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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

Be a Mentor: Join Our Pilot Alumni-Student Mentor Program

Forty -seven students and six alumni mentors were among the first participants in the HHC's Pilot Alumni-Student Mentor Program during the just-completed fall semester. So far, so good.

The students for our first trial group were all juniors or seniors from the Kelley School of Business, according to Christine Yu, the HHC advisor administering the program. Yu surveyed the 705 HHC juniors and seniors in Kelley, and chose 47 of those that responded to be the first mentees in the program. Yu, who advises HHC business students, chose that group for the trial because of her familiarity with Kelley and because of the large number of HHC students who study business. "It was a selective and competitive process," she said.

Among the first to serve as mentors were six members of the HHC Alumni Board: Doug Dayhoff BA'92 (philosophy, Spanish), Kevin Erdman BS'84 (computer science), Yun William Yu BS/BA'09 (mathematics; chemistry and Germanic studies), Virginia Harper Ho BA'95 (Russian language and literature; Chinese language and literature); MA'97 (applied linguistics), Julie Wolinsky BA'91 (political science, Spanish), and Danise Alano-Martin BA'92 (journalism, environmental studies).

Yu presented the prospective mentees with short anonymous biographies of the prospective mentors. Students chose and ranked five preferences from among the unnamed alumni board members based on shared interests and ambitions. Yu matched mentees with mentors. Beginning in early November Yu encouraged mentees to get in touch with their mentors. Yu plans to follow up with both mentee and mentor after school begins again in January. "We want to find out what students' general needs are," Yu said. "We think the relationship itself can mandate what actually occurs."

"I've really enjoyed connecting with students through the Mentor program," Danise Alano-Martin said. "Two have reached out to me so far, and their questions range from seeking advice about prioritizing responsibilities to general questions about how I chose my career. I'm looking forward to getting to know each person better and finding out what I can offer them to help them grow and develop during their college years."

Plans for the program include expansion beginning next fall. Before then, Yu would like to begin collecting information from HHC alumni from all disciplines in order to provide mentoring to HHC students in all the various courses of study available at IU.

"The HHC Alumni Network is off to a great start, but to take it to the next level," said HHC Dean Matt Auer. "We need more alumni to join who can give back a little time and a lot of wisdom."

For more information about the HHC Alumni-Student Mentor Program, contact Christine Yu (alumment@indiana.edu).

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