January 25, 2013

Jeanette Grider

Make the Connection at A&S 'Mentoring Matters'

Discover how the mentoring connection can enhance your college and life experience by visiting one of the many student events hosted by departments in the College of Arts and Sciences.

What direction should I choose? Am I making the right decisions? How can I find out more about opportunities in my major?

February is Mentoring Matters Month in the College of Arts and Sciences. Many departments are hosting "Mentoring Matters" activities to allow students and faculty the chance to make new connections. Freshmen and sophomores in particular should count on attending the events and activities in their majors.

Kristin Kiddoo, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, believes the events will provide a great opportunity for information sharing combined with social time.

"Our meet and greet will include food followed by a panel discussion that will include questions from students, and a 'Why I Fell in Love With Psychology' as well as 'Where is Psychology Headed' discussion by a faculty panel," Kiddoo said. "Finally, there will be a breakout session with mentors and mentees meeting informally to just introduce themselves to one another and perhaps discuss questions about the major. "

The event is set for 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in Refectory Hall located in DuBourg Hall.

Flannery Burke, director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History, said they have planned two special events and a continued poster project for the spring semester.

"Our activities kick off with a bowling party sponsored by their undergraduate honors society, Phi Alpha Theta, from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, in room 142 of Adorjan Hall, and will include festive food and drink," Burke said.

The History Department also will host a chocolate tasting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, where they will have gourmet hot chocolates mixed according to historical recipes from the time of the Aztecs to the 20th century. Burke added that faculty will be on hand to describe their course offerings for the 2013-2014 academic year and the new history major and minor.The Department of Chemistry will kick off their "Mentoring Matters" activities with a special event for freshman majors from 6-7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, The program will include an informal student-faculty discussion of the following:

  • The purpose and goal of the integrated advising/mentoring program and talk specifically about the roles of mentors and students
  • A presentation about the curriculum for chemistry majors so they have current information, highlighting research opportunities
  • Students from the Chemistry Club will talk to the students about the club's activities
  • An informal reception with refreshments will follow giving students an opportunity to meet their faculty mentors away from the classroom.
Alexa Serfis, professor and associate chair of the department, considers the mentoring time is an important part of the student experience and one that faculty values as well.

"Some important aspects of the mentoring process include the student taking responsibility for their studies; the faculty member being knowledgeable of various aspects including curriculum and research opportunities, careers; and there should be good communication between the two," Serfis said. "Each should feel comfortable and free to talk."

Watch Newslink and SLU Connection and contact individual departments for updates on additional activities to be hosted by other departments in the College throughout the month of February.

For more information, contact Janet Keubli at jkuebli@slu.edu or Denise Sleet at sleetdp@slu.edu.

Learn more about the Mentoring Matters Program at the College of Arts and Sciences.

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