OMA launches Leadership and Mentoring Program

Fanny Lau

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is set to launch a new mentoring program for underrepresented students of different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds called the Leadership and Mentoring Program.

Headed by Assistant Dean for Multicultural Affairs Pa Lee Moua, LAMP aims to create a positive college experience for underrepresented first year students by pairing them with upperclassmen for academic and social support.

The components of the mentoring program are threefold and divided by academic terms. The first term of the year will consist of social engagement with biweekly social group activities. LAMP’s goal for Winter Term is to increase involvement with the Lawrence campus through programs and events. Finally, Spring Term will see the introduction of civic engagement within the Appleton community through various service projects and volunteer opportunities.

Moua stressed that the program began because “upperclassmen were coming to talk about the concerns they had about the support of underrepresented students,” and that LAMP, essentially, was a “program by students, for students.”

LAMP actually piloted last year, but the program was put on hold after Fall Term because there were still some minor issues with the program. The period of re-planning paid off, though, as Moua pointed out that this year’s program is “completely revamped and restructured.”

Junior Minh Nguyen and sophomore Kelsi Bruun-Bryant, LAMP student coordinators, revealed a hope for high retention rate within the program.

“Ideally, we want to make the program an enjoyable experience so that the mentees will come back and give back as mentors,” said Bruun-Bryant.

Furthermore, Nguyen and Bruun-Bryant are working hard to create a network with other organizations on campus. Nguyen divulged the hope of “collaborating with the Volunteer and Community Service Center to make resources and information more accessible for the mentees.”

Both mentees and mentors undergo an application process for the LAMP program. Criteria for a mentorship position include a high level of achievement, personal and cultural development.

The LAMP program hopes to shed light on the numerous opportunities available at the Office of Multicultural Affairs to cultivate leadership skills, meet new students or just to have a good time.

Moua stated, “I’m really excited about this program and what the future holds for Lawrence as LAMP strives to make many students’ college experiences more successful and meaningful.”