Mentoring reception promotes leadership, networking

The Women’s Commission has partnered with the Women’s Center, the Provost’s Office and the Office of the President to host the fourth annual Fall Mentoring Reception at Grand Valley State University on Tuesday.

Kristen Evans, Women’s Commission chair, said she is the moderator for the mentor panel, which features five speakers this year: Jodi Chycinski, director of admissions; Carol Sanchez, international business program director; Pat Waring, community relations director; Sharalle Arnold, Women’s Center associate director; and Lee VanOrsdel, dean of University Libraries.

“The mentoring reception is a faculty/staff event with the goal of providing an opportunity for women to connect outside of professional projects and participate in dialogue and relationship building,” Evans said. “This event offers the GVSU community an opportunity to learn more about women leaders on campus by offering a platform for them to share their perspectives and insights on leadership, management, work-life integration, professionalism, self-care and many other topics.”

As a networking event, the program also focuses on starting a conversation about leadership development.

Nancy Giardina, vice provost for student success, served on the panel in a previous year. Giardina said she views leadership as a service, something that can empower people and set them up for success.

“I value that the Provost’s Office is very supportive of leadership development programs,” she said. “This program is a great example of how anyone, especially women, aspiring to be leaders can take advantage of hearing how current leaders are involved. They can hear stories on how people help others achieve their goals and are moving the mission of the university forward.”

She said mentoring is essential for those who want to obtain a leadership role. As a mentor, she listens, provides guidance and helps others explore their goals.

“In my role as a mentor, I am making sure I make time to meet with them and listen to what’s on their mind, offer strategies and link them with resources and other people,” Giardina said. “We want both men and women to consider this.”

In addition to faculty and staff, Giardina said she also mentors graduate and undergraduate students. She encourages them to get involved in leadership opportunities during their time on campus.

“Grand Valley is very committed to professional development and leadership development,” she said. “This is something we should continue to do.”

The Fall Mentoring Reception takes place on Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. in the Loosemore Auditorium at the DeVos Center, located on the Pew Campus.

The next Women’s Commission event is HerStory with Zulema Moret, a Latin American studies professor. Students, faculty and staff can attend at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 1 in Kirkhof Center Room 2204.

For more information or for accommodations at the events, contact [email protected]