By Seneca Ransom
Recently, an email addressing the Alumni Mentorship program for the 2021-2022 school year was sent to the Malone community. It pairs a Malone alum with a current student who has similar vocational aspirations as those that the alum is currently achieving.
The mentoring relationship formed will focus on helping students prepare for life after graduation. This program is led by the co-directors of the Pendle Hill program, Dr. Laura Foote and Dr. Scott Waalkes.
Each of the alumni mentors comes recommended by a faculty member. There will be training for the mentors before the school year begins, as well as an orientation where mentors and mentees meet in person.
Malone University, in line with the Pendle Hill initiative, has a focus on mentoring students as they prepare for life beyond college. Foote emphasizes the importance of forming professional and mentoring relationships as college students.
“The Pendle Hill program is about experiential learning,” Foote said. “It is not just about learning that occurs in the classroom, but we want you to have experiences that are part of a larger community.
“We want you to be able to have alumni mentors who have gone through Malone,” Foote said. “They know [our] story, they know your experience, they know that and they understand the culture.
“When you are paired up with an alumni mentor, you’re going to hear about that person’s life experiences,” Foote said. “They are going to talk to you about what they have learned on the job. [Students] will get out of it as much as [they] want to put into it — the value of mentors is drawing from their experience.”
“One of the most powerful things that [students] could get [out of this opportunity] is the ability to imagine themselves doing things after college, like [the mentors],” Waalkes said. “These are people who were in [students’] shoes just a few years ago, and now look at what they’re doing — seeing that helps [students] build the bridge.”
The alumni mentors are very excited to work with current Malone students. They have their own experiences and advice for mentees.
Alicia Meyer, communication arts ‘17, is one such mentor. She is currently a resident director at Grace College in Indiana.
“When I look back at my Malone experience, I can name a lot of people who invested in me and helped me have the confidence to succeed and help me to step into my calling,” Meyer said. “I would love to help a student [in that way] too.
“Malone is a beautiful place, but it’s not what the real world is,” Meyer said. “If I can help a student think about what it looks like to engage their faith and take the values of learning in the classroom and apply them to other parts of life, maybe [they] can learn from my mistakes and my successes, and hopefully they’ll thrive beyond Malone.”
Bryan Hollingworth, communication arts‘02, is the major gifts officer for Akron Children’s Hospital.
“I think mentorship is really important,” Hollingsworth said. “There are some things you can learn from books and there are some things you can learn from your peers, but it is a lot easier to learn from people that have gone before you.
“We all stand on the shoulders of giants — hopefully by doing that we can then move on and mentor the next generation,” Hollingworth said. “Together, we are all collectively moving and increasing our knowledge and our empathy and finding out how we can help each other.”
The Pendle Hill program puts a special emphasis on mentorship so that students are fully prepared for life after Malone. Any questions about Pendle Hill or the pillar focus on mentoring can be directed to Dr. Laura Foote or Dr. Scott Waalkes.