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MassBay Community College Announces Sanofi Genzyme Charitable Contribution to Fund the STEM Mentor Program

Monday, June 27, 2016

WELLESLEY HILLS (June 27, 2016) — MassBay Community College is pleased to announce the awarding of a $37,000 charitable contribution from Sanofi Genzyme to assist in funding MassBay’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Mentor Program. The STEM Mentor Program is also funded through the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education STEM Starter Academy grant.

MassBay’s STEM Mentor Program, since its inception in 2014, has worked closely with Sanofi Genzyme employees to create a program that offers students one-on-one mentoring by STEM professionals. Through this educational and network-based mentoring program, students increase their knowledge of career paths and choices and receive support for persisting in their studies. Students from underrepresented groups are and have been actively recruited into the program. The program includes individual meetings between mentors and mentees, group activities, social events and workshops. Potential mentors and mentees receive independent orientation/training sessions that provide an overview of the program, expectations of the mentor/mentee relationships, the roles, responsibilities and benefits of each party and suggested activities to do together. Mentors and mentees complete an application form which serves as a basis upon which the pairs are matched.

“This program has been an invaluable addition to the curricular offerings in our STEM Division,” said MassBay’s Director of the STEM Mentor Program, Valerie Kapilow. “Mentors help our students make the connection between what they are learning in the classroom with the knowledge and skills required in the STEM fields. Mentors help students prepare for job interviews, identify research opportunities, transfer to four-year institutions and connect with other STEM professionals. The program is growing and we are recruiting new STEM professionals who want to give back to the community, make a difference in a student’s academic/professional life and who want to meet some of the next generation of STEM professionals, potential interns or future employees.”

In the fall of 2014, MassBay launched the STEM Mentor Program with 41 students and one company, Sanofi Genzyme, whose employees served as mentors. By the end of the program in spring 2016, the program had 47 mentors and 51 student mentees paired primarily with professionals from three regional employers: Sanofi Genzyme, MathWorks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The program’s mentees were 43% women (15% were the first in their family to attend college) and 48% were students of color (6% Asian, 17% Latino/a, 19% African American, and 6% other). The mentors in the program also came from diverse backgrounds; 43% women, 39% people of color, and 25% first in their families to attend college. There is an increased demand for mentors by MassBay students as interest grows in MassBay’s STEM programs and STEM careers in the MetroWest region.

“We are pleased to provide continued financial support for the STEM Mentor Program as part of our commitment to science education in Massachusetts” said Stephen Meunier, Director of Public Affairs for Sanofi Genzyme. “It is easy for us to see the value in investing in this program when we look at the time and energy our employees have invested in it, and the success stories they’ve shared about the power of these mentor/mentee relationships.”

“I am very inspired by my mentee, by her drive for learning and her tremendous passion and perseverance,” said Pavlina Wolf, mentor and former MassBay student who transferred to Wellesley College and now works as a Principal Research Associate for Sanofi Genzyme. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to encourage current MassBay students at the onset of a wonderful journey.”

The STEM Mentor Program is part of the MassBay Leadership Ambassadors (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 MassBay Community College STEM Mentor Program or to get your company involved with mentorships: www.massbay.edu/mentor.