University Park

Commission for Women Mentoring Program in its 17th year

Twenty-eight pairs currently participating in 2016–17

The 17th year of the Commission for Women (CFW) Mentoring Program began this fall with Devin Ferraro and Jessica Kim-Schmid among the mentoring pairs. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As a means for promoting professional and personal development for full-time Penn State faculty, exempt and nonexempt staff, and technical service employees, the Commission for Women (CFW) Mentoring Program — now in its 17th year — pairs mentees with mentors who can act as resources to give advice and guidance regarding professional goal setting, career planning, job skill enhancement, and greater involvement at Penn State.

Twenty-eight pairs are participating in the 2016-17 year. One of those pairs includes Devin Ferraro, a diversity enhancement programs director for the Smeal College of Business, and Jessica Kim-Schmid, an education program associate in the Eberly College of Science Outreach Office. Kim-Schmid is participating in the mentoring program for the first time this year to “gain a deep understanding of Penn State and learn strategies for success from my mentor and other Penn State women who have built thriving careers here. I also hope to engage in meaningful conversations about the challenges women experience in the higher education workforce and figure out how I can contribute to the creation of an even more inclusive, empowering environment for women at this institution.”

When asked why she was serving as a mentor, Devin commented, “I have been raised to pay it forward. For as long as I can remember, my grandmother instilled in me the importance of not only making change, but encouraging and inspiring others to do the same. I have found that my greatest avenue in making sure this happens is through mentorship. I hope that I can gain valuable exposure to other women at this university and their passion and hope for making significant changes in themselves and others around them.”

Mentor-mentee pairs dedicate time each month to work together either in-person, via electronic communication, or telephone calls. Additionally, participants attend group mentoring activities scheduled throughout the year-long program. The Mentoring Program is one of many ways CFW serves the University community.

To learn more about the CFW Mentoring Program, visit Mentor and mentee applications for the program are accepted in March.

The Commission for Women serves as an advisory group to the president of the University on the status of women at Penn State, advocates for women's concerns and recommends solutions. CFW is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. To learn more about CFW, visit

Last Updated March 29, 2017