“I became connected with Jasmine when she applied for a part-time job as an admissions host during her sophomore year. I was her supervisor for a semester before she transitioned to a different position within our office, but we maintained a close relationship throughout her junior and senior year. I value the relationships that I have with all of my students, but the mentor/mentee relationship that I’ve had with Jasmine is particularly special to me.
Jasmine and I have had some tough conversations over the years. Her first semester in admissions, a fellow student employee made a racist comment in the workplace. Since I, as a white woman, have a different lens than she does as a young woman of color, I learned a lot from Jasmine in this situation as well. We worked together to process her feelings about the incident, and I learned a lot from her perspective about how I, as the student’s supervisor, should address the situation appropriately.
As Jasmine has grown and become a leader in the admissions office, we’ve also had a lot of conversations about creating boundaries as a young professional, and how to take care of yourself while still working to improve an organization.
The biggest thing that Jasmine went through in college, that I hope I was able to support her through, was changing her major. Jasmine came into the University of Iowa as a Neuroscience major with plans to apply to medical school. Although she did well in those courses, she realized at the end of her sophomore year that her career goals had changed. We had a lot of conversations as she was going through this process, and I hope that I was able to provide her with the support that she needed to make the change. She graduated this May with a degree in Communication Studies on the Pre-Law track. She will be attending the University of Iowa College of Law this upcoming fall. When Jasmine was admitted to law school this past semester, I was one of the first people that she told.
At a professional conference this year, I was humbled to receive the Michael Barron Impact Award, which is awarded based on nominations from current or prospective students who have been positively impacted by a professional. The nomination came from Jasmine.
Now that she’s graduated, I will continue to be a support system for her. In addition to being her mentor, I’m also grateful to call her a friend. Throughout the last few weeks, as conversations around racism and police brutality are swirling overhead, Jasmine and I have had some great conversations as we process these events together. I have learned so much from being her mentor, and she has had such a huge impact on me both personally and professionally.”
Susan Dickinson, Assistant Director for High Ability Recruitment, Office of Admissions