Mentees & Mentors

Programming components may have changed to comply with the Protect Purdue Plan . Participants receive detailed information via email.

APPLICATION FOR THE 2021-2022 M&M PROGRAM

Tell me more about M&M

We all need advice from time to time. The Mentees & Mentors Program, or M&M as we like to call it, gets undergrad women engineers together as a big group once a month for fun, conversation, networking, and advice! M&M is designed for you to build a network with other female engineering students while learning timely personal and professional strategies to help you be successful in the classroom and on the job. Mentoring relationships are key for sharing and receiving helpful advice about engineering, college life, and successful preparation for the future.

  • One-On-One Mentoring - FYE and sophomore participants will have the opportunity to be paired with an upperclass female engineering student in their major for personalized mentoring
  • Small Group Mentoring - FYE and sophomore participants will have the opportunity to be placed in a mentoring group led by 1-2 upperclasswomen and including 4-5 others seeking mentoring in a small group
  • Study Groups - M&M participants can join course study groups. This is a great way to work with a small, tight-knit group of fellow female engineers to develop a stronger understanding of the class material.
Mission of the M&M Program
Mission of the M&M Program

Our mission is to retain female undergraduate students in engineering through a dynamic and nurturing mentoring program (Mentees & Mentors or M&M). We support, affirm, and strategically educate the program's participants and student leaders. We offer meetings and activities designed to sustain and strengthen mutual mentoring relationships as well as benefit the individuals. The objectives for the Mentees & Mentors Program are to: 

  • enhance personal support of students through contacts with female role models (including peers, alumni, and industry partners) and an interactive, mutually-beneficial peer mentoring program.
  • build confidence in students through affirmation of their skills and values.
  • share effective strategies that enable students to thrive in college, leading to successful completion of their engineering education and preparing them for future endeavors.

The services and resources we provide add a unique and vital dimension for women engineering students at Purdue.

Learn more about M&M

The M&M program is based on a network-mentoring model where all participants learn from one another. You will act as either a mentor or a mentee depending on your experiences with the conversation topic. All participants attend our large M&M Monthly Meetings where we have dinner together, enjoy a guest speaker, engage in fun activities, and gain professional skills and strategies for success. These meetings are held on one Tuesday and one Wednesday each month and run from 6:00PM - 7:45PM. Participants choose which night to attend to accommodate their busy schedule.

The program has been intentionally designed to offer the greatest opportunity for participant growth and success. Benefits include community building, networking, peer and one-on-one mentoring as well as personal and professional development.

To gain these benefits, participants must be actively engaged in the M&M program. Semester requirements include attending 2 Monthly Meetings, 1 M&M Social and 1 Access Alum event.

Please contact wiepmm@purdue.edu with questions.

Meet the M&M Leadership Team
Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer | Associate Director
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Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer | Associate Director
Dr. Zurn-Birkhimer is the Associate Director of WIEP and oversees the mentoring programs. Here is her bio.

Why M&M is great
"The M&M program allows for students to develop their own tight-knit community with their engineering peers while gaining crucial professional and personal tools they cannot develop in the classroom. We are fortunate to be able to bring in amazing alumnae to engage with the students by sharing their wisdom and experience. The participants leave our meetings confident, inspired, and excited to succeed on their path to becoming engineers!"
Cathy Deno | Administrative Assistant
Cathy Deno
Cathy Deno | Administrative Assistant
Cathy is one of WIEP's Administrative Assistants. She works with the mentoring program teams and the WE Link recruitment team. Here is her bio.  

Why M&M is great
"I've worked with the M&M program since its creation in 1992. I love how the program has grown and developed each and every year in order to continue to meet the needs of our women students. The WIEP staff and student leaders work hard to develop valuable programming with engaging activities and speakers that will equip our women students while at Purdue and as they enter the workforce."
Sam Armour | Senior | Mechanical Engineering
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Sam Armour | Senior | Mechanical Engineering
Sam is on the WIEP Mentees & Mentors Program Leadership team. Outside of this leadership team she has worked with St. Tom's, a church in West Lafayette to teach religious education on weekends and participated in Engineering Projects in Community Service. In her free time, she enjoys watching Netflix, painting and spending time with friends.

Why M&M is great
"The Mentees & Mentors Program is a fantastic program because it provides a support system for girls in the program and helps women to find a mentor and mentees to build a connection with as the year progresses and then build upon the relationship through their college careers."
Amy Bray-Cotton | Senior | Industrial Engineering
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Amy Bray-Cotton | Senior | Industrial Engineering
Amy is on the leadership team for the Mentees & Mentors Program. Along with M&M, she is involved in Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, WE Link, and was a member of the Global Engineering Learning Community freshman year. In past summers, Amy has taken classes and interned within the automotive industry in Detroit, MI. This summer, she is working at a Fortune 500 chemical company as a Supply Chain Engineer. She is currently completing a minor in Sustainable Environments and in her free time enjoys being creative, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. 

