Building Bridges

Soler And Blake

The Building Bridges Mentoring Program assists the University’s underrepresented student population to succeed academically as young scholars in one of the nation’s premier educational institutions by matching them with faculty from the departments that the students wish to explore as possible majors, e.g. chemical engineering, biological sciences, political science. 

The foundation of the program is built upon research that suggests that “freshmen benefit from mentoring programs which involve faculty and upper-class students interacting with freshmen outside of the formal classroom” (Tinto, 1987).

The primary goals of the program include: helping students develop skills to communicate effectively with faculty, assisting students with the selection of a major, as well as an academic and career advising. To meet these goals, students schedule monthly meetings with their faculty mentors. Through these meetings faculty and students work in tandem to explore opportunities designed to give students experiences that will help them with their discernment.

Students are selected in their first year to participate in the program. For additional information access our archives page or contact Arnel Bulaoro at abulaoro@nd.edu.

"MAKE GOOD USE OF TODAY. IN FACT, MAKE THE BEST USE OF IT. TIME WILL NOT WAIT, AND THIS DAY--AS ALL OF LIFE--WILL PASS." BLESSED BASIL MOREAU, CSC.

 


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For psychology major Lauren Crawford, undergraduate research was once unexplored territory. Prof. Jeanne Day, her faculty mentor from the department of psychology, changed all that. “[She] introduced me to the world of research and helped me develop the skills required for conducting educational and psychological research in school settings.” Lauren and 93 other Building Bridges students, in a cohort of 159, participated in undergraduate research before graduation. That’s a remarkable 59% participation rate in undergraduate research.

“I first meet Lauren in the first semester of her first year when we talked about her interests in educational psychology,” Prof. Day reamrked. “She joined our lab group in the second semester of her sophomore year and she remained a member until she graduated. Throughout this time, Lauren contributed in critically important ways to the research we conducted.  For example, Lauren helped design fun activities targeted to teaching math to 4-5-year-old children and she worked to refine those activities after trying them out with children attending Head Start.  Lauren’s resourcefulness, thoughtfulness, and reliability were essential to the success of our research.  I was fortunate to work with her.”

Lauren enjoyed research so much that after graduating she joined the McNeil lab at the University of Notre Dame where she currently works as the full-time lab manager. In the fall of 2017 Lauren will begin her PhD work at Boston College. She credits Prof. Day who, "has helped guide me in the process of making decisions for my academic future.”