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BIPOC Staff Mentorship Program

2024 Application Cycle is Complete

Please check back in the Fall for Program Updates and Networking Opportunities.

Thank you to those that applied to join the inaugural cohort of the BIPOC Staff Mentorship Pilot Program funded by the Diversity Seed Grant. We received significant interest during this competitive application cycle and have identified our final applicants at this time.

As we noticed an emphasis on establishing community and the importance of uplifting others through knowledge sharing from many of our applicants, we are currently working on creating another opportunity for those individuals interested in networking with other BIPOC Staff on our campuses. This opportunity will be open to all applicants that expressed interest in joining us this year. Please check back to this website periodically for updates and keep an eye out on the PSO Newsletter for this unique event.


  • M – Make new connections and meet other colleagues
  • E – Empower professional staff
  • N – Network, network, network!
  • T – Teach others about your career & life experiences
  • O – Open yourself to new perspectives; Offer new perspectives (advancement & change)
  • R – Reinvent and Revitalize your career
  • S – Share knowledge and learn from other colleagues’ experiences

The BIPOC Mentorship Program Objectives:

  • Develop strategies to achieve effective allyship
  • Demonstrate the importance of representation in professional spaces
  • Build community and create a sense of belonging for BIPOC staff as well as opportunities to be vulnerable, share challenges, and offer a direct roadmap to improve professional trajectories
  • A resource for BIPOC to receive guidance and vetted advice from mentors
  • Scale to incorporate UW staff of all levels and potentially reach out to BIPOC professionals and faculty from other universities in the future to widen reach

Program Overview:

The BIPOC Staff Mentorship Program is a pilot project that has been introduced by the Professional Staff Organization DEI Committee and will be funded by the Diversity Seed Grant for the 2023-2024 academic year with a goal to increase representation and create career opportunities.

This program will provide BIPOC Staff with the structural support necessary to develop professional skills to advance their careers and build community over several months through individualized mentorship from University of Washington BIPOC leaders. Mentees will be matched with mentors according to their career goals and interests while engaging with course curriculum to hone their leadership abilities and network with colleagues across the University of Washington Tri-Campus community.

Identity preferences will be considered throughout the mentee/mentor matching process but are not guaranteed. This pilot program is intended to scale beyond the Professional Staff community to serve students, faculty, and classified staff in the future with the goal of expanding to other higher education institutions.  

Participants will be paired in cohorts of 2:1 mentor and have the option of connecting virtually or in-person. 

UPCOMING Event: A Nickel’s Worth Of Free Advice On Finance & Other Facts Of Life

Location: Virtual

Date: July 25, 2024

Time: 1-2pm

Think about … 

  • Your money. 
  • Your career. 
  • Your life. 

Do any (all) of these issues resonate with you as a young(er) professional of color?  

Hopefully “yes.”  

And so: after this candid conversation, if you take away a thing (or two) you didn’t already know about making your way in the workplace and world beyond, then guest speaker, Bryce-Edward Weatherly, will have enlightened you with uniquely meaningful guidance designed to benefit you now and in years ahead. 

UPCOMING Event: Building Resilience & Managing Stress – WA EAP Workshop 

Location: Virtual

Date: August 12, 2024

Time: 1-3pm

In this engaging virtual workshop, ‘Building Resilience and Managing Stress’ with the Washington Employee Assistance Program, facilitated by Carlee Osburn, attendees will learn how to build resilience through six key areas:  

  • Social Connection
  • Re-evaluating Empathy
  • Identifying What We Can Control 
  • Finding Meaning
  • Self-Care Support  

Following this session, attendees will be able to implement strategies that prioritize their wellbeing as they continue to build their careers while understanding the many contributing factors that lead to stress.  

UPCOMING Event: Wellness Embodiment Workshop 

Location: Virtual

Date: August 29, 2024

Time: 12-1pm

This wellness embodiment workshop will focus on practical breathwork and movement practices to deepen self-awareness. It will include a synthesis of a variety of cultural philosophies and experimental practices that will assist with greater clarity in how we make decisions and apply values that align with our personal and professional life. 

Workshop Objectives:

  • Identify key elements of self-awareness. 
  • Define the benefits of breathwork and expressive movement. 
  • Practice mindfulness and reflective inquiry. 

