Inclusive Excellence Scholars

Inclusive Excellence Scholars

We are currently seeking alumni mentors and colleges to participate in this mentorship program. Contact us to learn how you can be a part of this program to empower our next generation of leaders!

When alumni take on the role of mentors, they can bring significant benefits to undergraduate and graduate students, particularly students from underrepresented and first-generation groups. The Inclusive Excellence Scholars program brings together a diverse group of alumni who will engage in a mentoring relationship with students and share their knowledge of the global competences essential for professional success. The program's objectives include developing the capacity to consistently practice inclusive excellence and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Alumni mentorship provides a powerful mechanism for knowledge transfer, personal growth, and professional development for underrepresented and first-generation students. It helps students bridge the gap between their potential and the opportunities available to them, ultimately contributing to a more diverse and inclusive educational and professional landscape.

Program Goals

  • Guidance and Support: Alumni mentors can offer valuable guidance on academic, career, and personal matters. They understand the challenges that students from similar backgrounds might face and can provide tailored advice to navigate those challenges effectively.
  • Access to Networks: Alumni mentors often have established networks in various industries and fields. They can introduce their mentees to contacts, potential employers, and other professionals, increasing the students' access to opportunities that they might not have had otherwise.
  • Career Development: Mentorship can aid in career exploration, helping students identify their strengths, interests, and potential career paths. Mentors can share insights into different industries and roles, helping students make informed decisions about their futures.
  • Increased Confidence: Underrepresented and first-generation students might sometimes doubt their abilities due to a lack of role models or imposter syndrome. Alumni mentors who have successfully navigated similar challenges can boost their mentees' confidence by sharing their own experiences and successes. 
  • Skill Enhancement: Alumni mentors can offer advice on developing relevant skills, both academic and soft skills. This guidance can contribute to the overall personal and professional growth of the mentees.
  • Cultural Understanding: Alumni mentors who have come from similar backgrounds can provide insights into the cultural nuances of their fields or industries. This can be especially beneficial for students who might be entering environments where they are a minority.
  • Navigating Institutional Knowledge: Alumni mentors can help students understand the academic and administrative processes of their institutions. This includes explaining how to access resources, deal with challenges, and make the most of the educational experience. 
  • Motivation and Inspiration: Seeing someone who has successfully overcome similar challenges can be incredibly motivating and inspiring for students. Alumni mentors can serve as living proof that success is achievable, even for those from underrepresented and first-generation backgrounds.
  • Personalized Advice: Mentorship is inherently personal. Alumni mentors can provide one-on-one advice that caters to the specific needs and goals of their mentees, which might not be as readily available in other settings.
  • Long-term Connections: Mentor-mentee relationships often extend beyond the immediate academic or career goals. They can evolve into lasting connections, benefiting both parties as the mentees progress in their careers and become alumni themselves.
  • Breaking Stereotypes: Alumni mentors can challenge stereotypes and biases by showcasing the diversity of achievements within their communities. This can contribute to changing perceptions and promoting inclusivity.
  • Retention and Success: Mentorship has been shown to improve retention rates among underrepresented and first-generation students. Feeling supported and connected to the institution through mentorship can lead to higher levels of academic success and satisfaction.

Download program brochures:

(Alumni)Mentors one-pager [Download PDF]

(College Administrators, Dean's, Directors, Academic Program Managers, etc.) College Admin one-pager [Download PDF]


Alumni please complete this interest form.

For more information contact:


Nakia Strickland
Associate Director, Diversity Engagement
Alumni Relations, University Advancement
502.852. 3132|


College Administrators, Dean's, Directors, Academic Program Managers, etc. contact:

Diandre Glover Thomas
Director of Projects and Communication
Office of Institutional Equity


Program Coming Fall 2024