STEMinist: Mentoring Programs Work from WiSE on Vimeo.
The women's mentoring program pairs first-year, degree-seeking women students with upperclass women students in similar disciplines. All first-year women students are automatically placed in the program; mentors are selected through a self-nomination and application process. The mentors often help their first-year mentees choose classes, prepare for finals, integrate into campus life, and find their way around the Black Hills and Rapid City. The peer mentoring program is a fun and rewarding way for first-year students to make friends, get connected to resources, and become a part of the university and community.
In addition to one-on-one communication, mentors and mentees participate in several small-group meetings and scheduled workshops throughout the year. It is an opportunity for first-year students at Mines to learn from someone who has "been there, done that."
Mentors are an important part of both academic and professional success, and as a professional, you will most likely have a mentor or be a mentor for younger professionals in your field. According to AAUW, women in science and technology often attribute their success to the core relationship they developed with a mentor, and mentoring has been shown to be especially beneficial to girls and women of color, who must struggle through race and gender barriers to science and math fields. To see the power of mentor/mentee relationships, don't take it from us; instead, listen to the video above and some of the things the mentoring program participants said in the mechanical engineering mentoring pilot program.
If you're interested in becoming a mentor, contact Lisa Carlson, program director, at Lisa.Carlson@sdsmt.edu to be put in touch with your department's mentoring program liaison.