2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 1
The program aims to provide support to underrepresented law students by matching them with mentors, both internal and external to Penn State Law, who are professionals in the legal field and can help mentees achieve academic success and emotional well-being during law school and after entering the legal profession.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 2
Three Penn State Law students search for their nametags prior to the start of the 2021 Minority Mentor Program kickoff reception.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 3
James W. Houck, interim dean of Penn State Law in University Park and the School of International Affairs, chats with first-year law student Lawrence Miller during the MMP kickoff reception.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 4
“Over the years, I have watched this program continue to grow and to flourish thanks to the hard work and dedication of Associate Dean Wadhia, Assistant Dean Ferguson, and all of our faculty and staff who volunteer their time to serve as mentors,” Interim Dean Houck said in his opening remarks at the reception. “To students currently in the program, I offer my commitment that Penn State Law will continue to support you throughout law school and as you enter the legal profession.”
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 5
“Advancing equity and inclusion of minority lawyers in the legal profession cannot be solved with a single program, but it is my hope that the MMP will help prepare our students in a meaningful way,” said Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar, clinical professor of law, and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law in University Park.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 6
“Mentors will support students’ academic, professional, and personal development in law school, and our hope is that students are able to bring their authentic selves to the mentoring relationship,” said Dr. Wende’ Ferguson, assistant dean for student services at Penn State Law in University Park.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 7
Second-year law student and MMP participant Paige Villareal listens as Assistant Dean Ferguson delivers her remarks at the MMP reception. This year, 46 incoming students are enrolled in the MMP, bringing the total number of participating students to more than 90.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 8
The evening’s speakers concluded with Sidnee McDonald, a third-year law student, president of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at Penn State Law, national director of career and professional development for the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), and a participant in the MMP. “What I love most about the Minority Mentor Program is that I was assigned mentors who value me, are patient with me, and are invested in my success,” McDonald said.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 9
Second-year law student JohnLuc LeGrand listens as Sidnee McDonald delivers her remarks at the MMP kickoff reception.
2021 Minority Mentor Kickoff Reception - 10
First-year law students Alejandro Colon-Cedeno (right) and Lawrence Miller chat during the MMP kickoff reception. Student mentees in the MMP are current J.D. candidates at Penn State Law in University Park who have expressed interest in the program and who identify as students from diverse backgrounds.