Mentors, Students Praise 'Connections'

By Reid Oslin
Staff Writer

    Boston College Connections, an alumnae-student mentoring initiative begun last year, received high marks from mentors and students alike at a Feb. 11 convocation welcoming 25 new participants to the program.

    "We have a very positive mechanism here for getting our female graduates connected back to BC," University Trustee Mary J. Steele Guilfoile '76 told the newcomers and their mentors at the event, held in the Lower Campus Dining Hall Heights Room.

    "It's positive for students in that it offers them a chance to gain experience from the outside world in addition to what they have learned on campus," said Guilfoile, co-chair of the Task Force on Women at Boston College, principal sponsor of the Connections program.

    University President William P. Leahy, SJ, joined Guilfoile and fellow Trustee and committee co-chair Susan McManama Gianinno '70 in welcoming the new Connections participants. The group also heard Trustee Benaree P. Wiley, president and CEO of The Partnership, discuss various aspects of a successful mentoring experience, along with Boston Foundation President Anna Faith Jones, Vice President for University Relations Mary Lou DeLong and Lynch School of Education Dean Mary Brabeck.

    Deans of the four undergraduate schools chose this year's group of student participants. They join 25 female students selected last January to begin the one-on-one mentoring program that lasts through the student's senior year and 18 months into her professional career.

    Mentors and participants from the program's first year shared their impressions and observations at the convocation.

    Alice Buckley Brennan '64, a curriculum specialist for the Shrewsbury Public Schools, said that her year as a mentor in the Connections program provided "a wonderful match" with LSOE senior Kerry Gallagher, who has since completed her classroom requirements and started her professional teaching career.

    "We had regular personal visits over the past 12 months to discuss career directions and networking possibilities," Brennan said. "It was much more than 'How are you doing?' It was 'I care about what you are doing.'"

    School of Nursing senior Meghan Schloss said her mentoring relationship with Joanne Sullivan Marut, a 1970 SON graduate, was equally rewarding. "Nursing is such a broad field, and Joanne helped me find the best experience to maximize future employment possibilities," she said.

    Andrea E. McGrath '89, a marketing specialist for a Boston financial services firm, said she "jumped on the opportunity" to become a mentor to Stephanie Loconto, A&S '00. "It was a fantastic experience getting connected back to the school and connected to Steph," she said.

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