(Past Event) Career Mapping Your Future  

Location: Virtual

Date: July 9, 2024

Time: 1-3pm

Achieving a successful career is not accidental for most people, especially BIPOC professionals. Success requires an intentional, well-thought-out plan that guides professionals on a path often uncharted by others. During this virtual workshop, attendees will be guided by facilitator, Sherman Fox that will share the career mapping framework that he has used to guide his career and to coach others. 

The Career Mapping process is outlined below.  

  • Create a whole-career resume. The purpose of this resume is to capture all the training, education, certifications, skills, knowledge, and experiences you have achieved during your whole career (document all your jobs after High School graduation). Leave nothing out! 
  • Update current resume. It is important to keep resumes annually updated with all recent career accomplishments, (training, certifications, education, etc.). This step will speed up application submissions going forward. 
  • Determine, research and find your dream job. What is your dream job? What work are you passionate about! This is an opportunity to dream about your future. Place no limitations on what job you choose. Using LinkedIn, Indeed and/or other job search sites, find this job (if it exists). If this job doesn’t exist, design it. 

Slides from the event can be found here. 

A recording of the workshop is available.

(Past Event) Revamp your Resume & Interview Prep—Be a Competitive Candidate Workshop Series Part 1

Location: Virtual

Date: June 10, 2024

Time: 2-3pm

We are looking forward to launching our ‘Be a Competitive Candidate’ workshop series to prepare our 2024 cohort to successfully land their desired roles. In Part 1 of our virtual Revamp your Resume & Interview Prep Session, participants will refine their elevator pitch, learn best practices to write compelling cover letters & resumes, and develop skills to master interviewing. Fatima Naseem, one of our PSO DEI Committee members and Operations Manager at UW Finance has extensive experience with professional development and will offer strategies to improve the effectiveness of your job hunting. This workshop will set a strong foundation for you all to begin identifying potential desired roles you are interested in and begin putting the knowledge you gain into practice in part 2 where we will hold mock interviews and practice various interview scenarios. Part 2 will be scheduled following this session based on the groups’ needs.

Please feel free to bring questions to this session as we will have time for Q&A at the end.

A recording of the workshop is available. 

(Past Event) Mentoring Fundamentals Workshop – Mentor Workshop Series Part 1

Location: Virtual

Date: May 23, 2024

Time: 2-3:30pm

The PSO Mentorship team is looking forward to working with Christa Hickcox, Certified Professional Coach and Project Manager at UW IT, who will lead a series of professional development workshops to equip our leaders with tactical tools to serve as effective mentors. This workshop will cover topics such as establishing a meaningful connection in a mentorship relationship, fostering emotional safety by creating space and active listening, and provide a framework to assist with goal setting techniques. This is part 1 of 3-part series of workshops to equip our mentors to develop their leadership skills and navigate any professional challenges that arise in their mentees’ career journeys successfully.

The subsequent workshops are below and more information about these will be shared soon.

Psychological Safety & Mindfulness Practices  

Interactive Coaching Sessions (Role-Playing)

(Past Event) Burnout for Leaders: Supporting Staff and Yourself  with WA Assistance Program

Location: Virtual

Date: March 28, 2024

Time: 11am-12:30pm

The PSO Mentorship Team held their second virtual workshop for the BIPOC Staff Program with the WA Employee Assistance program.

We discussed “Burnout for Leaders: Supporting Staff & Yourself” facilitated by Carlee Osburn. While the session was geared towards leaders, the content of this was valuable to those seeking to establish stronger work-life balance and boundary setting with tactical strategies.

This session was interactive. Participants engaged in various leadership building and mindfulness exercises with their cohort.

Workshop Overview: 

• What burnout is and how it affects staff

• Burnout cycles and what they mean

• About leadership burnout

 • Strategies to support staff and themselves in preventing or lessening burnout

While the event has passed, you can view a recording of the workshop.

(Past Event) Program Launched with a Workshop

Location: Virtual

Date: March 21, 2024

Time: 10-11am

Leadership Identity Development with Leilani Lewis – Director of DEI at UW Advancement 

In this engaging, remote workshop, participants had the opportunity to explore their leadership identity with the guidance and expertise of Leilani Lewis, Director of DEI at UW Advancement. Participants discussed the preconceptions and misconceptions of navigating leadership roles, strategies on building community and sustaining these valuable networks particularly for BIPOC individuals, and learned how to effectively utilize their sphere of influence to create a tangible impact in the workplace. Throughout the session, participants connected in small groups and begin to establish connections with their program cohort and mentors.

