The Women & Engineering Center at the McKelvey School of Engineering has expanded its mentorship program to engage a larger audience and provide students with more opportunities to learn from Washington University in St. Louis alumni. The center will launch the new offerings this fall.
The revamped program will introduce alternative forms of mentorship, such as peer mentoring, which will allow the center to better respond to students’ specific needs and concerns.
“While the formal mentorship between students and alumnae has proven to be a powerful experience, we believe there are additional ways to foster growth and support,” said Christine Dearmont, director of the Women & Engineering Center. “By incorporating peer mentoring and other expanded approaches, we can empower students through a wider range of perspectives, expose them to diverse expertise and facilitate connections among their peers."
The expanded program options will also allow WashU alumni who cannot commit to mentoring for a full academic year to take part in one-day mentorship opportunities.
The expanded program options are:
- WE Pairs. The current WE Pairs program, formally known as BearPairs, matches students in the Women & Engineering Leadership Society with accomplished WashU alumni for one-on-one mentoring throughout the academic year.
- Theme mentoring. Students and a panel of mentors will convene around a specific theme, such as career preparation or research. Students will learn from the diverse perspectives of mentors and leave with advice and a call to action.
- Topic mentoring. Individual mentors will present on their areas of expertise, such as the latest breakthroughs in different fields of engineering, careers outside of research or their leadership experiences. After each short session, participants will break out into discussion groups.
- Peer mentoring. Students will be matched with another student and discuss guided conversation topics.
“We are incredibly excited about this new chapter for the Women & Engineering mentor program,” Dearmont said. “It opens a world of possibilities, enabling us to touch more lives and assist a greater number of students. The strength of this community and the stories waiting to be shared are bound to create a powerful and transformative experience for all involved."