Contact Us

Women's Center

Women's Center
University of Idaho
Memorial Gym, Rm 109
Fax: 208.885.6285

Mailing Address:
Women's Center
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1064
Moscow, ID 83844-1064

Mentoring Program

2013-2014 Mentoring Program Coordinator
Melissa Flores
Phone: (208) 512-4242


Mentor Profiles

Mentor profiles listed here are for the current 2014-2015 cohort. Please check back soon for a list of mentors for 2015-2016.

  • Belle Baggs - Assistant Professor, Movement Sciences
    Belle Baggs is a dancer, choreographer, yoga teacher, and advocate for the arts in community. She teaches academic and movement classes in the UI's Dance Program. Her research is using choreography to explore issues of the body as representations of the interplay between social inscription and social resistance. She describes herself as an artist at heart, and says she is most passionate about her work. She has a reserved and easy-going personality. Belle feels strongly about supporting her community, especially when it comes to issues of inclusion and comfortability. She says, "I've also dealt with my own personal obstacles of being a woman in the academic system, and want to support those who are navigating similar terrain." Belle believes that qualities of a good mentoring relationship are non-judgmental and open communication, and accountability, i.e. show up when you say you are going to show up (a lesson that is sacred in the field of dance). To view Belle's professional profile, click here.

  • Liz Brandt - Associate Professor, College of Law
    Liz Brandt joined the faculty at the University of Idaho's College of Law as an associate professor in 1988. She teaches in the area of family law (marriage, divorce, custody, marital property, domestic violence) and child welfare. She is active with the ACLU and has been involved in LGBTQ rights and issues. On a personal level, she loves music. She sings in the Palouse Choral Society and directs the handbell choir at her church. She also loves crafts. Liz sews, knit, embroiders, and weaves. She loves to curl, and through that hobby has become involved with the ice rink in town, where she is the president of the board and manager of the Palouse Curling Club. Liz tries to live a healthy lifestyle. She has been married for 30 years, and has twins (age 24) who were born during her second year as a faculty member at the UI. Liz feels that the qualities of a good mentor are to be available, a good listener, supportive, knowledgeable, a brainstormer, and friend. Liz believes it's important not to just pontificate about her own experiences, but to listen and try to figure out the unique context that her mentee might be experiencing. View Liz's UI faculty profile here.
  • Somantika Datta - Assistant Professor, Mathematics
    Somantika Datta is a professor in the Mathematics Dept. She enjoys reading for pleasure, walking, biking, and performance arts. Somantika wants to be a mentor because she'd like to help students enjoy their experience at the University of Idaho. Somantika describes herself as shy, and says she knows that it can be very hard for some students to adjust and make friends, and that many struggle with social and emotional challenges. Somantika believes that qualities of a good mentoring relationship include being comfortable in one to one conversations, being able to offer support when needed, being available for help, and responding promptly when contacted. She is particularly interested in being matched with a mentee in the sciences. You can view Somantika's professional UI profile here.
  • Mercedes Frausto - Tutor, Academic Success and Access Programs
    Mercedes Frausto is a UI staff member in the Tutoring and Academic Success program, tutoring students in anatomy and biology. She also teaches Spanish at St. Mary's School, and runs their after-school program. Mercedes earned her bachelor's degree in Health as a radiology technician, and has a master's degree from the University of Idaho in Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership. She is originally from Huaraz, Peru and obtained American citizenship in 1998. Mercedes is very engaged with our local community, and is a member of the Moscow League of Women Voters, the Catholic Women's League, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute, and is a former member of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News' advisory board. Mercedes describes herself as very sociable, and likes to read, walk, bike, and listen to music. Mercedes believes that qualities of a good mentoring relationship are patience, the ability to listen, and personal courage. A recent alumna of the University, Mercedes would like to help students who are struggling with their daily life.
  • Kris Freitag - Accountant, Office of Research and Economic Development
    Kris Freitag is an accountant for the UI Office of Research and Economic Development. She enjoys playing and listening to music, gardening, travel, playing tennis, and being outdoors generally. She identifies as somewhat introverted, but also describes herself as easy-going and open-minded. Kris is a board member of Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse. She says she's always felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole, and that she might have some perspective in how to navigate that in college and beyond. Kris believes that the most important quality of a good mentoring relationship is the ability to listen. Other qualities she thinks are important include being available, empathetic, non-judgmental, and having the ability to give constructive feedback when asked. Kris is particularly interested in being matched with a student who is outdoorsy or athletic.
  • Anne-Marie Fulfer - Director of Career Development, College of Law

    Anne-Marie Fulfer, J.D. is the Director of Career Development at the UI College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Idaho and is a member of several professional law organizations. Anne-Marie oversees programming at both the Moscow and Boise campuses working to develop, promote, and implement marketing and outreach activities designed to increase employment opportunities for College of Law students and graduates. She also assists law students and graduates with law career employment counseling and makes recommendations based on student needs, employment trends, and career goals.  Prior to attending law school, Anne-Marie worked for many years in the California wine industry. The work that has had the greatest impact on her in terms of recognizing the individual in each of us is the years she spent as a personal care attendant for people with quadriplegia. Anne-Marie likes to read, watch movies, and chat. She enjoys people and their stories, and has a good sense of humor. She is good at social situations and networking. Anne-Marie believes a mentor needs to be good at listening, supportive, and to have a good feel for when advice is needed and/or warranted. View Anne-Marie’s professional UI profile here.

