Biology Student Mentoring Program
What is the Biology Student Mentoring program?
The Biology Student Mentoring Program is a diverse student-led network of majors in the Biology Department who foster supportive and inclusive mentoring relationships with students interested in pursuing a degree in Biology. One of our goals with this program is to increase equitable access in STEM and we especially encourage those of underrepresented backgrounds/identities in STEM to join.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any current and declared Biology major can sign up to be a mentor. If you take on this role, we will provide you with ongoing support to facilitate your development as a mentor and provide you with resources to cultivate a positive mentoring experience for you and your mentee.
First, because you are farther along in your degree, you would get to provide guidance, encouragement, and support to a less experienced student. It provides you with a chance to extend your network of campus colleagues and share what you’ve learned as an active student in the department! Second, research shows that being a mentor goes beyond the rewarding feeling of giving back, it also encourages personal development in communication, self-confidence, and leadership skills.
If you're considering any major or pursuing a minor offered in the Biology Department and are currently taking a course towards that goal you can sign up to be a mentee. Newly accepted Biology majors as well as transfer students are also welcome to apply, but may want to consider joining our mentor team.
You should sign up as a mentee if you want the perspective of someone who is a step or two ahead of you on the path to getting a Biology degree at WWU and be exposed to new and different perspectives. Your mentor can provide encouragement and advice, answer questions that you have, and direct you to people or resources that can help you.
As a Biology student mentor we expect you to:
- Meet with your mentee up to one hour per month. You discuss and agree with your mentee on the best way to meet that fit the needs of both mentee and mentor. This could be a weekly 15 minute conversation, or a monthly one hour chat. We suggest shorter, more regular conversations at first, but as you develop rapport a single, longer conversation might be more appropriate.
- This is an inclusive program. Get to know your mentee and accept them for who they are regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, educational background, or socioeconomic background
- Listen actively, ask questions and show that you care about your mentee’s success
- Provide guidance, support, and encouragement
A mentor is not a tutor, a therapist, an academic advisor, or a counselor. Mentors can touch on many topics but if the mentee has a serious need you should be directing them to appropriate resources. We’ll help you with that and you can always turn to us if you, as a mentor, need advice.