Cover, LGBT, News

LGBTQ-ally program creates mentorship opportunities for community

DSC09836.jpg

Former UM student Jacob Rudolph said being matched with someone who understood what he was going through was one of the best experiences of his college career. Without UM’s LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program, he would not have had that opportunity.

The mentorship program pairs students with a mentor on UM’s faculty or staff. Rudolph, who graduated in May 2017, said he formed a life-long friendship with Meredith Camel, executive director of UM Communications.

“It was just really nice to have someone who has been through so many of the challenges that LGBTQ people face in their lives to just be able to talk it out one-on-one and not feel worried about being judged whenever I wanted emotional support,” Rudolph said.

Along with offering personal, professional and academic support to UM students, mentors are in charge of directing mentees to campus and community LGBTQ resources and increasing mentorship capacity for LGBTQ-identified students.

For students in the LGBTQ community, such as Emma Lam, the program provides an opportunity to get in touch with campus resources. Lam, a sophomore and secretary of SpectrUM – UM’s largest LGBTQ student organization – said the main focus of the program is for students to foster a relationship with their mentors that will facilitate academic and professional development according to their personal needs and goals.

“Students will have the opportunity to learn from the guidance of experienced university employees,” she said.

Anthony Sis, assistant director of UM’s LGBTQ Student Center, said the mentorship program’s application has undergone a few changes this year. Instead of mentees choosing their mentors after a social at the start of the academic school year, the pairs will be selected in advance. Sis said more questions have been added to both mentee and mentor applications to select the best pairings based on personal and academic interests.

The main goal of this program is to connect students with faculty and staff members at UM, who are either members or allies of the LGBTQ community, Sis said. Mentors are meant to provide support through individualized engagement.

“College is a crucial time where gender identity and sexual orientation develops through many different experiences,” Sis said. “The mentorship program is meant to guide students during this time period with an academic and social support lens.”

The program, was originally created by LGBTQ-identified members in the Butler Center prior to the LGBTQ Student Center’s opening in August 2016.

Typically, between 10 to 15 mentees and mentors apply. The only requirement to become a mentor is to be a faculty or staff member with a strong desire to empower and support LGBTQ students and allies. There are no specific requirements to become a mentee, and any undergraduate UM student can apply.

Mentors and mentees must fill out the Mentor Application Form and Mentee Interest Form, respectively. Both forms can be found on OrgSync.

Rudolph said he encourages students to apply because the program matched him with “one of the top three people” he met at UM.

“There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Rudolph said.

To learn more about the LGBTQ+ mentorship program, visit lgbtq.studentaffairs.miami.edu.

October 16, 2017

Reporters

Elina Katrin


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.