Mentoring Networks Design Challenge Teams to Present Their Ideas to the Campus Community

Student Teams Seeking Feedback During Expo on Thursday

Hartford, CT, March 2, 2015 – For the past few weeks, five student-led design teams have been hard at work learning what it means to design a comprehensive mentoring network to support Trinity’s incoming first-year students. On Thursday, March 5, the teams will showcase their design ideas to the campus community during a poster-presentation expo at Vernon Social from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The expo is designed to allow the teams to gather and incorporate valuable feedback from students, faculty, and staff
before the teams make their final presentations to a panel of judges on Sunday, March 8, at which point a winning team will be chosen. At the expo, each team will have posters that visually display their design concepts, and team members will be on hand to discuss their ideas with the campus community.

The teams, each supported by presidential cabinet sponsors, are tasked with developing a design for the mentoring networks that: 1) offers concrete plans for programming, space, and governance; 2) promises to achieve the four goals, outlined by President Berger-Sweeney; 3) engages existing campus resources; and 4) has a compelling name to describe it.

In November, President Joanne Berger-Sweeney called upon students to develop “a mentoring program for students, designed by students” in a video message to the campus community.

Preliminary plans for the mentoring networks program call for all incoming students — beginning with the Class of 2019 this August — to be assigned to one of five mentoring networks. The networks are designed to connect students to their peers, creating an immediate sense of belonging; to strengthen mentoring of students outside the classroom, inspiring them to cultivate knowledge; to connect students to Hartford, equipping them to take advantage of our city’s offerings; and to prepare students for life by developing engaged, civically minded persons.

Each network will comprise about 120 first-year students who live in Jones, Elton, Jackson, Wheaton, Smith, North, and Funston. A central space on campus for the mentoring networks will allow students to prepare meals, eat together, and talk in comfortable lounge spaces.

Support for each network will be given by a team composed of a dean, faculty mentors, a transition fellow (a recent liberal arts college graduate), upper-level student peer mentors, career development mentors, and wellness mentors.