On November 8th, more than 25 alumni and 30 students attended our first-ever Communication Alumni Mentorship Program (CAMP) event, held in the University Union. The purpose of CAMP is to pair students with alumni mentors who can provide advice on important topics, including networking, job interviews, professional communication, and career goals.
Alumna Melissa Chowning (B.A. 2005), Founder and CEO of Twenty-First Digital, provided the keynote address, discussing how mentoring had shaped and influenced her career. David Holdeman, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and Dr. Brian Richardson, Chair of the Communication Studies department, also presented on the importance of mentoring.
Following these presentations, the students got to find out who their mentors were. We devised a clever activity that allowed both the mentors and students to find one another. On the back of everyone's nametags were numbers which successfully worked as a matching game. Once the mentors and students were paired, they got to know one another better by writing down answers to questions given to them. We also gave away UNT-themed door prizes and developed a backdrop for students to take photos with their mentors.
"I love the idea of having someone to support me and my dreams, especially one who was hand-picked for my personal endeavors. Every time the conversation died down, we would bring up something else to talk about so we didn't have to leave," said senior Lexie Nelson of her mentor Earlina Green.
The event was organized by Emma Carnes of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, with support from Ian Etheridge, Emily Perez, and Michelle Wingard of COMM Future Pros and staff members of the Communication Studies department.
Senior Emily Perez also loved the experience. She said, "I had such an amazing time meeting my mentor Tricia Irwin at the CAMP event! It is so helpful to have someone that has been through the COMM department and can relate to me and guide me on an academic and professional level. I know that the relationships I have been able to build during my time in the department will be beneficial to me long after I graduate. The sense of community that the department forms is so valuable and one of the reasons I love my major."
Junior Hanna Mosing called CAMP the highlight of her college experience, adding "I really enjoyed the CAMP ceremony! Being able to have my mentor, Brooke Wilson, to ask questions and communicate with, especially in my junior year of college, is an opportunity I'm so grateful to have."
The students weren't the only ones who enjoyed the evening. Alumna Liz Scott (BA 2005) said, "I always love coming back to UNT, but this time it was more special because I got to meet my mentees. Their energy and enthusiasm are truly inspiring. I wish we had CAMP when I was a student, but I'm so happy to be involved as a mentor. I believe all who participate in the program will benefit greatly."
"I can't thank our alumni enough for their participation. Not only did they take the time to drive to campus for the event, but they also connected with their students and began establishing relationships that I hope will last a lifetime," said Dr. Richardson.
The inaugural ceremony was a success and we enjoyed seeing our alumni making an impact in the lives of our students. We hope to continue this event for years to come. If you would like to participate, complete this application form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to help with planning the event, know of a space where we could hold it, or would like to offer financial support for the event, please email Dr. Richardson at email@example.com