  • Morgan Hanson - Resident Director, University Housing

    Morgan Hanson is a live-in Resident Director for University Housing. She has a B.A. in Political Economy with a minor in Spanish, and a master's in Public Administration. She has worked at the University of Idaho for nearly a year now and really loves her job.Morgan loves reading books of any genre, including fiction, nonfiction, adult, young adult, children's books, you name it. She also loves learning languages--she speaks Spanish, conversational French, some Thai, and is currently working on learning Russian, with her next goal being Bosnian. She and her husband love to cook, and she especially loves experimenting with Asian cuisine. She says coffee is her weakness, and nothing beats a good cup of coffee and a chat with a close friend. Morgan says she wants to be involved in the program because she's had a lot of strong, female mentors to look up to and wants to pass that wisdom along. In college, Morgan says, women are often in the majority and it is very easy to forget about gender bias and other gender-related issues in that arena; however, as a young professional, these issues are very salient to her, and she hopes to equip female students with knowledge that can help them navigate around bias and achieve their dreams in spite of it. Morgan believes that a good mentor is someone who really tries to get to know their mentee's story, and who uses their own wisdom and experience to give their mentee sound advice that is relevant to their position in life and their desires for the future. A mentor should help guide their mentee to new ways of thinking, to the options that they have before them, and challenge their perception of their self and their world in a positive and productive way. 

  • Aleksandra Hollingshead - Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction
    Aleksandra Hollingshead is a faculty member in the College of Education, in the Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction. Her academic interests revolve around increasing engagement in learning for students with autism and severe disabilities, as well as for college students. Aleksandra's personal hobbies include running, trail running, ski-ing, outdoorsy sports, reading, and many others. She describes herself as very direct and honest, trustworthy, and reliable. Aleksandra says she wants to support students at the University of Idaho in experiencing their college education to the fullest in a safe and supportive environment. Aleksandra was born in Poland and built her education and career in the USA. She feels she would be a good mentor to another female who seeks to become a strong person and a leader in her career path. Aleksandra is an ally for the LGBTQ community and has undergone Safe Zone training. She believes that the most important qualities for a good mentoring relationship are open communication, honesty, an ability to listen, and ability to provide support and counsel, as well as an ability to encourage reaching higher and aiming for better achievements. She is interested in being paired with a mentee in the College of Education or CLASS.

  • Jazzmine Hudson - Area Coordinator, University Housing
    Jazzmine Hudson is a staff member in University Housing. Jazzmine identifies as African American, and was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She is the Area Coordinator for Theophilus Tower--her job is to support residents and provide a great first-year experience to new students. Jazzmine enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, starting (and hopefully completing) puzzles, cooking, and trying new foods. Jazzmine says she seeks challenges each day, and tries to learn something new before the day is over. She describes herself as a combination of introverted and extroverted. She says she can be a little awkward, and has occasional dorky moments, but tries to make people laugh. Jazzmine wants to be a mentor because she recognizes how important it is to have a good support system at the University. Jazzmine believes that qualities of a good mentor include being a great listener and supporter. A good mentor seeks to advise their mentee by providing clear and honest advice, while assisting the mentee in mapping out their plans and goals. Jazzmine feels that mentors at the University can serve as a valuable gateway to resources, and help provide opportunities for their mentee to become involved and connected to campus. As a professional, Jazzmine plans to assist her mentee by  lending her own personal experiences to help her navigate systems while in college.

  • Stacy Isenbarger - Assistant Professor, Art & Design
    Stacy Isenbarger is a faculty member in the UI's Art & Design department, located in the College of Art & Architecture. On the professional side of things, she teaches sculpture and introductory design courses. Personally, she loves to geek out about music, dance, poetry, visual communication, and basically what inspires people to explore their creative side and overcome challenges. Stacy is looking forward to connecting with other women and playing a supportive role in their academic pursuits. She believes that qualities of a good mentoring relationship include openness and ease of communication, shared experience, and empowerment. Please view Stacy's professional profile here.
  • Elissa Keim - Director, Professional Development & Learning

    Elissa Keim is the Director of Professional Development and Learning for the University of Idaho. She joined the Vandal Family almost four years ago, when she realized her career had taken her too far away from what she loves most - working with adult learners, especially in an employee development context. Though she is not currently pursuing a degree, Elissa is motivated by life-long learning. She lives in Moscow with her patient and supportive husband, two daughters, and two dogs (a basset hound and a chocolate lab). Elissa is active in both the University and Moscow communities. One of her favorite ways to give back is as a mentor to both youth groups (she has been a Scout Leader for 7 years) and young professionals. Elissa describes herself as a servant leader, and loves watching people learn to lead from where they are. In her spare time, she loves to cook and curl up with a good book. Elissa believes that a good mentoring relationship is mutually desired, where both mentor and mentee learn from each other. She endorses open, honest, and candid communication, and hopes to be paired with a student who is willing to invest their time and energy in the program. View Elissa's professional UI profile here.

