“Mentoring: Side by side. Step by step.” is the theme of the 10th annual Women and Leadership Forum to be held 8 a.m.-noon, and 1:45-4 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the CUB.

Women and men from every part of WSU as well as the community are invited to participate in the forum at no cost. WSU’s Employee Development Office has authorized the use of release time under the Release Time Policy for participation.

The forum is presented by the Women and Leadership Alliance as part of Women’s History Month. The forum offers morning and afternoon sessions around the Women’s Recognition Luncheon, coordinated by the Women’s Resource Center.

The keynote speaker at the forum will be Dene Thomas, president of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. She will present “Mentoring Begins with a State of Mind and Ends with a Story” at 8:45 a.m. in the CUB Auditorium.

“She will set the tone for the rest of the day’s events as we explore together the subjects, art, experiences and rewards of mentoring and being mentored,” said Debbie Edwards, director of the WSU Career Services Center for students and 2005 chair of the forum.

New this year will be the presentation of awards honoring people nominated for making a difference to lives at WSU through mentoring. One representative each from the classified and administrative professional staff, faculty and student categories will receive an award.

Speakers, who have not all yet been determined, will address the forum in the morning. The afternoon will consist of fast-paced emphasis groups offering ideas and exchange of information. Events will close with, “The Next Step: Time To Share,” a networking opportunity and mentor showcase.

From noon-1:45 p.m., the “Women’s Recognition Luncheon” will provide the opportunity to acknowledge the diverse accomplishments of women. The annual Women of Distinction and Woman of the Year winners will be announced. Tickets for the lunch are $15 each, and reservations must be made in advance with the WRC. Information is available by phoning 335-6849.

For the latest news on the forum and to register for the day’s events, go online to http://www.WLA.wsu.edu. Registration is requested, but not required.