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SIPA Alumni

DEI Student Mentoring Initiative

As part of SIPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, the School launched a DEI Alumni-Student Mentoring Initiative in 2021. During the 2022-23 academic year, more than 40 alumni volunteered as mentors to more than 50 students. We are pleased to continue this program for the 2023-24 academic year.

The purpose of this program is to connect students from historically underrepresented groups at SIPA with alumni volunteers to provide career guidance and support during the students' graduate studies and professional advice for after graduation from SIPA. Because space in the program is limited, preference will be given to U.S. students who identify as Black, African-American, or Latinx, while special consideration will be given to other students who identify with underrepresented groups as space permits.

Alumni mentors volunteer their time to share their SIPA and professional experience and knowledge with students to enhance their SIPA experience, while also building a stronger community and professional network for students and alumni of color.  While mentors serve as a valuable career resource to students, they may also gain insights that help them in their own careers.

Program participants will be provided with program guidelines, best practices for the mentor-mentee relationship, and suggested topics for monthly 1:1 meetings.  Alumni volunteers are expected to participate in an orientation with SIPA’s Career Advancement Center in the fall, which will also be made available as a recording.

Once participants are notified of their matches in November, mentors are asked to initiate contact with their mentees to introduce themselves and schedule their introductory meeting by mid-December.

The program is a joint initiative of the Career Advancement Center, Alumni Relations, and Student Affairs.  A committee of staff from these offices will make the matches based on student interests and other information provided by the students and alumni.

Mentor Applications

Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year are now closed. 

Please contact Susan Storms, Director of Alumni Relations, at [email protected] with any questions.  


Alumni who are interested in serving as mentors are asked to complete an application providing information about their professional experience, areas of expertise, and a bio. The bios for alumni who are selected as mentors will be shared with prospective student participants. 

Alumni who would like additional information should contact Susan Storms, Director of Alumni Relations, at [email protected]


Applications for students will be available through the Career Advancement Center during the last week of September along with the mentor bios.  Students will be asked to provide information about their career interests, goals for working with a mentor, and their ranked choices of alumni mentors. The student application deadline is Friday, October 13, 2023. 

Students who would like additional information should contact Meg Heenehan, Executive Director, Career Advancement Center (CAC) at [email protected].  

Program Timeline for 2023-24

July 2023 Alumni applications open (priority deadline September 1)
September 2023 Program announcement to students during orientation
September 2023 Mentor bios posted for students last week of September; student applications open (October 13 deadline)
September-October 2023 Orientations for alumni mentors (Thursday, October 5 at 12:30 pm and 5:30 pm)
November 2023 Notification to alumni and students of matches; student orientations
December 2023 - May 2024 Program participants are expected to meet at least once per month from December through May
February - March 2024 Mid-semester check-in for mentors with Alumni Relations and for mentees with the Career Advancement Center
Summer 2024 Program evaluations distributed to participants