I hope to help make that transition easier in one way or another.

Kapsa Bengyella

Kapsa BengyellaHello everyone! My name is Kapsa (cap-suh) Bengyella (bin-yella). I have been a Georgia girl my entire life, but my roots stem from a country in West Africa, Cameroon, where my parents and entire family are from. I am a junior on the pre-med track, majoring in Neuroscience. I hope to make a significant impact on this world and effect change. I am a loving, trustworthy, social, fun, easy-going, yet driven individual. On Mercer's campus, I am involved in ASA (African Student Association), SNMA-MAPS (a pre-health organization for minority students), as well as APO (Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity). I try to stay involved and connected on campus while achieving a good academic standing. Note that I said "try" lol. I have yet to find the perfect balance. My freshman year at Mercer was the most enjoyable educational experience I have ever had. There are definitely things I wish I could've done better; but it was a good learning experience. My minority mentor from freshman year would often tell me that I mentored him at times. This program will be a partnership. I am so excited to share what I have learned in the previous year to help you find your balance and to also learn things from you as well. It'll be a great year. Welcome to Mercer.

Sa'Haara Bryant

Sa'Haara Bryant 2Hello Everyone! My name is Sa'Haara Bryant and I am a Junior here at Mercer University. I'm originally from New Orleans, but moved to Albany, Ga when I was little. Currently, I am a Global Health Studies major and Communication Studies minor; after college I'd like to get my MPH. On campus I'm involved in the Organization of Black Students, National Council of Negro Women, and Quadworks. I participated in the Minority Mentor Program as a freshman myself, and I had a lot of fun. It allowed me to meet new people and get past the fears that can make the transition to college so scary. As a mentor this year, I hope to do the same for all of you. I promise I will do everything I can to make your transition as smooth and as easy as possible. I look forward to meeting all of you in August and I can't wait to welcome you to the Mercer family. GO BEARS!

Alexis Gonzalez

Alexis GonzalezHi everyone!! My name is Alexis Gonzalez. I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia but I attended Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Ga. I'm currently a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Spanish on the pre-law track. I am a member of multiple organizations on campus including the Organization of Black Students, Pre-law society, the National Council of Negro women's Historian, A.G.A.P.E's Divine Praise ministry and more. I also had the honor of being crowned the 2017 Miss Kappa Alpha Psi, and I am making it my personal mission to ensure that minority students have the tools they need to feel prepared to succeed at Mercer. I am fun, outgoing, and a great listener so you can always count on me when you need me. I'm very excited to meet you all, and do everything I can to help you have a great time. Go Bears!

Elijah Hawkins

Elijah Hawkins 2Hello all! My name is Elijah Jemil Hawkins and I was born March 18, 1998 in Dublin, Georgia. Since that time I have grown up in Juliette, Georgia where I attended Mary Persons High School. There I participated in football, basketball, and track while balancing multiple academic clubs (Beta Club, Academic Team, FBLA, and more) and keeping a smile while presenting the morning news/announcements. I have recently graduated from Mary Persons High with honors as a top scholar, and now headed into my second year at the prestigious Mercer University. At MU, I have been involved with POINT B.L.A.N.K., F.O.R.G.E. (Fighting for Our Rights and Gender Equality), and Organization of Black Students. I plan on declaring a major in Biology and staying on the Pre-Med track in hopes of being accepted into a outstanding Graduate Medical School to further my dreams of becoming an Obstetrician and Gynecologist. My favorite hobbies include working out/lifting weights, watching sports and Netflix, and playing any type of card games with my close friends and family.

Christian Ingram

Christian IngramHey everyone. My name is Christian Ingram. I was born in Washington, DC but raised in Maryland. I’m a senior majoring in Christianity and minoring in Mathematics, Sociology, and Communications. In addition to that, I'm an only child and a Gemini. Some of my favorite activities include hanging out with friends and family, eating, watching movies, listening to music, and dancing in my free time. However, my studies are my top priority. Being an out of state student definitely made me nervous about adjusting to college. I was in a new state and I did not know anyone coming in. The Minority Mentor Program quickly ended all nervousness. They made me feel welcome and at ease about making the adjustment from high school to college. This will be my 3rd year as a Minority Mentor, so you could say that I'm a seasoned veteran in the program. My goal as a Minority Mentor is to provide that same sense of comfort to incoming freshmen, while also holding them accountable. I look forward to interacting with all of the mentees and helping them ease their way into college life as well as leading them by example.

William Leonard

William Leonard Hello everyone, my name is William Leonard! I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and moved to Atlanta as a young child. My friends would describe me as a semi-outgoing nature enthusiast who also loves music, sports, and can cook the best Gumbo of your life. After long consideration I decided to attend Mercer because it’s only about two hours from home (not too close or too far), the close-knit atmosphere a small college offers, and because of the prestigious academic reputation Mercer holds. Coming into Mercer, I only knew one person, but the Minority Mentor Program allowed me to expand my friend network and meet dedicated and driven friends who are focused on one thing, success. As a student at Mercer I’m a member of Sigma Alpha Pi Fraternity, a Board Member of Merserve Community Engagement, and a Mentor within the Minority Program. One thing I’ve grown passionate about is engaging with the Macon community and helping others financially. After graduation, I plan on going into Private Wealth Management/Real Estate and assisting people with creating financial goals, investing, and helping them fulfill those goals. Now as a sophomore, its safe to say I’ve met life-long friends through the Minority Mentor Program and I look forward to helping incoming students adjust to college life at Mercer!

Kaylen Long

Kaylen Long 2 Hey guys! My name is Kaylen Long. I am a junior double majoring in international affairs and political science with a minor in Spanish on the pre- law track. I am extremely active at Mercer, participating in intramural sports, pre – law society, club volleyball,  African student association, organization of black students all while maintaining two jobs. I am a recovering chocoholic and because of that I spend a great deal of time in the gym. I am always on the go and I honestly feel that’s the best way to fully enjoy your college experience because college is what you make of it. I’m extremely excited to be a mentor this year, and I can’t wait to help y’all in any way possible!


Alize Mitchell

Alize MitchellHey! My name is Alize' Mitchell. I was born in Fort sills Oklahoma, but raised in Fayetteville, NC better known as Dreamville thanks to music Artist J. Cole. I am a Senior, triple major in PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) Sociology, and Criminal Justice. I aspire to be a Justice on the Supreme Court. I am currently a member of the pre- law honor society, the Secretary of the National Council of Negro Women and the President of the INIMITABLE Iota Sigma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. I enjoy playing softball and volleyball, watching Netflix, and DIY activities. I like the idea of taking something old and making it into something new. I love the outdoors, and enjoy camping, snorkeling  and a good shopping trip! I can't wait to meet a new group of Mercerians. Welcoming new mentees into our Mercer Family is very important to me because I hope to help them feel as if Mercer is a home away from home. Because I am an out- of- state student I understand the difficult adjustments students may face entering college and hope to help them transition with ease.

Mehak Zainab

Mehak ZainabHello everyone! My name is Mehak Zainab, and I am one of your mentors for this years Minority Mentor Program! My roots stem from Pakistan, but I was raised in the small town of Warm Springs, Georgia. I am a sophomore on the pre-medical track majoring in Biology, and minoring in English and Chemistry. I hope to one day make a significant impact on my community through my passion for serving others. I am involved in Phi Mu Fraternity, Mercer University Miracle Association, Student Government Association, and SNMA-MAPS(a pre-health organization for minority students.) I hope to guide you in the right direction at this exciting stage in your academic career. Welcome to Mercer, the greatest school in the land!