By Mary Reed
By all accounts, the Ohio University Women's Center Mentoring Program had a successful first year pairing up female undergraduates with professional women on campus and in the community. As the program enters its second year, the main goal is to grow the program.
"Last year we had 20 pairs and we're hoping to have that again if not more," said Women's Center Director Susanne Dietzel, noting that a recent e-mail that went out to students has already garnered interest from would-be participants. Dietzel also added that this year's program will last longer -- participants will be paired up in the fall rather than winter.
The mentoring program partners junior and senior female students at Ohio University with a female mentor in their personal and professional fields of interest.
Kortney Jaworski, a senior wildlife biology major, joined the program and was connected with Ohio University Sustainability Coordinator Sonia Marcus. "Sonia is really great and I met so many people through her, I think it's worth it for just that part of it," Jaworski said, "Plus the professional help, the job help, the advice."
Jaworski and Marcus met about once a week last year and are continuing their relationship this school year. "I'm trying to have her help me with resumes and decisions for grad school and that type of stuff, so it's still pretty important to me," Jaworski added. Mentors report that they have also benefited from the relationship.
"Men have mentored other men forever," said Sandra Haggerty, associate professor of journalism. When she was a young professional, Haggerty, now 70, recalled, she often was the first female in her position. Mentoring a female student is her way to pay it forward. "I wish I had, way back then, someone to say, 'Hey, this is a good idea to do something like this (or) think about doing that.'"
Haggerty did a portfolio review for her mentee, senior Sam Ball, but for the most part the two women had lunch and discussed mutual interests, like world travel. Haggerty would bring back souvenirs for Sam from places she traveled throughout the year. She hopes to continue the relationship beyond the academic year. "I'm hoping as part of my friendship with Sam that maybe we could take an international trip together."
The deadline for mentor applications is Sept. 30. Download an application at www.ohio.edu/womenscenter/manage/mentoring/upload/MentorApplication09-10.doc.