Why M&M is great
"I enjoy M&M because I am surrounded by empowered women (both students and successful people in the industry) that want to develop professionally and actively seek out opportunities for their future. I leave each monthly meeting feeling inspired and confident in my endeavors at and beyond Purdue."
Jordan Cox | Sophomore | Civil Engineering
Jordan Cox | Sophomore | Civil Engineering
Jordan is on the WIEP Mentees & Mentors Program Leadership team. Aside from M&M she has participated in Engineering Projects in Community Service and plans on becoming more involved in school clubs/organizations in the future. Last summer Jordan took online classes through Purdue and worked for Whiting-Turner as a construction intern. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, spending time with friends, and reading.

Why M&M is great
"Having began my college experience as a mentee in the WIEP Pair Program, I can say that it has helped me tremendously. I love this program because it fosters a deep sense of support and guidance for underclassmen as well as upperclassmen. The connections and opportunities gained from this program can aid you throughout college and into your career."
Leah Crisco | Senior | Computer Engineering
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Leah Crisco | Senior | Computer Engineering
Outside of M&M Leah is involved in the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and works with Girls on the Run at local elementary schools through the sorority's philanthropic efforts. She has held two intern positions one with Sound United Inc. during the summer following her freshman year and the second with Serco a government contractor, while also holding a position working at a local restaurant. In her free time, she enjoys playing intramural volleyball, trivia, cooking, and baking. 

Why M&M is great
"M&M is great because of the connections it allows participants to make. We are able to foster networking and mentoring which makes for a well-connected community of women on campus."
Saralynn George | Junior | Electrical and Computer Engineering
Saralynn George | Junior | Electrical and Computer Engineering
Outside of M&M, Saralynn is involved with her sorority Alpha Chi Omega, a member of A Kid Again at Purdue, and volunteers at the YWCA here in Lafayette. Last summer, Saralynn spent her time tutoring high school students in math and science. In her free time, Saralynn loves running, eating ice cream, spending time with friends, traveling, or catching up with her favorite shows on Netflix.

Why M&M is great
"M&M is a fantastic program because of the incredible knowledge and experience it gives to young female engineers. The program has given me the opportunity to develop my professional skills as well as foster a community of support and confidence in young female engineers."
Lexi Gies | Sophomore | Biomedical Engineering
Lexi Gies | Sophomore | Biomedical Engineering
Outside of being on the leadership team for M&M, Lexi is involved with Alpha Omega ministries, EPICS, and PSEF, which is Purdue's student organization for informing prospective freshman engineers. This summer Lexi is a part of Purdue's SURF research program and is working on a study focused on assessing hospital staff efficacy. Some of her favorite hobbies include baking, kayaking, cooking, and playing soccer. 

Why M&M is great
"I enjoy being in M&M because it is a wonderful supportive group that encourages every member to do their best and connect with others that share similar interests. I also love that the students and alumni involved are eager to share their personal and professional experiences to guide those who are facing similar situations currently."
Natalie Harvey | Sophomore | Mechanical Engineering
Natalie Harvey | Sophomore | Mechanical Engineering
Natalie is from St. Louis, Missouri studying Mechanical Engineering. Aside from the M&M LT program, she is in the Honors College and is involved in Club Tennis. She was a manufacturing engineering intern at Dana Inc. the summer after her freshman year. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, spending time with friends, and playing video games.

Why M&M is great
"I feel that the M&M program is a fantastic way for women to connect with other female engineering students and create great friendships to last a lifetime. It provides freshmen the opportunity to learn from upperclassmen, making their transition in to college much smoother, and upperclassmen have the opportunity to share their experiences with the next group of female engineers."
Bella Henley | Junior | Industrial Engineering
Bella Henley | Junior | Industrial Engineering
Outside of M&M, Bella is involved in Alpha Gamma Delta sorority as the Vice President of Chapter Wellness. During her freshman year, she was involved in Engineering Projects in Community Service where she assisted a tribe in Brazil. In her free time, Bella enjoys volunteering at Natalie's Second Change Dog Shelter, hiking, and reading.

Why M&M is great
"I love the Mentees & Mentors Program because of how empowering it is to hear from current women in engineering and their journeys so far in life. Their stories are truly inspiring and always leave me feeling hopeful for the future."
CJ Kulprathipanja | Junior | Biomedical Engineering
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CJ Kulprathipanja | Junior | Biomedical Engineering
Besides Mentees & Mentors, Chalisa is involved in Phi Sigma Rho Sorority and research. In the summer after her sophomore year, Chalisa participated in research activities on campus through the SURF program at Purdue. In her free time, she enjoys baking, yoga, and playing video games.

