Dinner-style mentorship program begins

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The “Dinner with Strangers” student career mentorship program, developed by Shepherd University President Mary J.C. Hendrix, is to launch Feb 28.

Designed to match Shepherd students with community members who have excelled in careers sought by students, the first dinner will be hosted by Sue and David Kemnitzer in Shepherdstown. Mrs. Kemnitzer has a career in engineering research with the National Science Foundation, while her husband has worked in architecture and historical preservation in Washington, D.C.

The program aims “to expose our students to real world application of their field of study and to develop connections with those who have been in that field,” said Holly Frye, assistant vice president for student affairs.

Frye reflected personally on what her mentors have brought to her own career, and said she “cherishes every opportunity to go to someone in [her] field; if we can develop relationships like that, then that’s significant.  It’s important for students to be able to learn outside the classroom in addition to what they are learning in the classroom.”

Student participants will be selected by the deans of each college in collaboration with department chairs. Interested students also can contact their department chairs if they want to participate. Community hosts will be selected by Hendrix based on their community-wide interest in Shepherd and demonstrated excellence in their careers.