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Massachusetts Bay Community College to Hold Its Annual Kick-Off Reception for the STEM Mentor Program

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WELLESLEY HILLS, MA (September 29, 2015) – On Thursday, Massachusetts Bay Community College will host its annual STEM Mentor Program Kick-off Reception to introduce students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields to area professionals in an education and network based mentoring program. The STEM Mentor Program is a collaborative program that facilitates one-on-one mentoring relationships and provides substantive, skills-based and networking programs throughout the year. The STEM students selected for the 2015-2016 program will meet their mentors several times throughout the year to discuss career opportunities in the STEM fields, ask for advice to advance them in their field of study, explore job shadow opportunities, and more. Mentor and mentee pairs are required to meet at least once a month in person, with frequent communication between meetings. Mentees are asked to take the initiative and be the drivers of the relationship.

“Our industry partners are leaders in the corporate social responsibility realm”, said Interim President Yves Salomon-Fernandez. “Their commitment to nurturing the current and next generation of STEM professionals is evident in the mentoring, the scale of this endeavor, and the range of activities they support on our campuses. We are grateful that Genzyme/Sanofi got this initiative started. We have forged partnerships with companies in STEM and other fields. The sky is the limit for MassBay students.”

In the fall of 2014, MassBay launched the STEM Mentor Program with 41 students and one company, Genzyme/Sanofi, whose employees served as mentors. This year, the STEM Mentor Program has expanded to include 47 students paired primarily with three regional company employees from Genzyme/Sanofi, MathWorks and the U.S. Army corps of Engineers. The STEM Mentor Program is funded through the STEM Starter Academy and a Genzyme Foundation grant.

“Because of the generous grant we received in the spring from the Genzyme Foundation, we have been able to expand the capacity and reach of the program” said Valerie Kapilow, the Program Director. “This program is so critically important for our students, helping them to connect what they are learning in their classes with workplace expectations for STEM professionals. This program gives the mentees direct access to social capital, one of the primary goals of this program.”

“After an extremely successful first year partnering in the STEM Mentor Program, we are excited about the expansion of the program this year,” said Cynthia Arbeeny, Ph.D., Vice President, Science Strategy for Sanofi Genzyme R&D Center. “The number of our employees who have volunteered their time to the program is impressive and exemplifies our corporate culture of social responsibility. Our partnership with MassBay demonstrates our company’s commitment to inspiring students to pursue careers in STEM, thereby investing in our workforce of tomorrow.”

The STEM Mentor Program is part of the MassBay Leadership Academy (MBLA) which includes mentors and mentees from various disciplines and is designed to benefit the development of all students from different educational and socio-economic backgrounds, foundations, ethnicities and values, and prepare them for a future of career success. MBLA serves as the umbrella association under which all of the individual mentoring programs at MassBay fall. Currently, MassBay has five mentoring programs under MBLA including the Boston Scientific Mentoring Program, Multicultural Mentoring Program, Success Boston, Young Men of Color and the STEM Mentor Program.

For more information on the STEM Mentor Program;

MassBay Community College is a comprehensive, open-access college dedicated to student learning and achievement through academically rigorous courses and programs. MassBay awards associate degrees and certificates in more than 70 academic programs in the liberal arts and in career-driven fields, such as business, health sciences, and automotive technology. On the college’s three campuses in Wellesley Hills, Framingham, and Ashland, as well as online, MassBay offers day, evening, and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career-minded life-long learners.