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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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New Director Takes Over LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program

Devitt+shares+a+smile%26%23160%3BCourtesy+of+Adam+Devitt

Devitt shares a smile 

Courtesy of Adam Devitt

Dr. Adam Devitt will serve as the new LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program Director at CSU Stanislaus. In the new role, Devitt looks to grow and capitalize on the opportunity while continuing to enrich the core values of the program.

The mission of the LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program is to assist students in developing positive sexualities, gender identities, and expressions by connecting LGBTO+ students with LGBTQ+ faculty and staff mentors.

Devitt has been working at Stan state for four years as a professor in the Teacher Education Department. While also holding the responsibilities of the Co-creator of the Multiple Subjects Credential program, his involvement with the program has flourished since arriving at Stan State.  

“The LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program is one of the organizations that drew me to wanting to be a professor here,” Devitt said. “I like schools that have supportive communities for LGBTQ+ students.”

Having started as a mentor, Devitt has been engaged with the program and helped LGBTQ+ students by offering mentorship, support, guidance, and resources to meet a diversity of needs.
Having previously been co-directed by Professor Rachel Grimshaw and Dana Dakano, the pair were ready to relinquish their duties and pass the torch to Devitt in September. 
“I want to keep growing the program, making sure it has a presence on Campus,” he said. “I want to bring on more mentors … make sure we have enough to support students’ needs.” 
Taking the lead of any program on campus is bound to present some challenges. Having a successful program pre-covid, student involvement was highly encouraged and sought out. Devitt is looking to restore that presence in the program and reestablish on-campus student involvement. 
“I’ve been looking to do training for mentors, to help better prepare mentors to work with mentees,” he said. “Our mentees need a place to socialize, some need more extensive help, or navigate the professional life outside of Stan State as LGBTQ.” 
Having shared his thoughts about a potential starting point, Devitt was adamant about having students apply for a mentor role in the program, wanting students to reach out on a mentee info sheet they have created. By doing so, they can build and share confidence in any capacity.

In an effort to harness the LGBTQ+ Mentorship program, the group holds weekly coffee and games at the Warrior Cross Culture Center where mentors and mentees can socialize with one another. 

This was an event that former co-director Grimshaw saw come to light. 
Having co-directed the program for three to four years herself, her involvement in the program has been since the start of the program’s existence at Stan State.
From participating as a mentor and holding higher responsibilities as chair, the fruition of the program has had its highs and lows, according to Grimshaw. 
“I think the biggest challenge for anyone who does something on this campus is getting the word out … trying to get the information to students, and part of that is because we’re a commuter campus,” she said. 
Grimshaw emphasizes the importance of the mentors’ role in the program.
“Us as mentors are getting as much as we’re giving in that exchange,” she said, “it never felt like a labor of love … hanging out with students.”
Grimshaw shared the amount of comfort her involvement in the program brought her and shared she would still partake in the program to the best of her abilities.
Having been involved in the program since freshman year, students like Yajaira Salinas Juarez (senior, Biology), hope the program can continue to thrive and succeed with a new director.

“I would just like to see that same type of energy, make everyone feel welcome, feel at home in the program, make everyone feel like they aren’t alone and they can be themselves and feel authentic,” said.  

If you are interested in the LGBTQ+ Mentorship program, please find more information here

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New Director Takes Over LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program