Mentoring Collaborative forging bonds between students, community members
Feb 8, 2008
The Mentoring Collaborative, a student-driven initiative for UT undergraduates, recently had a launch reception for the mentors and mentees involved in the program.
Oluwole Abimbola, a freshman in the College of Pharmacy, watched as Dr. Lancelot Thompson, UT professor emeritus of chemistry, signed an agreement to work with him as part of the Mentoring Collaborative.
In the spirit of student centeredness, the Mentoring Collaborative focuses on increasing retention for minority and at-risk student populations by matching undergraduate students with mentors to assist them with life skills and career development.
The reception held last semester was the first time students met their mentors. They signed their mentoring agreements and became better acquainted with one another and the program.
The evening featured numerous speakers: Dr. Lancelot Thompson, UT professor emeritus; Dr. Carol Bresnahan, vice provost for academic programs and policies; Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe, founder/executive director of Student African-American Brotherhood; and Brandon Gaddy, program coordinator for the African-American Student Enrichment Initiatives Office.
Dr. Lancelot Thompson, UT professor emeritus of chemistry, offered tips on how to excel in the classroom during the Mentoring Collaborative's inaugural event.
Each speaker had a specific message to relay to the students, from sharing a success story as a minority, to the importance of such programs, and the need for more programs like the Mentoring Collaborative.
Thompson gave the students a few tips to live by to succeed in college, including sitting in the front rows of classes, developing studying groups, and introducing themselves to their professors. The longtime UT professor of chemistry shared his experiences teaching a variety of students in different situations.
This program is part of a graduate student thesis project conducted by Sheila Doles.
“The Mentoring Collaborative has taken on a life of its own and is now pursuing funding from the First-Year Experience Program in order to build a foundation that creates a lasting effort on the campus of The University of Toledo,” said Doles, who is pursing a master of liberal student degree at UT.
“These students are astounding. I have never experienced such energy and love of learning in these young people rising to meet the challenge of their future,” Doles said. “If these are the faces of our future, our future is bright indeed.”
Chamomile Ware, a freshman business student in the Mentoring Collaborative, said, “You can never reach your full potential until you have learned from someone who has. You cannot be your best by yourself; you need help from someone who has done their best. The Mentoring Collaborative is allowing me to accomplish these things and change my life as I pursue my desired career goal.”
Support for this program comes from individuals from the UT and Toledo communities who have contributed to the research effort and who have assisted in the creation, structure and execution of the program, according to Doles.