Why M&M is great
" As a freshman, I really enjoyed M&M because I was able to easily make friends with other girls in engineering that I did not see in my classes and I also learned new strategies to help me reach my personal and professional goals."
Kaniese Mack | Sophomore | Biomedical Engineering
Kaniese Mack | Sophomore | Biomedical Engineering
Kaniese is on the WIEP Mentees & Mentors Leadership Team. Outside of WIEP, she has been involved in Engineering Projects in Community Service to design interactive tactile walls for a local child development center. She is planning to pursue a minor in Global Engineering through the GEARE program and study abroad in the future. In her free time, Kaniese enjoys watercolor painting, learning new things, and improving at rollerblading. 

Why M&M is great
"I admire the WIEP M&M Program for encouraging young female engineers to grow their network, gain confidence in themselves, and expand their skills. I am eager to continue growing as a leader and form new connections with others in this program."
Namita Mekala | Senior | Multidisciplinary Engineering - Visual Design Engineering
Namita Mekala | Senior | Multidisciplinary Engineering - Visual Design Engineering
Namita is on the Leadership Team for the WIEP M&M program, and she has held leadership positions and danced on Purdue Raas and Dance 2XS Purdue. She is involved with her sorority Alpha Gamma Delta and occasionally goes on trips with the Purdue hiking club. She has held internships with Cisco Systems and NASA. This summer, she will be working with Cisco again while also pursuing her other passions: dance, gym, and hiking.

Why M&M is great
"I love the WIEP M&M program because it empowers young female engineers by pairing freshmen with successful and inspiring upperclassmen. The guidance and community gained from the program allow students to have a smooth transition into higher engineering education and friendships that may last forever."
Rebecca Mold | Sophomore | Ag & Bio Engineering
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Rebecca Mold | Sophomore | Ag & Bio Engineering
Rebecca is on the Leadership Team for the WIEP M&M program. She is from Twinsburg, Ohio, and in addition to her honors engineering major, she is pursuing a minor in Music History and Theory. Outside of M&M, she is involved with her sorority Phi Sigma Rho, the Purdue Symphony Orchestra, and Stempower, an organization dedicated to introducing girls to STEM. She has been a member of the Goss Scholars Leadership Council, and she will also be a Boiler Gold Rush Team Leader for Fall 2021. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys running, baking, and listening to music. 

Why M&M is great
"The WIEP M&M program allows participants to form important relationships with their fellow female engineers, allowing both mentors and mentees to learn from each other. These connections along with resources and programming provided by WIEP, help set up engineering students for success."
Jenna Sveum | Senior | Chemical Engineering
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Jenna Sveum | Senior | Chemical Engineering 
Outside of the M&M LT, Jenna is involved in AIChE and the Kappa Delta sorority. Jenna studied abroad in South Korea during Spring Break of her freshman year and enjoyed taking advanced Korean classes at Purdue. Jenna completed an R&D internship with The Clorox Company this past summer, and she also interned with Aligos Therapeutics for the prior two summers. In her free time, Jenna enjoys hiking and exploring Lafayette's restaurant scene with friends. 

Why M&M is great
"The M&M Program is important because it provides participants with knowledge that enables them to grow in their future careers and in their personal lives. I have seen our participants' confidence build throughout the year, and that development makes me proud to be a leader of this program."
Lexie Zovko | Senior| Mechanical Engineering
Lexie Zovko | Senior | Mechanical Engineering
Aside from M&M, Lexie is an Intramural Supervisor and Crew Chief at the Co-Rec. In the past, Lexie has completed a 3-term co-op with Marathon Petroleum and an internship with FedEx Ground. She has also done a Spring Break Study abroad in Athens, Greece. In her free time, Lexie enjoys running, crocheting, and playing sports.

Why M&M is great
"I love the M&M Program because it has given me a platform to speak to and learn from students and alumni who have had similar experiences at Purdue. I have gained so many professional development skills while building my network."
Elyse Zurawski | Sophomore | Biomedical Engineering
Elyse Zurawski | Sophomore | Biomedical Engineering
Elyse is on the leadership team for the WIEP Mentees & Mentors Program. Along with M&M, Elyse is involved with Purdue FIRST Programs where she mentors FIRST Robotics students in the Lafayette and West Lafayette communities and organizes events involving teams throughout the country. In her free time, she enjoys visiting Purdue's CoRec, baking, and playing golf.

Why M&M is great
"M&M is an amazing opportunity because it provides easy access to a supportive community of women with similar interests. As a freshman in the program, the interactions with my peers and mentors in our monthly meetings build confidence in my choice to be a Purdue Engineer, and as a member of the leadership team I am excited to help others feel the same!"

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APPLICATION FOR THE 2021-2022 M&M PROGRAM

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