Cisneros and Valissa Corinna
Corinna Cisneros (r), daughter Valissa

PULLMAN, Wash. – Alumni and students from Washington State University’s Team Mentoring Program will gather 6 p.m. Friday, April 14, in the Compton Union Building Jr. Ballroom, to celebrate that program’s success and tenth anniversary.

The TMP program encourages underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and health career majors. Participants are strengthened through engagement in research, workshops and field trips. In addition, they are connected with peer and faculty mentors, as well as other STEM major students.

Keynote address

Noel Schulz, professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will deliver the keynote address.

“There are many wonderful memories of mentees, mentors, faculty and colleagues that come to mind as we prepare for the celebration,” said J. Manuel Acevedo, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services (MSS).   “I am very excited many are coming back to participate in this event.”

Boeing engineer alumni

Among the alumni in attendance will be Corinna Cisneros, a mechanical and structural engineer at Boeing. She attributes much of her success to TMP and said she feels it is important to honor a program that not only impacted her life, but the lives of many others.

Cisneros was a single mother when she transferred to WSU, and like many who are new to a large university, she felt overwhelmed by her surroundings and the demands of her major. It wasn’t long before she met a student who encouraged her to join TMP. That student ended up being her peer mentor.

Stressed out but not alone

“It was helpful to find a strong support network through TMP where I discovered I wasn’t the only stressed-out engineering student and there were others I could talk to who understood what I was going through.”

TMP provided Cisneros her first experience working in a laboratory. She laughed as she recalled her faculty mentor interacting with her just as if she was a professional researcher. She was expected to be on-time to work, be a good communicator, and collaborate with the more experienced researchers.

“What I learned in that lab has been huge in helping me in my current position,” she said. “Learning how to build good relationships with your colleagues is so important, and finding a mentor like I have now at Boeing puts you a step ahead of everyone else.”

1,109 participants

Since the program was established in 2007, the Office of Multicultural Student Services reports it has helped 1,109 undergraduates, utilizing 142 student mentors and 35 faculty mentors. It receives corporate support from Boeing, AT&T and the Washington Research Foundation.

Partnering with MSS in support of TMP are the WSU Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, and College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.

Media Contacts:

  • Manuel Acevedo, Director, Multicultural Student Services, 509-335-1071, acevedo@wsu.edu.
  • Steve Nakata, Marketing & Communications, Administrative Services, 509-335-1774, nakata@wsu.edu.

Photo:  Corinna Cisneros and her daughter Valissa