Updated as of 7:47 p.m. Aug. 14 to include a clip from the 2022-23 President's Address.

Buffie Longmire-Avital and Emily Krechel, co-chairs of the Mentoring Initiatives Design Team, announced their first six pilot programs at the President’s Address Aug. 14. 

These pilots include a peer advising approach for freshmen and sophomores; developing awareness on how to recognize meaningful relationships and gain the skills for network building as a graduate student; integrating meaningful relationship learning outcomes through First Year Experience Programs; supporting retention efforts by connecting incoming students with a peer who is trained as a student success coach; and enhancing the SMART Mentor Program by training on social identity development bias. 

Longmire-Avital said this plan embraces important connections that make the people of the Elon community feel valued. 

“The people who serve in one or more of these roles share a commitment to creating pathways for sustained growth and future success by using their abilities, knowledge and lived experiences to generate moments of reflection, connection, skill acquisition and both character and identity development,” Longmire-Avital said. “Simply, we are acknowledging the many types of relationships and roles that profoundly shaped the lives, developments and experiences of our students, faculty and staff.”

The Mentoring Initiatives Design Team started to meet in fall 2022 to create a plan to develop and foster relationships and programs on campus, according to its website

In her address to the university, President Connie Book said the basis of the Boldly Elon plan is meaningful relationships, which is coming to fruition through lowering the student-faculty rate to 11-1 and adding to the staff and faculty. 

“I've been working very hard to talk about the importance of being in relationships and what happens when we're together because I know it's critical to student success,” Book said. 

Along with the six pilots, Krechel said professional development workshops will be available for training for faculty and staff, and the university will provide more opportunities to gather to reflect on meaningful relationships.

“We think these next steps will provide a robust foundation for the continuation of this transformational work and will move us toward our strategic goal of becoming a national leader for meaningful relationships and mentoring,” Krechel said.