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SGB to mentor women

Student Government Board President Nasreen Harun proposes a new initiative to develop female leadership at Pitt.  Abigail Self | Staff Photographer

Student Government Board President Nasreen Harun proposes a new initiative to develop female leadership at Pitt. Abigail Self | Staff Photographer

Student Government Board President Nasreen Harun proposes a new initiative to develop female leadership at Pitt. Abigail Self | Staff Photographer

By Lauren Wilson / Staff Writer

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Nasreen Harun wants more strong women leaders on campus — so, she’s set out to find them.

At Pitt’s Student Government Board’s weekly meeting Tuesday, Harun, SGB president, announced applications were open for the Pitt Women’s Leadership Experience, the University’s first mentorship program focused specifically on women. The applications are open to all female sophomores and juniors on campus until Monday, Oct. 26. Harun said she hopes to cap the program at 20 Pitt women.

According to Harun, the program is free.

“All we ask is that you are fully committed and invested in the program and improving yourself,” she said.

The program will open with a retreat on Nov. 1, in West Virginia and will have meetings from 7 to 9 p.m. each month in different locations until the end of the school year. Harun said her aim with the program is to get more women into leadership positions — something she wants to see more of at Pitt.

“We’re gathering a group of women on campus to talk about different ways to develop leadership skills and talk about obstacles they face that are unique to professional women,” Harun said.

Harun said she is currently the only confirmed campus mentor in the program, and is still waiting for confirmation from 13 other campus leaders, including members of Greek Life, Campus Women’s Organization and women involved in the typically

male-dominated STEM fields. Harun is still working on finding professional mentors for the program.

“It’s going to be a little bit more of a commitment in investing in leadership skills. We want to get people who were already established on campus,” Harun said. “We didn’t want to add stress to pressure of freshman year.”

Harun said the program will feature guest speakers at the monthly meetings, though she and Kathy Humphrey, senior vice chancellor and chief of staff, have not yet confirmed who the speakers will be.

“It will probably be people in[Pitt’s] administration or leaders within the Pittsburgh community. It will be men and women talking about equality and leadership,” she said.

Harun said she and Humphrey discussed the idea during a meeting over the summer. Since then, Harun has been meeting with Humphrey monthly to plan the program. Last week, Allie Chornick, assistant building manager of the William Pitt Union, who is also helping spearhead the effort, joined the meetings.

“[Chornick] has done professional development programs and is like a mentor to me,” Harun said.

Harun said mentors will benefit from developing connections with students in the program.

“One of my philosophies is that the best way to learn is to teach,” she said.

Mariah Callas, a sophomore rehabilitation sciences major, said the program could definitely be useful for resumé building.

“I took the Emerging Leadership Summit, and I am in the National Society of Leadership and Success, so I definitely see how this could help girls be successful,” Callas said. 

Callas said the mentorship is a great opportunity to have someone to talk to.

“I think there’s a lot of ways guys have to step up, but getting girls in leadership positions is really important,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be all guys in manager positions.”

In other news, the Pittsburgh City Council presented a proclamation to the University that officially recognizes Oct. 24, 2015, as Pitt Make A Difference Day. Dan Lampmann, vice chair of PMADD; Rachel Lauver, SGB community outreach chair; Misti McKeehen, PittServes director, and Rachel Zadnik, PittServes outreach coordinator, attended City Council’s weekly meeting to accept the proclamation.

Lampmann said PMADD is the Council’s way of acknowledging Pitt is giving back to its city.

“It means that they recognize the fact that we have 5,200 people registered for PMADD and there is going to be a project in every district this year,” Lampmann said.


There were no allocations requests at Tuesday’s meeting.

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SGB to mentor women