The SERVE Mentorship program encompasses Veteran STEM students and staff by creating a dynamic relationship at the University of Tennessee or the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The program introduces this distinctive group of students and staff to one other as mentors to provide a community of support of like people that can relate to one another via the experiences they have shared. This mentorship program is unlike others, in that it shares a format that has a keen familiarity to the military structure. This not only appeals to the Veterans, but it helps them better acclimate to the transition into their civilian life after the military. Our STEM students have a knack for problem solving, teamwork, and innovation within a very structured curriculum. The integration of mentorship geared for Veterans combined with mentorship geared for STEM students is what makes us unique.
In the SERVE Mentorship program, we encompass a learning mentality, while simultaneously shaping a meaningful journey for our Veteran STEM students at the University of Tennessee. The word mentor is an acronym that allows the mentor and mentee to establish a mission statement and is defined as the following:
Mission is what the mentor and mentee are trying to accomplish, similar to having a mission on active duty. Engagement is where the mentor and mentee choose the best place that would encourage a learning environment for the both members. Network defines the action between both participants while encouraging them to reach outside of their immediate circle to build relationships. This leads to trust, which is an important element as the individuals foster a dynamic reciprocal connection to build trust in one another. This opens up opportunities to learn from one another. Lastly, renew/review is evaluating if the relationship and its context is working.
The SERVE Mentor program provides our Veteran STEM students and staff a sense of belonging and inclusion within the University of Tennessee.