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Start a new semester with a new connection

Whether you’re new to MSU Denver or a campus vet, the BEEP peer-mentoring program is a great way to expand your circle.

By Lindsey Coulter

October 2, 2018

BEEP mentors standing outside SSBIn an average day or week, how many fellow Metropolitan State University of Denver faculty or staff do you interact with? Now how many of those folks work outside your department or team?

On a busy and growing campus, it’s easy to fall into silos, but cross-departmental conversations and relationships are beneficial no matter if you’re a brand-new employee or a campus veteran. It’s why Classified Staff Council President Metza Templeton and Service Learning Specialist with the Applied Learning Center Lori McKinney (along with others from MetroLeads) co-founded the Buddy Educational Excellence Program.

BEEP is an informal mentoring program that pairs current Roadrunner faculty and staff with new hires as mentors and mentees, respectively. Mentors and mentees are matched according to the results of a simple survey that asks for basic information about interests, areas of expertise, classification and other factors. Prospective participants can also note preferences related to factors such as political affiliation or ethnic background, but for BEEP, professional differences are also important.

“We don’t want to pair people with someone in their department, because we’re trying to broaden people’s horizons,” Templeton said.

Mentor/mentee pairs receive a Dazbog gift card for their first meeting, but after that meetings are organic, informal and intended to serve as a platform for building social connections and sharing resources. Mentor/mentee pairs determine how often they meet, where they meet and what they discuss.

Since the program kicked off last year, the BEEP team has matched 24 mentor/mentee pairs, and numerous other MSU Denver faculty and staff have signed up to be paired. While Templeton and McKinney don’t have a specific goal as to the number of pairs, they would like BEEP to become a sustainable, long-term program.

“The whole point is to build community and expand networks on campus.” McKinney said. “We also hope that people get excited about it and join the steering committee.”

Diane Yee, director of campus recreation, was paired with her mentor, Shaun Schafer, Ph.D., professor of journalism and technical communication, shortly after she arrived on campus last fall.

“As a new employee, I wanted to absorb as much as possible and thought having a mentor who had been here for a long time would expedite that process,” Yee said.

For Schafer, getting involved with BEEP complemented his academic interest in mentoring and allowed him to share his years of experience as a Roadrunner.

“I’ve been here for a long time, but I spend most of my time with my faculty and some administrators,” Schafer said. “It’s very easy to not connect with the rest of campus. I definitely would recommend people get involved.”

“It’s nice to break up your work routine by meeting up with your mentor/mentee,” Yee added. “It’s a great way to stay connected to the rest of campus and a wonderful source of community-building.”

For more information on BEEP or to become a mentor or mentee, contact the BEEP Mentoring Team.

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