The Office of Inclusive Excellence at the TCU Neeley School of Business spearheads new mentorship program, pairing historically underrepresented students with experienced business leaders across industries.
February 10, 2022
By Nicholas Ferrandino
At the beginning of fall 2021, the TCU Neeley School of Business unveiled the JPMorgan Chase Inclusive Excellence Mentoring Program. Led by the Office of Inclusive Excellence, the program launched its first semester with 20 students and 20 mentors, creating a diverse network of backgrounds and business experience.
The JPMorgan Chase Inclusive Excellence Mentoring Program pairs historically underrepresented students at TCU Neeley with experienced mentors who will help them navigate life as an undergraduate and prepare them to enter the business world with insight and guidance they need on their journey to secure a career of their dreams.
“There is great value in time spent with a mentor and industry leader who can speak about the experiences they had as an undergrad here at TCU,” said Kenneth Chapman Jr., instructor for the Management and Leadership Department as well as the leader of the JPMorgan Chase Inclusive Excellence Mentoring Program.
The mentoring program provides passionate TCU alumni, who now work as industry professionals, with a medium to pay it forward, passing on their knowledge and experiences to current business students. By evaluating both their majors and business interests, each student is paired with a mentor based on the student’s goals.
This one-on-one relationship allows each mentor to invest greater focus on learning their student’s interests and passions. Alumni mentors help students by connecting them with other organizations and business professionals, weaving together a strong professional network the students can take advantage of both during and after college.
“This is one of the key things we are really excited about,” Chapman said. “During the program, we saw there were some true mentoring relationships formed between the mentors and students.”
As it continues to grow in size and scope, the program will adapt the way it works based on the feedback from the students involved in the program. The very same kind of student feedback was responsible for conceiving the mentorship program in the first place.
The design of the JPMorgan Chase Inclusive Excellence Mentoring Program was built in response to data collected by the Office of Inclusive Excellence over the past few years to learn more about what TCU Neeley students wanted from the university.
After a multitude of studies, the office discovered many of TCU Neeley’s undergraduate students expressed interest in having a TCU mentor who could help them navigate college life. Likewise, both recent and longstanding TCU alumni shared their desire to give back to the university and help propel future generations of Horned Frogs to success.
“We conducted focus groups with our alumni and they wanted a way to connect and engage with today’s students, and help them be successful,” said Ann Tasby, director of the TCU Neeley Office of Inclusive Excellence and chief strategist for the JPMorgan Chase Inclusive Excellence Mentoring Program.
With definitive student and alumni interest, the Office of Inclusive Excellence formed a committee of faculty and staff leaders tasked with building and launching a new mentorship program. They worked non-stop for more than a year, bringing in sponsors, reviewing and recruiting mentors, and spreading the word about this new opportunity for TCU Neeley undergraduate students.
In need of someone capable of funding this new mentorship program, Tasby and the committee reached out to Daniel Pullin, the John V. Roach Dean of the TCU Neeley School of Business. With the dean’s help, the committee managed to secure JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the program’s principal partner.
“We shared our vision for an inclusive excellence-focused mentoring program with Dean Pullin, who took the lead on connecting us with JPMorgan Chase & Co.,” Tasby said.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest bank in the United States, is a long-standing partner with the Neeley School of Business. It is also one of TCU’s top employers for graduating students, as well as a supporter of other university initiatives. After listening to the committee’s pitch, JPMorgan Chase & Co. was eager to source the committee with the support and funding necessary to bring the program to life.
“We want to express our deepest gratitude to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and all the alumni who participated in the program, giving their time to invest in the lives of our students,” Tasby said.
The mentoring program is made possible through the endorsement of all its donors, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Microsoft, Delta Airlines and Deloitte, as well as the time and commitment of every TCU mentor who has dedicated themselves to connecting with and guiding TCU’s business leaders of the future.
“We do everything together and work hand-in-hand so everything aligns with the values and goals of the TCU Neeley School of Business,” Chapman added.
This opportunity to serve delivers on the TCU Neeley commitment to be partners in student and alumni success at every stage of a career.
An additional thanks to the members of the mentoring committee: Ann Tasby, director of the Office of Inclusive Excellence; Connie Lamirand, coordinator for Graduate Programs; Peggy Conway, director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement; Regina Middleton, academic adviser; Maureen Kenney, associate director of the Professional Development Center; and Anne Rooney, assistant dean of Graduate Programs.