Hello! My name is Tiana Grehanov, and I’m the President of the Women at Rensselaer Mentor Program (WMP) Board for 2017-2018. I’m overjoyed with your decision to join the program this year, either as a mentor who’s ready to share your knowledge and experiences, or as a mentee eager to learn tips from seasoned scholars for successfully creating your own student experience. WMP strives to assist first-year women to make a smooth transition to academic and social life at RPI. Before joining this program as an incoming freshman, I was uncertain about how my first experiences at RPI would go. However, WMP began to erase any uncertainties the very first day I met my mentor at the WMP Navigating Rensselaer and Beyond (NR&B) reception. The program provided me with friends I would’ve never met, and opportunities and experiences that I might never have discovered on my own. I chose to join the board as a Freshman Representative and have stayed with the Board since my first year. The Mentor Program has instilled in me a sense of community for Rensselaer, for this program, and for the women with whom I’ve served on the Board. As you embark on your first few weeks here at RPI, I hope that you will find a similar sense of community and perhaps develop some lasting bonds.

Mentees: adjusting to college life can be exciting and occasionally a bit nerve-wracking. Your mentor is someone you can reach out to with any questions during your transition. Whether you’re figuring out what classes to take, where the best places are to eat on campus or in Troy, or what clothes to pack for the upcoming semester(s). The peer mentors have been in your place and can offer you invaluable advice about how to make your experience at Rensselaer the best it can be. Your mentor has volunteered for this role because she knows how important and reassuring it can be to have a connection before you begin your college experience and she wants to support you in this stage of your life which is full of excitement. Please do not hesitate to reach out to her!

All mentors and mentees should have received the contact information for their assigned matches. The WMP Board encourages all mentors to reach out to their mentees as soon as possible. Mentees, please look out for an email, letter or phone call from your mentor and respond promptly. We sincerely want to see your mentor/mentee bond strengthen and thrive. If you have any trouble contacting your mentor/mentee, please reach out to our Mentor/Mentee Relationship Coordinator, Tiffany Hsi at hsit@rpi.edu.
While getting in touch with your mentor/mentee over the summer is something we hope that most mentors and mentees will do before the fall semester starts, we do realize that families and students are busy with summer jobs and travel.

To get connected with each other as soon as possible, please register to attend one of our NR&B receptions with your mentor/mentee! The first reception is on Monday, August 28 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (includes lunch) and the second reception is on Tuesday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Both events will take place in the Russell Sage Dining Hall, second floor. This is a great opportunity to meet you mentor, other peer mentors, and other first year women. In addition to the receptions, WMP hosts a number of fun events and professional development workshops that will be offered throughout the school year. We typically host one social event and several workshops per month. The social events are a time to relax, enjoy the company of other female students, and learn about activities and programs in which more senior students are engaged. Our professional events are designed to help students learn critical skills to prepare them for their professional careers or for Graduate School. The WMP Board will promote these events on the WMP Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram pages, as well as through email notifications to our members. Registration links will be available in these notifications, as well as helpful suggestions on how you can interact with your mentor/mentee. When you see these notifications, please register to attend our events to provide an accurate headcount for ordering food and supplies. A few events will have limited seating and will require pre-registration to attend.

Please feel free to reach out to me at grehat@rpi.edu with any questions about the program or contacting your mentor/mentee. The WMP Board is very excited to meet you and to help support your mentoring partnership. Have a great summer and I look forward to seeing you in the fall!

Warm Regards,
Tiana Grehanov

Written by Andrea O'Brisky