New Affiliates Begin Work

New Affiliates Begin Work

By Sean Smith
Chronicle Editor

With a few changes in place, the University Affiliates Program recently began its second year of operation as an initiative to enhance the ability of AHANA staff to advance their careers at Boston College.

Nine BC employees representing the Office of Student Development, Athletic Association, Information Technology, Housing and other areas of the University are participating in this year's program.

Designed by the offices of Affirmative Action and AHANA Student Programs with the Irish Institute, which is providing administrative oversight and organization, the Affiliates Program seeks to enrich the professional skills of African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American employees and improve their credentials for future administrative positions.

Affiliates serve internships and attend monthly professional development events, and also work with senior BC administrators who have been assigned as mentors. This fall, participants have heard seminars on subjects such as leadership and the role of spirituality in one's professional life, and listened to Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella describe his responsibilities and experiences.

Next semester, the program will spotlight issues concerning information technology and race and integration in higher education, among other topics, and feature presentations by other top administrators, including University President William P. Leahy, SJ.

Program leaders say its inaugural year provided them with some highly useful insights and suggestions for improvement, many of which have been incorporated into this year's itinerary. Both participants and their mentors undergo a formal orientation, for example, and have more time for individual discussions.

"One thing we really sought to do better this year is to get a better understanding from the Affiliates and their mentors as to their expectations for the program," said Associate Director for Human Resources Robert Lewis. "This is a learning process for all of us, and we expect the program to continue to evolve."

Technology Consultant David Sangurima, a participant in the University Affiliates Program, taking part in a recent seminar at Haley House led by Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Another change is the addition of Internal Consultant for Employee Development Sidney Holloway as a facilitator for the program's events. "The feeling was that it would really help to have someone review what went on during the day, and bring it to closure," said Holloway.

"We also wanted to make sure that the presentations connect with the program," he added. "So I check in with those who are making the presentations, to see if I can help them think on what they might want to talk about and what would be potentially useful for the group.

"I've been very impressed by the attention and support people have given to the program. We learned from last year, and I'm sure we'll learn from this year, too."

Assistant Director of Residential Life for Judicial Affairs Akima Rogers, one of this year's participants, said he had already developed a great appreciation for the program.

"There are so many different departments and compartments to the University," said Rogers, who earned a master's degree in higher education administration from BC in 1999. "It's like having a personal guided tour of the offices and departments. You get a sense of how they function individually, and as part of the University as a whole.

"Having the chance for direct, honest dialogue with senior administrators is another important aspect of the program."

Learning Resources for Student Athletes Director Ferna Phillips said personal experience sparked her interest in serving as a mentor. "I certainly appreciated whatever help I got as I went along in my career," she said. "In my position, I have been a mentor for students, as well as for young professionals outside of BC. So, in working with the Affiliates Program, I feel as if I am completing the circle."


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