A total of 26 female students were inducted into Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), a mentoring program which supports the educational success and leadership abilities of students. The first induction ceremony was held on October 20 at the Woodbridge Campus. The guest speaker for the event was Dr. Kimberly M. Holmes, director of retention and student success at George Mason University. Organizers plan to hold this event annually.
The mission of WISE is to empower women through professional and academic enrichment, while improving self-esteem and self-advocacy.
]With support from 21 NOVA faculty and staff mentors, WISE students establish academic, personal and career goals; learn how to make informed decisions; identify resources and pathways to successfully achieve their goals; cultivate strong relationships with women in business and academia, and develop leadership and self-improvement skills.
WISE Founder and Program Leader Tykesha Myrick conceptualized the idea of forming a mentoring program two years ago after observing a need to uplift NOVA’s Woodbridge Campus female students in pursuit of their education and career goals.
“Each member of WISE are the authors of their own book of life,” Myrick said. “Their stories are not exclusive to just one character, but as WISE mentors we will play a vital character within their lives. Mentors as well as mentees will join together to overcome obstacles, educate ourselves and share our knowledge with the community. I want to personally thank each of our mentors for their commitment to this newly inducted group of young empowering women.”
According to Provost Sam Hill, the Woodbridge Campus female student population is 53 percent. As the first incoming class of WISE inductees begin their journey toward academic success, Hill said he encourages each member of WISE to serve as role models to other students on campus and within the community.
“Mentoring transforms lives and the WISE program’s main focus is pioneering a group of leaders,” said NOVA President Scott Ralls. “Mentorship is about recognizing the greatness that is within an individual and helping them to bring that out, and that is what WISE is all about.”