Tony Graham '68, JD '74 (left) and Sherene Melania Bretchneider '05 (right) are mentors in a new pilot program to connect students with alumni.
The University of San Francisco’s College of Arts and Sciences recently
launched a mentoring program designed to connect students with alumni
who share their career, cultural, or social interests.
mentors come from a range of backgrounds – medicine, education,
technology, and law are just some of the fields represented – and will serve as guides to students within the college. Additionally,
juniors and seniors who are being mentored by alumni may sign up to
serve as mentors themselves to freshmen and sophomores.
a daily basis, I was seeing so many students who would benefit from
having someone to talk to about the experiences of life and not
necessarily what classes they need to take,” said Laleh Shahideh,
associate dean for student academic services.
program is in its pilot phase, it is currently open only to University
Scholars (high-achieving students who were admitted through the
University Scholars scholarship program) in the College of Arts and
Sciences and members of the pre-professional health community, but
Shahideh hopes to expand the program in the fall to include all Arts
and Sciences students. “There is so much need for this,” she said.
relationships begin online through a Web-based program designed by
Francis Kong, MS ’95. Students search the database of alumni who have
volunteered to be mentors and then contact those they think would be a
good match. From there, the student/mentor pair determines how often to
stay in touch and whether that contact should be via email, phone or in
Interest in the program is already high. Shahideh said
word is rapidly spreading among alumni, who are eager to help guide
students as they progress through college and begin pursuing careers or
For many alumni, Kong said, mentoring fulfills
their desire to give back while still accommodating their busy
schedules. By serving as mentors, alumni not only share their knowledge
and experience, but they also potentially have a direct impact on
students’ lives, all while remaining connected to USF.
control your time, your own schedule, and be as involved as you want to
be,” Kong said. “For alumni, this is a way of making the link between
where you came from and where you are now. Alumni are a university’s
most powerful resource. Ultimately, alums are ambassadors to the
For more information on the mentoring program, visit http://devel.artsci.usfca.edu/Mentorship.html.