Meet our DEI Committee Members

  • Name/pronouns: Fatima (pronounced FAA-th-ma) (she/her)
  • Position and department: Operations Manager on FinOps Team in FPB (Finance, Planning, and Budgeting) Department.
  • Experience at the UW: Almost 2 and half years.
  • What do you find most rewarding about the your work on the PSO DEI Committee? I’m so excited for the types of conversations we’re having and the amazing opportunities we are cocreating that never existed for me in the early stages of my career, and I feel honored to be able to contribute to this effort.
  • What do you believe is the value of mentorship in advancing careers? I think it provides an individual with communication, self-awareness, professional knowledge, leadership skills, clarity of goals, insightful, fast tracked professional development, networking opportunities, and confidence.
  • Fun fact! As a child, I wanted to be an archeologist.

  • Name/pronouns: Ava (she/her)
  • Position and department: Clinic Manager | Hall Health Center
  • Experience at the UW: About 2 years
  • What do you find most rewarding about the your work on the PSO DEI Committee? The opportunity to engage with colleagues and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds fosters a sense of community and belongingness. Building relations and collaborating with others who share a commitment to DEI initiatives for me is very rewarding and not to mention the ongoing education and learning about various aspects of DEI.
  • What do you believe is the value of mentorship in advancing careers? For me the value lies within the value on what mentorship can do in advancing careers. Mentors are able to share knowledge, their best practice, provide insight, introduce mentees to their network, share skills, and many more. Mentorship is invaluable for advancing careers as it provides guidance, support, and opportunities for growth that can significantly impact mentees’ professional development and success.
  • Fun fact! As a Filipino, I love to sing Karaoke, but unfortunately, I belong to the few 1% that don’t have a singing voice.

  • Name/pronouns: Eileen (she/her) 
  • Position and department: Diversity Global Programs Manager at UW Foster – Global Business Center.
  • Experience at the UW: 3 years, including at the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center prior to Foster. 
  • What do you find most rewarding about the your work on the PSO DEI Committee? I love being a part of the PSO DEI Committee because it gives me the opportunity to step beyond my student-facing role and collaborate with exceptional staff as well. I’ve enjoyed being inspired and challenged by the amazing leaders across UW and seeing the impact folks are making in each of their areas of influence.
  • What do you believe is the value of mentorship in advancing careers? Mentorship is so powerful when mentors not only provide support and advice, but loudly and proudly advocate for you too. I truly believe that we grow to fill whatever pot we’re planted in, and oftentimes it’s mentors that help us realize we have the potential to fill a bigger pot.
  • Fun fact! I have two sweet and friendly cats, Plum and Mango. 

  • Name/pronouns: Tiana (she/her)
  • Position and department: Program Administrator at the Continuum College 
  • Experience at the UW: Over a year. I am also a UW alumna and studied Journalism.
  • What do you find most rewarding about the your work on the PSO DEI Committee? The PSO DEI Committee has given me the opportunity to work with committed folks across the UW community with a shared passion to further diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for all on our campus. I have also been able to develop professionally with this group through the variety of programming and engagement opportunities we hold for staff, students, and faculty. 
  • What do you believe is the value of mentorship in advancing careers? I am very passionate about mentorship and believe it is pivotal in helping us identify our capabilities and build confidence. Representation allows us to envision what is possible which was the influence behind launching my podcast, Identity Unboxed, where I highlight the career journeys and achievements of Black professionals, leaders, and scholars in Seattle to promote the advancement of the Black community through authentic and engaging conversations. Mentors have helped guide me throughout my career and provided invaluable advice that has contributed to my success. I hope the stories I share can inspire and uplift others to relentlessly pursue their goals.
  • Fun fact! I grew up showing horses! 

  • Name/pronouns: Russell Hugo (He/They)
  • Position and department: Interim Director, Language Learning Center
  • Experience at the UW: Worked full time at UW since 2016, as a grad student since 2006
  • What do you find most rewarding about the your work on the PSO DEI Committee? It’s a great opportunity to learn, as well as meet fantastic folks from around campus that I might not otherwise have.
  • What do you believe is the value of mentorship in advancing careers? Mentorship is beneficial in many ways, including providing general support, but one important aspect is how it can aid with navigating some of the more problematic, but less salient, challenges certain communities face on campus.
  • Fun fact! A few years back I was trail running near Bellingham and an owl mistook me for a meal and dug its talons into my scalp. I harbor no ill will, but I did question the famous eyesight of the species.