Dwight Hall’s Alumni Mentorship & Career Development Task Force Connects 190+ Students and Alumni in Interactive Spring 2024 Programming

In spring 2024, Dwight Hall’s Alumni Mentorship & Career Development Task Force (AM&CD) engaged nearly 200 students, alumni, community partners, and staff in interactive programming centered on illuminating pathways to social impact careers. All spring events strived to make the Hall a hub of information, mentorship, and networking for students and alumni interested in public service, social justice, and related careers. 

Through collaborations with Yale’s Office of Career Strategy, the Office of Fellowships and Funding, Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance, and 1stGenYale, Dwight Hall strengthened cross-university professional and leadership development opportunities and built bridges between students and New Haven community partners. 

All events were organized and promoted by Caitlin Monsky ’24 (Chair of the AM&CD Task Force and Alumni Engagement Coordinator on the 2023 Dwight Hall Student Executive Committee), Kristen Meola ’26 (Alumni Engagement Coordinator on the 2024 Student Executive Committee and incoming Task Force Chair), and Barbara Mola ’22 (Dwight Hall Communications and Alumni Engagement Associate).

Spring programming kicked off with an information session on summer public service fellowships. The event featured panelists Mark Fopeano, Director of Programming and Evaluation at Dwight Hall; Emma Rose, Director of Yale Fellowship Programs; and Jorimel Zaldivar, Senior Associate Director for Common Good Careers at Yale’s Office of Career Strategy. The panelists shared funding opportunities available to students pursuing summer internships or fellowships in the social sector. Mark detailed the new funding structure of Dwight Hall’s signature Summer Fellows program, which is providing full and supplemental funding to 32 undergraduates supporting community organizations this summer.

Following the fellowships information session, the task force organized a “Networking Event: Discovering Pathways to Public Service and Social Justice Careers,” in late March. The reception, attended by more than 60 students, alumni, and New Haven community partners, convened students interested in social impact careers with representatives from organizations like New Haven Reads, Neighborhood Housing Services, Human Rights Campaign, New Haven Youth & Tennis Education, and New Haven Climate Movement. 

Alumni and community partners organized themselves by four categories based upon their areas of expertise: Education and Youth, Equitable Representation and Legal Support, Nonprofit Administration and Career Development, and Human Ecology and Human Services. Students then visited the stations that most interested them and made connections with alumni and community partners who have relevant experience in those sectors. 

In April 2024, the task force supported Dwight Hall Community Mental Health Fellow Karen Ayoub ’25 as she organized a “Career and Educational Paths in Social Work: Insights from YC3 Professionals,” panel. The discussion featured social work and mental health practitioners Clara Mesa, LCSW; Kayla Reid, LCSW; Nicole Cepeda, LCSW; and Corinne Coia, Director of Yale College Wellness Programs, who shared the career trajectories that led them to pursue master’s degrees in social work and join the Yale College Community Care (YC3) team. 

The task force likewise supported the organization of a Dwight Hall Alumni and Friends reception in Philadelphia on April 16th. Partnering with alumna Kay Franklin ’73 and the Yale Club of Philadelphia, Dwight Hall students and staff welcomed more than 30 alumni–ranging from the Class of 1965 to the Class of 2020–to the event, showcasing the work of Dwight Hall member groups and programs and encouraging alumni to continue their involvement with the Hall. 

Finally, the semester was fittingly concluded with the Dwight Hall Class of 2024 Senior Toast, which invited seniors who had been leaders in Dwight Hall member groups and programs to celebrate and reminisce about their time at the Hall. Students enjoyed refreshments, discussed their favorite service experiences at Yale, and watched a photo slideshow prepared by Hannah Turner ’24, Dwight Hall’s Virtual Content Creator and Photographer. 

Outgoing task force chair Caitlin Monsky ’24 reflected on her past year and a half of working with the task force: “I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead the AM&CD Task Force, where I’ve honed professional skills in public service, built wonderful relationships, and felt the satisfaction of helping students connect with supportive alumni and other resources.”

The AM&CD Task Force is part of the Grow pillar of Dwight Hall’s Engage, Grow, and Advance program delivery model, developing students’ intellectual, moral, civic, and creative capacities to the fullest with interactive panels, workshops, and networking opportunities. 

Dwight Hall’s Alumni Mentorship & Career Development Task Force is hosting a series of workshops in collaboration with the Office of Fellowships and Funding for all students engaging in public service fellowships in summer 2024. All events in this summer series may be found on Dwight Hall’s Yale Connect page

Additionally, you are invited to sign up for Hall Happenings, Dwight Hall’s weekly student newsletter during the academic year, and follow @dwighthallatyale on Instagram to stay updated on upcoming events in fall 2024!

Below, you may find a full list of the AM&CD Task Force’s Spring 2024 events: 

“Summer 2024 Public Service & Social Sector Fellowships Information Session” – February 15th

On the hunt for a summer fellowship experience in New Haven or beyond? Join Dwight Hall for an information session in collaboration with the Office of Career Strategy and the Office of Fellowships and Funding. Our panelists will provide insights into the diverse fellowship opportunities available, offer tips for crafting compelling applications, and connect you with support networks and resources. Whether you’re an experienced applicant or new to exploring summer opportunities, this event is designed to provide you with the tools you need to pursue your aspirations in public service and social impact.

“Networking Event: Discovering Pathways to Public Service and Social Justice Careers” – March 26th

Ever find yourself wondering how people land careers in public service and social justice? Ever find yourself wondering what those careers can look like?

Join Dwight Hall, Yale alumni, and community partners based in the Northeast for a public service and social justice networking reception dedicated to answering all of your questions and helping you launch your career. This event will connect you with alumni and community partners who are enthusiastic about mentorship and sharing their experiences with students. Our alumni and partners will also offer insight into internships, fellowships, summer opportunities, and post-grad roles.

“Career and Educational Paths in Social Work: Insights from YC3 Professionals” – April 10th

Join us for an enlightening and informal discussion on the educational trajectory and profession of social workers. Explore what the role entails, learn more about the experience of pursuing a master’s in social work, and hear about the personal journeys of our esteemed panelists. From clinical practice to community outreach, explore the impactful work that social workers do every day. Whether you’re considering a master’s program or curious about the field, join us for an engaging conversation and a valuable opportunity to learn and connect with others interested in mental health and psychology.

“Dwight Hall Philadelphia Alumni and Friends Reception”  – April 16th

Join Dwight Hall at Yale students, volunteers, alumni, and friends for a festive gathering including conversations about public service and social justice programs. 

“Dwight Hall Class of 2024 Senior Toast” – April 24th

All seniors who were leaders in Dwight Hall member groups or programs during their time as undergraduates are cordially invited to a senior toast. Join us on Wednesday to celebrate and reminisce with your Dwight Hall family!

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