From the Nominator
"The UGA Mentor Program (mentor.uga.edu) is the University of Georgia’s first comprehensive mentorship program. It is one of President Jere W. Morehead’s initiatives.
The mentor lab team that formed in 2018 in the UGA Career Center--which is situated in the division of development and alumni relations--was tasked with designing, launching, and scaling meaningful student-alumni connections to strengthen the Bulldog (mascot) family. We had two months to design the whole program and recruit our pilot program participants: 116 mentoring dyads/pairs. President Morehead requested that we launch a pilot program in January 2019.
We approached our work via humble inquiry. The team conducted a listening tour with a diverse range of stakeholders to ensure that we designed an inclusive, evidence-based mentoring program. The pilot program consisted of 18 diverse stakeholders. It allowed us to cultivate meaningful relationships and build coalitions across campus.
After the pilot, we formed a student ambassador program. They are the beating heart of the program.
We globally launched the program on August 21, 2019. Since the program’s launch, we have fostered 3,400+ mentoring relationships and 250+ informational interviews (feature launched November 2020) between students and alumni, faculty, and staff mentors. Faculty and staff were eligible to serve as mentors in July 2021.
Most recently, the UGA Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Planning Committee included expanding mentorship for underrepresented students as an institutional priority."
From the Judges
This outstanding program should be stood up as a model for schools that are looking to launch a mentor program. This program was successful for many reasons, including being a priority from campus leadership, which led to the ability to have campus partner buy-in while offering a win-win for students and alumni alike. Way to go, UGA!