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Marist Professional Women's Mentor Program

The Marist Professional Women's Mentor Program connects experienced women in higher education with aspiring female talent for professional growth and development in a supportive, one-on-one environment. The program aims to provide both parties with a rewarding professional experience.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to expand Marist's diversity initiatives by offering women administrators a mentor program that provides opportunities for professional development at Marist. By creating a formal culture of mentorship, this voluntary program seeks to encourage leadership development through educational events, training, and relationship building among women in higher education.

Acknowledgement

The Advisory Committee of the Marist Professional Women's Mentor Program would like to extend its gratitude to the Women's Leadership Alliance (WLA) of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. The WLA graciously shared its information and ideas, which played an integral role in shaping the program at Marist.

Featured Program Participants

Many talented female employees from all parts of the Marist administration elect to participate in and benefit from the Women's Mentor Program. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share some of their inspiring backgrounds and stories with the community!

  • Jane Fiore - Director Academic Learning Center (Mentor)
  • K. Renee Springate - Assistant Director, Enrollment Marketing and Communications (Mentee)  

"I began working at Marist College in the fall of 1992 as an adjunct instructor for the Academic Learning Center. In 1999, I became the Coordinator of Tutoring and Mathematics, a full-time position. For the past 4 years I have served as the Director of the Academic Learning Center. I would recommend the Women's Mentor Program to other professional women on campus. It is a great opportunity for professional development.

The most beneficial aspect of the program is the opportunity to meet with the other women on campus that I may not have contact with in the course of my normal working day. Also, the program did an excellent job matching me with a very compatible mentee. We try to meet for lunch twice a month and this has worked very well for us.

If someone is interested in joining the program I would suggest that they speak with women who have been involved, both as a mentor or a mentee. Also, I would say to just give it a try. It enhances your professional life, and the   time commitment is very manageable." ~ Jane Fiore

"I started working at Marist in February of 2002 as the Program Coordinator in Upward Bound.  During the summer of 2006, I became the Assistant Director of Enrollment Marketing and Communications. I would definitely recommend the Women’s Mentor Program. It is a great resource for the women here on campus.

For me, the best part of the program has been working with my mentor.  Over the past year, we have cultivated a mutual relationship built on trust and understanding. With her help and guidance, I have reevaluated my personal, educational and professional goals. My mentor and I have tried to meet twice a month for lunch. It gives us the opportunity to catch up on life, as well as address the goals I have established for myself.

As a person who some might label as shy, this program has helped me to step outside my comfort zone. As a piece of advice, I would suggest others do the same and step out of the familiar and into the unknown. We can learn so much from others and their unique experiences." ~ K. Renee Springate

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About the Marist Professional Women's Mentor Program

Information for Mentors

What is a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced and knowledgeable individual who helps another person set and achieve specific professional goals by sharing the wisdom of past experiences to guide career development.

Guidelines for being a mentor

Mentors impart their knowledge, skills, experience and advice to their mentees, thereby assisting with career development and goal attainment. In order to maximize this relationship, a mentor should:

  • Act as a positive role model, teacher, advisor, facilitator, and professional resource
  • Be willing to share skills, knowledge and experiences, with mentee
  • Be comfortable delivering constructive feedback in a manner that helps the mentee increase self-awareness and competency while maintaining self-esteem
  • Have reasonable expectations of the mentee
  • Help mentee set goals and develop action plans leading to goal attainment and learning
  • Commit to the mentor/mentee relationship, allocating appropriate time and focus
  • Follow through on commitments or renegotiate appropriately

The mentor program is not intended for counseling or advice on personal matters. 

Responsibilities of a mentor

Following the annual information session, a mentor application must submit an application for participation. This application will be used by the Advisory Committee to help determine mentor eligibility and select pairs. Upon acceptance into the program, information from the application will be used to create an online mentor profile. This profile, which will include information on your work history, education and professional qualities, will be posted on the program website to be viewed by potential mentees. Those selected as a mentor will be contacted by their potential mentee, and all other applicants will automatically retain active status for the next cycle of the program. The time commitment for the program is at least six months, at which time there is an opportunity for either party to end the relationship OR remain for up to one year. In addition, all mentors will be required to attend a mandatory training and orientation session. Other responsibilities for a mentor are to:

  • Establish initial meeting with mentee and arrange for follow-up meetings via email, face-to-face, phone, etc. One hour of face-to-face meeting time is required per month
  • Offer opportunities to share knowledge and areas of expertise
  • Establish appropriate boundaries for the mentor/mentee relationship
  • Periodically assess the relationship to determine if appropriate progress is being made
  • Provide valuable feedback to Advisory Committee when requested
  • Act appropriately as a positive role model and mentor
  • Take measures to terminate relationship if needs and goals are not being met by either party and/or if confidentiality can no longer be upheld

Information for Mentees

What is a mentee?

