Coleman kicks off, participates in mentor program

BY MICHAEL KAN

DAILY STAFF REPORTER



Published September 4, 2003

President Mary Sue Coleman will not only be watching over the
entire University this year, but she will also be watching over
several freshmen as a mentor.

In a speech last night at Rackham Auditorium, Coleman along with
other speakers introduced the University's Mentorship program to a
crowd of first-year students participating in the program.

"This year, this event has special meaning toward me, because I
will be mentoring in it," said Coleman. "This program not only
allows me to mentor students, but more importantly, allows me to
meet with students first-hand," Yang said.

Peer mentor and LSA senior Lisa Yang will be working with
Coleman in the mentorship program. "I met with her last week and
she was incredibly personal with all the student's needs."

"I feel that she will be very open- minded toward working with
the students, one on one," she added.

Coleman, along with many other faculty members and upper class
students are trying to make college life for freshmen more
comfortable, said Ayanna McConnell, Mentorship Coordinator.

"The Mentorship Program is, in some way, meant as a continuation
of the orientation program for freshman," she said.

"The program is trying to help them transfer into college."
McConnell added.

Included in the mentorship program are peer mentors, or upper
class students, which help students connect with life at the
University.

"Peer Mentors help make the school feel smaller for (new)
students, where freshman can talk to them about personal issues
about the difficulties in getting adjusted to the University,"
McConnell added.

Faculty members in the program deal more with academic life at
the University. " We have all sorts of (faculty) mentors that teach
a variety of different fields," Mentorship Program Assistant Leah
Beasley said.

"In the program, we match student academic interests with a
faculty member who teaches those interests," she added. "From that
mentor, they can learn more about certain careers, and goals
related to their interests and help guide them to that."

The program, which lasts until the end of the Fall semster, also
involves both academic and social events, Beasley added. "We have a
trip planned for Cedar Point where students can bond together. We
also have academic seminars about school issues such as alcohol
usage & safety."

LSA freshman, Cassie Fox applied into the program to meet new
people: "I thought it would be a great program to get me introduced
into the school and into volunteer opportunities."

Like Fox, President Coleman also wishes to meet new people said,
Beasley. "This is her first time working as a mentor in the
Mentorship program and she also wants to have a connection with the
entering students," added Beasley.

Yesterday's kick-off event was where students met with their
mentors for the first time. The students were put into groups of
four where they each have a faculty mentor and a peer mentor.