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Iona College Unveils Robust New Mentoring Program, Announces Inaugural Director to Lead Strategic Initiative

Mentoring poised to become ‘a cornerstone of the Iona experience’

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. Iona College today announced an innovative new mentoring program is set to launch this fall, focused on advancing students’ personal and professional goals while giving alumni an impactful new way to support the next generation. In launching the Gaels Go Further Mentoring Program, Iona is also proud to introduce the program’s inaugural director, Colleen Slattery, an accomplished academic and business development professional with over two decades of management experience in higher education. 

“Mentors play an invaluable role in a student’s life and development. With the launch of this strategic new initiative, mentoring is poised to become a cornerstone of the Iona experience,” said Seamus Carey, Ph.D., president of Iona College. “Iona is truly blessed to have such a supportive, engaged and diverse network of alumni who are always eager to give back. We like to say that Gaels take care of Gaels, and that extends well beyond the campus. Once you are a Gael, you have access to one of the best alumni networks in the country. This program will help to leverage, support and enhance those relationships.”

Developed as one of President Carey’s strategic initiatives, the Gaels Go Further Mentoring Program will tap into Iona’s network of over 50,000 alumni across a wide range of industries. The initiative will include a mixture of both long-term mentorships based upon common career paths, interests and affiliations, as well as “flash mentoring” sessions. The pilot program, launching Fall 2021, will be anchored by a two-credit course featuring 12 self-paced modules with guided developmental interactions, as well as training on best practices and expected commitments for both mentors and mentees.

Made possible through financial support from program sponsors Jim Oates ’95 and his wife Monica ’95, Iona will leverage a new PeopleGrove technology platform called GaelsConnect to support all of the College’s mentoring programs and create greater engagement across the Iona community. The existing mentoring activities at Iona will continue, and be enhanced, as this initiative will provide resources and support as it becomes the umbrella for mentoring growth.

In the newly created position, Slattery will be responsible for launching, directing and growing all aspects of the mentoring initiatives. She brings more than two decades of higher education management experience to Iona, supporting both academic programs and business development. She most recently served as coordinator of Workforce Development Programs at Stony Brook University. Most notably at Hofstra University, Slattery held positions in Continuing Education as vice dean from 2014-2020, senior associate dean from 2008-2014, executive director from 2004-2008, and director of Business Studies from 2000-2004. Previously, as executive director of the Executive Education Institute, Slattery created and led skill-building seminars and trainings for clients such as Dow Jones & Company, the New York Stock Exchange, KPMG and Citibank, among many others.

“It will take a special skill set to lead – and succeed – in these new mentoring initiatives for Iona College, and we have found the right leader to transition us from idea to action,” said Paul J. Sutera, senior vice president for Advancement & External Affairs. “The employment landscape is evolving rapidly, and so is Iona College. The Gaels Go Further Mentoring Program will build upon the successes we’ve seen when alumni and other friends of the College take their time to engage with our students and fellow alumni. These kinds of relationships are what distinguish Iona and give students and alumni an advantage both in the classroom and after graduation.”

At Iona, students are empowered to “Learn Outside the Lines” as they develop relationships that help them see beyond their horizons, find their passions and forge their own paths. The Gaels Go Further Mentoring Program builds upon that promise, emphasizing that as Gaels, students are never alone on their journey. Other Gaels, and friends of the College, have traveled similar paths and can act as guides along the way.

“All colleges rely on their alumni for financial support, but opening our schedules to make time for these students is priceless,” said Jim Oates, a member of the Iona College Alumni Association Board of Directors. “While at Iona, we walked through many of the same halls as today’s Iona students and faced similar challenges. I and my fellow alumni have many insights, practical advice and encouragement to share to maximize their college experience and set the foundation for a successful professional and personal life. In turn, these students themselves will contribute to a stronger Iona alumni network for years to come. We’re so excited to build upon this new and transformational opportunity.”

Founded in 1940, Iona College is a master's-granting private, Catholic, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers. Iona's 45-acre New Rochelle campus and 28-acre Bronxville campus are just 20 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. With a total enrollment of nearly 4,000 students and an alumni base of over 50,000 around the world, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona is highly accredited, offering undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona’s LaPenta School of Business is accredited by AACSB International, a prestigious recognition awarded to just five percent of business schools worldwide. The Princeton Review recognized Iona’s on-campus MBA program as a “Best Business School for 2021.” Iona College also recently launched a new, fully online MBA program for even greater flexibility. In July 2021, Iona College and NewYork-Presbyterian announced the establishment of the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences, to be principally located on the College’s new campus at 171 White Plains Road, Bronxville, N.Y. Supported by a $20 million gift from NewYork-Presbyterian, the NewYork-Presbyterian Iona School of Health Sciences is expected to offer a new vision for collaborative health care education, modern workforce development, and community care.