  • Julia Keleher - Coordinator, LGBTQA Office
    Julia Keleher is the Coordinator of the University's LGBTQA Office. Julia identifies as queer, and strives to provide welcoming spaces for LGBTQA people on campus. Originally from Iowa, she has lived in Idaho since 2012. Her hobbies include all things nerdy: pop culture, comics, Magic the Gathering, board games, video games, TV, movies, and Internet culture. Julia is very interested in social justice/LGBTQA equality.  She describes herself as funny and lighthearted, and enjoys getting to know new people. Julia wants to be involved with the Women's Mentoring Program in order to help a new first-year or transfer student feel comfortable and included on campus. She believes it is important to provide extra support for new students to ensure their success, and likes the idea of providing personal one-on-one paraprofessional help for students to better equip them with the tools they need to succeed in their first year at the University of Idaho. Julia believes that a good mentoring relationship provides social support, practical information, and advice for the mentee, but also peace of mind related to any fears or concerns they may have about their transition to the University of Idaho. She also strongly feels that a formal mentoring program provides a one-on-one connection that is enriching to both parties involved. View Julia's professional UI profile here.
  • Leanne Ralstin - Advisor, Career Center

    Leanne has a Master's in English from the University of Idaho and is a Career Advising Specialist with over 10 years of experience in higher education and career development. Making a positive difference in the lives of others is something she finds particularly important and satisfying. In particular, she finds enjoyment in assisting and teaching others how to utilize their written and verbal communication skills in order to achieve their individual goals. Leanne relishes reading and good stories of all genres. She loves the outdoors and wishes she could spend all her hours in it.

  • Elizabeth Sloan - Faculty, Integrated Seminars (ISEM)

    Elizabeth Sloan is a faculty member in the UI's ISEM (Integrated Seminars) program. She teaches "The Creative Mind" and "Jupiter, Venus, and Mars." Elizabeth is an artist, a writer, and a creative thinker. She has a soft spot for all animals. Elizabeth has a daughter in college, so she is aware of stress and joys of college students. She describes herself as relaxed and easy-going. Elizabeth believes that qualities of a good mentoring relationship include trust and communication, being open to ideas and understanding each other. She would like to make a difference for a student who needs that personal connection, perhaps feels overwhelmed with the whole new college experience, or is further along and looking for a more professional career exchange of ideas.

  • Virginia Solan - Coordinator, Violence Prevention Programs Office

    Virginia Solan is the UI's Violence Prevention Programs Coordinator. She has a BA in Sociology with a Psychology minor and a Certificate in Diversity & Stratification, and an MS in Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership. Virginia is a writer and a feminist activist, focusing on violence prevention and victims' rights. She has worked in radio, newspapers, and television. She describes herself as an extrovert who's really an introvert on the inside. She loves yoga and hopes to start biking again soon. She is very fond of all animals but is an especially big fan of cats, and has two. Virginia believes that qualities of a good mentoring relationship are mutual respect, listening, commitment, and care. Virginia wants to support her mentee in her goals, from networking to scholarly pursuits to personal goals, and intends to make the relationship a priority. She says, "I have enjoyed the support and friendship of so many incredible women who took the time, energy and care to be a mentor to me. I want to honor that gift by providing the same in return for young women looking for a mentoring connection." View Virginia's professional profile here.

  • Hannah Whisenant - Staff member, Landscape and Exterior Services

    Hannah Whisenant works in the Arborist Shop, which is part of the Landscape and Exterior Services branch of UI Facilities. She loves being outdoors and educating others about trees and the environment, and is working towards becoming a qualified ISA (International Society of Arborists) arborist. During her undergraduate studies, she was heavily involved with international travel, volunteering for local theatres, honor programs, volunteering for local Moscow events, and she also taught dance for Festival Dance for a year. Her main hobby is Ultimate Frisbee, although she also enjoys painting, reading, and music. She is also a part-time DJ for Zfun 106.1 FM. Hannah describes herself as having strong skills in communicating, empathizing with and contextualizing all kinds of human emotions and difficulties. She says she is passionate and positive, honest and inquisitive. Hannah believes that qualities of a good mentoring relationship include honesty, trust, constructive feedback, a down-to-earth approach, encouragement, an appreciation of diversity, and a sense of humor.