A mentee is an individual who seeks the knowledge and guidance of an experienced professional to aid in goal setting, problem solving and career development.

Guidelines for being a mentee

Be prepared to articulate what you want to learn as a mentee and what you hope the relationship with a mentor can help you accomplish. In order to maximize the time and effort of the mentor, a mentee should consistently:

  • Initiate and drive the relationship
  • Identify and communicate learning goals
  • Pose questions and seek feedback
  • Commit to the mentor/mentee relationship, allocating appropriate time and focus
  • Follow through on commitments or renegotiate appropriately

The mentor program is not intended for counseling or advice on personal matters. 

Responsibilities of a mentee

Following the information session, an application for participation must be completed. Once the applications are submitted, a defined number of mentees will be selected to participate in the current program cycle, based on the number of available mentors. These individuals will be notified and provided with a suggested mentor match, based on their current positions and application information. They will then be asked to browse the mentor profiles, select up to three individuals who meet their needs as potential mentors and provide this information to the Advisory Committee. The committee will facilitate the final matching of pairs, after which the mentees will make the initial contact with their mentors If an appropriate mentor cannot be immediately found, the mentee application will retain active status through the next round of the program. All mentees will be required to attend a mandatory orientation and training program before their first mentor meeting. For applicants not initially selected, applications will be kept on file until the next program cycle. Other requirements for a mentee are to:

  • Collaborate on the initial meeting and spend at least an hour a month, face to face, with your mentor.  The goal of the first meeting is to get to know each other and establish the mutual goals and expectations of the relationship
  • Work with your mentor until the end of the program (unless relationship is ended by either party)
  • Frequently examine relationship to determine if appropriate progress is being made, and take corrective action when necessary
  • Take measures to terminate relationship if needs and goals are not being met by either party and/or if confidentiality can no longer be upheld

FAQs

What is the goal of the program?

The Marist Professional Women’s Mentor Program (MPWMP) seeks to develop a system of mentorship opportunities in which more experienced professionals provide guidance, wisdom, and inspiration to female administrators for the purpose of ongoing professional development.

How does this program work?

Immediately following a yearly information session/luncheon, applications will be solicited for mentors and mentees. All applications will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee, and appropriate pairs will be suggested. Once the pairs are finalized, both parties will attend a training session in which roles and guidelines will be clarified. The mentor/mentee pairs are expected to meet at least monthly over the course of a year and will be regularly encouraged to provide feedback on their experiences. At the end of the year, the MPWMP Advisory Committee will evaluate the program through participant feedback and make improvements as appropriate.

What are the program’s timeline and process?

The program normally kicks off with an annual luncheon and information session in the fall. This session will provide attendees with information on the importance and benefits of mentoring, as well as details of how the mentoring program works.

How do you define a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced and knowledgeable individual who helps another person set and achieve specific professional goals by sharing the wisdom of past experiences to guide career development.

What is a mentee?

A mentee is an individual who seeks the knowledge and guidance of an experienced professional to aid in goal setting, problem solving, and career development.

Should I sign up to be a mentor or a mentee?

Depending on where you are in your career, you could be both. You might have expertise and advice to share with a less experienced person, yet you might still feel that you need a mentor to help you move to the next level professionally. If you are unsure, please feel free to contact a member of the Advisory Committee for further assistance. Additionally, you are always encouraged to apply for both!

How often do I need to meet with my mentor/mentee?

Mentor/mentee pairs must commit to spending at least one hour a month in face-to-face meetings throughout the course of the year. Further interaction and communication through any method is encouraged but not required.

What if I’m not comfortable with my mentor/mentee?

The information provided on the applications should lead to an appropriate and beneficial relationship. However, if you feel that your partnership is not working out as hoped, please contact a member of the Advisory Committee and we will attempt to quickly reassign you.

What if I’m not initially assigned a mentor/mentee?

The capacity of this program is determined by the number of female administrators who wish to act as mentors and mentees. This means that we might not initially be able to accommodate everyone who wishes to participate. If you are not initially selected, you can expect to be partnered with a mentor/mentee when the next program cycle occurs.

Am I eligible for this program?

At this time, all female administrators are eligible for participation and encouraged to apply for the program.