Conservatory student creates mentorship program to support incoming Pacificans
As an out-of-state student who came to University of the Pacific to major in Music Education, Emily McGann ‘23 is familiar with feelings of loneliness and insecurity during such a big change. To help new conservatory students transition socially and academically into the new environment, she founded the Pacific Music Mentorship Program (PMMP).
“I am dedicated to creating a welcoming environment and to help transitioning students feel more at home at Pacific, even if it's online,” commented McGann. “I founded PMMP to help people find a home and not feel as lonely as I felt in the beginning.”
PMMP is a student-run club mentored by conservatory admission director Jessica Siena.
“This time has been tough for everyone and it's important to keep in touch as well as welcome our new students,” explained Siena. “We hope to continue to expand this program and continue addressing the needs of our incoming students.”
Even before PMMP became Pacific’s RSO (Registered Student Organization) last Sept., McGann started reaching out to incoming conservatory students online, connecting them with “seasoned” music majors and organizing virtual activities like game nights, hangouts or a pet lunch where students could share photos of their furry friends.
“The Mentorship program really helped me get to know everyone starting in the summer,” said Krys Checo ‘24, Music Education major. “This was especially great for me because I didn’t know anyone at Pacific or in Northern California, and I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to click with anyone before school started. Interacting with my future peers really helped me stop stressing over the transition into college. I was able to make great friends before I even met them in person!”
Upon registration of PMMP as an RSO, McGann became the club’s official president. Together with her peers elected for the club’s cabinet, she looks forward to working closely with other Conservatory and Pacific organizations and hopes to grow and expand this program beyond her own ideas.
“In today’s world, it is more important than ever to help first-year students feel included,” said McGann. “The goal of PMMP is to create that connection, strengthen it through various activities, and show these students what being a family in the Conservatory is about.”