Program awarded grant to help undergraduate STEM students 

Team Mentoring Program helps STEM students who are from underserved communities.



Madison Arreola is the lead mentor for the College of Veterinary Medicine in TMP.

ALISA VOLZ, Evergreen reporter

The WSU Team Mentoring Program (TMP) was awarded $208,500 by the Washington Research Foundation to help support undergraduate STEM students from underserved communities. 

“Our main mission is to basically empower students who are in STEM and considered a minority group to stay within their major and make sure that they know they are capable of pursuing these majors and professional things as well as providing connection between peers,” said Madison Arreola, the lead mentor for the College of Veterinary Medicine in TMP.

Arreola, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, first joined TMP after a professor recommended she apply to be a mentor. 

Since then, she has mentored up to 17 other students. Mentees participate in a variety of events organized by mentors, such as networking events involving industry professionals, field trips to medical facilities and bingo, along with other games.

“My favorite part is definitely the people that I have met through this program,” Arreola said. “I have been able to connect on some pretty personal levels with some of my mentees, as well as some faculty that I wouldn’t have really connected with otherwise.”

TMP Director Samuel Rodriguez said the program supports members from the stages of mentee, mentor, to alumni.

“The framework for this particular program is a team concept,” he said. “We have student mentees, usually freshman and sophomore students, and then we have student mentors who are farther on their program, like juniors and seniors, and there’s also a faculty mentor component to it. Once students graduate, there’s also a TMP alumni network. So it’s kind of a chain.”

While the Washington Research Foundation previously supported TMP, they have increased their assistance with their recent grant of over $200,000, Rodriguez said

“The Washington Research Foundation has been a great partner to the team mentoring program,” he said. “Their support started in 2016 with a one-year grant or funds and over the years, they’ve seen the good work that the team has done and this year they increased the amount that they were going to provide the program over the next three years.”

Arreola said the grant will allow TMP to continue increasing its efforts in order to further help students involved in the program. 

The grant will increase resources to host networking and resume-building workshops, field trips, and scholarship opportunities, Arreola said.

“I believe the money is just pretty valuable in the sense that it helps people continue going in the hard times and can increase the efforts that we’ve made,” she said.

Rodriguez said it is important to look at assisting students as a whole, not just at particular aspects, like financial issues.

“The Team Mentoring Program looks holistically at the student experience,” he said. “There’s an academic component of course, but there’s also a social and cultural component to it. As you know, each field, each college, each major has its own intricacies, so we are helping students be able to navigate the different spaces.”

Rodriguez said TMP is always open to more students getting involved in the program, and he encourages interested students to reach out. Visit the TMP website for more information.