Go back

CoSTEM STARS (Students Achieving and Reaching Success) Faculty-Student Mentoring Program


About the Program

CoSTEM STARS program helps guide students on their academic and professional growth through mentoring. Mentoring not only ensures academic and professional success but also foster fellowship and provide a platform that encourages students to express their voices. It supports students in finding resources to meet personal needs and goals. An investment in mentoring enhances well-being, degree completion rates and success! This is an intentional informal effort to help build collegial relationship between faculty mentors and students. Faculty mentors can offer students the following benefits:

Academic Expertise

Career Guidance

Psychosocial Support

How the Program Works

You can choose any faculty of your choice out of the available mentors or a faculty mentor will be personally matched to you to help with whatever challenges you might encounter in your journey toward reaching your academic and career goals. Your mentor may be a faculty member in your major. Or you may ask any instructor that you have rapport with.  Don’t be shy!  The faculty member that you approach with a mentorship request will feel honored that you asked! Sometimes, due to a heavy workload, a faculty member may not be able to enter into a mentorship agreement with you.  Don’t be offended. That instructor should be able to help you find another good match. We welcome and appreciate you being a part of this voluntary program, which provides you with access to faculty who care about your academic and career success.

Meet the Mentors

Cody Covington Headshot

Dr. Cody Covington is an instructor in the department of chemistry. His research interests are in computational chemistry and physics. His hobbies include table tennis, banjo picking, 3d printing, electronics, and Smash Bros. He has a ping pong table outside of his office and brags that he has never been beaten by a student.

Student Focus:

  • Students interested in all areas in CoSTEM
  • All students
Manisha Gupte Headshot

Dr. Manisha Gupte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. As a graduate student at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Gupte studied the effect of obesity on blood pressure. In her post-graduate work at Vanderbilt University, she studied the effect of obesity in heart diseases and diabetes. She teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology, General Biology, and Cell and Molecular Biology. Her research interests are Obesity, Heart Failure, and Diabetes.

Student Focus:

  • All students
  • First generation students
  • Students interested in all areas in CoSTEM
  • Students interested in biomedical research
  • Students interested in medicine
Anuradha Pathiranage Headshot

Dr. Anuradha Pathiranage is a Chemistry Assistant Professor. She teaches organic and general chemistry.

She does research in organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and natural product extraction with undergraduate students.

Student Focus:

  • Students interested in all areas in CoSTEM
  • Students interested in medicine
  • Students interested in pharmacy
  • International students
Emmabeth Vaughn Headshot

Dr. Emmabeth Vaughn is an Assistant Professor in the Physics, Engineering, and Astronomy Department.

Before coming to Austin Peay, she worked in industry as a Product Development Engineer for Firestone Building Products. Her research interests include polymer physics, nanoparticle diffusion, and engineering education. She is kept busy outside of school by her husband and two small children.

Student Focus:

  • Student parents and families
  • Female students in STEM
  • Students interested in all areas in CoSTEM
  • All students
Allen Chaparadza Headshot

Dr. Allen Chaparadza is a Chemistry Associate Professor.

Before coming to Austin Peay State, he taught at Lane College and The College of St. Scholastica. He teaches fermentation science, general, physical and materials chemistry.  His research interests are in fundamental issues and challenges affecting materials use in chemical sensors, environmental remediation, biomaterials, and metal matrix nanocomposites for structural reinforcement.

Student Focus:

  • Students interested in all areas in CoSTEM
  • First generation students
  • Transfer students
  • All students
Gilbert Pitts Headshot

Dr. Gilbert Pitts

Leslie Hiatt Headshot

Dr. Leslie Hiatt


If you are an interested in the program and would like more information or to apply, please fill out the form below.

First and Last Name
Preferred Pronoun*
Are you a military veteran?*
Are you an international student?*
Do you have a disability?
Biology, Math, etc.
Hold ctrl while clicking to select more than one. command for mac.
Do you prefer a male or female mentor?*
Hold ctrl while clicking to select more than one. command for mac.


Frequently Asked Questions

Mentoring is a relationship built on trust in which a more experienced person guides and helps a less experienced person with education or career development. The role of a faculty mentor is to provide encouragement and guidance as you go through your college career. A mentor will help you set goals and find the path and momentum to achieve them.

Mentors help students develop and achieve goals. These goals can focus on personal growth, career preparation, or successful transfer to another college program. Mentoring helps you become the best version of yourself.

Our program is open to all CoSTEM students.
To participate in this program, we ask that students enter into an agreement with their mentor specifying goals, how to achieve them, and when to schedule meetings with their mentor. We expect students to meet with their mentors at least three times per semester and to work constructively toward their goals.
Student may sign up for a mentor by completing the form above.

The CoSTEM STARS program at APSU facilitates mentoring relationships in the following ways:

  • Assisting with matching students and faculty members
  • Providing a framework for a professional relationship that encourages goal setting and personal growth
  • Training faculty to effectively assist their mentees
  • Coordinating with advisors to ensure the best advice for the student

Faculty mentors are expected to fulfill at least some of the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Assist students with forming realistic goals
  • Provide advice on course selection and transfer
  • Direct students to campus and community resources
  • Monitor students’ interests and academic progress
  • Understand opportunities for scholarships and internships
  • Review students’ resume, portfolio, and interview skills
  • Discuss career options and paths to achieve success
  • Collaborate with advisors to provide students with timely, accurate information

Requirements to become a mentor:  A credentialed faculty member with teaching experience or a staff member who is credentialed to teach and has teaching experience.


To become a mentor, faculty need to attend one of the faculty mentoring training sessions. Training sessions will be announced throughout the academic year.


Please contact Dr. Allen Chaparadza at chaparadzaa@apsu.edu if you have any questions.