Newsletter Article

Psychology Undergraduate Mentoring Program Continues to Grow

With the global pandemic creating an isolating environment for all undergraduate students, the Psychology Department recognized that the isolation and increased anxiety was especially pronounced among students who were members of underrepresented groups and/or for transfer students to the University of Washington. The Psychology Undergraduate Mentoring Program was established in 2020 with the aim of matching faculty, current or former graduate students, and advanced undergraduates with undergraduate psychology majors or prospective majors.  

The program aims to provide connection and mentorship for students who identify with an underrepresented group, such as being a member of a racial minority group, first-generation college student, LGBTQ+ people, and transfer students, who may be more uncertain of their place in the UW community. Current undergraduate students can participate as both mentors and mentees. Now in its second year, the program is going strong with 157 mentees and 89 mentors. “We match people up based on a combination of shared identities and interests within psychology” says Program Director and Associate Teaching Professor Tabitha Kirkland, “and we’ve been lucky to have a pretty diverse pool of both mentees AND mentors this year!” 

A team of four undergraduate students and a small advisory board work with Dr. Kirkland to keep the program running smoothly. Undergraduates Angela Tseng and Katelyn Milam are coordinating matchmaking, communications, and event logistics, while Hannah Nguyen and Dave Young are helping with research and program evaluation. The organizers encourage connection and community within the program by holding regular weekly drop-in social hours with mentors. They also provide mentees with a list of mentors by area of interest so they can contact people who aren’t their primary mentor for conversations on those topics. 

The Program continues to accept applications for new mentors and mentees throughout the year and will make additional rounds of matches at the start of the 2023 winter and spring quarters. All folks who are interested are welcome to apply. 

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