The Faculty and Staff for Student Excellence Mentoring Program (FASE) is hosting a series of Lunch and Learns throughout the semester. A collaboration between student mentors from the FASE Mentoring Program and selected IU faculty, these free sessions explore various topics such as Afro-Latino culture, work and leisure, Black studies, and Black students and are open to everyone. The weekly Lunch & Learn workshops began on March 30, 2022, and take place each week throughout April.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Patrick Smith, director of the FASE Mentoring Program, said. “It’s a chance for our peer mentors to connect and engage with our faculty on a whole new level.”
Although the concept is not new, the FASE Lunch and Learns are unique as they focus on the collaboration between a peer mentor and an IU faculty member.
“Our peer mentors do the work,” Smith stated. “They find the faculty and identify the topics and work together to build out their presentations.”
Professor Candis Smith, a lecturer in African American and African Diaspora Studies, will present a Lunch and Learn on April 1 titled Black Studies and Black Students at IU: History, Challenges, and Triumphs in collaboration with IU senior Jordan Plunkett.
“Dr. Smith is my favorite professor,” Jordan said. “I had her for an independent study last year, and we still talk. One day, we were talking about a book she had assigned me and how I didn’t know much about Dr. Hudson or Dr. Holland as a Hudson and Holland scholar. From there, this topic just came about naturally.
“I’m a graduate of IU,” Smith said. “I was here when you could take Dr. Holland's intro biology class or schedule an appointment to see Dr. Hudson. And now, I don’t think students know much about Black IU history because many of our foremothers and forefathers have passed away or retired.”
In this particular lunch and learn, Smith hopes to introduce the attendees to Black history at IU, ranging from Black faculty members to the history of Black student activism.
“I want this to be an open space for people to learn,” Smith goes on to say. “These lunch and learns are the perfect opportunities for people to hear from a variety of different voices. You’re already eating lunch; why not learn something new in a communal setting?”
Please visit the FASE website for a complete list of FASE Lunch and Learns.