Every day, students interacts with countless adults: professors, advisors, coaches, directors, etc. Brown, which prides itself on its student-faculty interactions, is a great place to find and build a relationship with a mentor. There are certain adults, though, that often go overlooked. Have you ever wondered what the story was behind the lady swiping you into the Ratty or the man mowing the Main Green?
Bear Pairs is a group designed specifically to “bridge the disconnect between students and staff.” Members get paired up with a staff member, and those two become “buddies.” This could mean anything from having dates in Downtown Providence to grabbing Starbucks on a Sunday afternoon. Along with the individual meet-ups, the club has several events scheduled throughout the years that the staff and students can attend to get to know each other better. The group allows students to not only get to know a staff member, but also a normal Providence resident that they can have meaningful interactions with.
About 65 staff members and 90 students are currently all buddied up. (Of course, they are always looking to expand!) Two seniors last year, Jake Carr ’13 and Melissa Chin ’13, founded Bear Pairs, and Ria Mirchandani ’15, Christina DiFabio ’14, and Lan Mei ’14 are now co-heads along with faculty coordinators Carlen Adler (Senior Project Coordinator, Office of Biomedical Advancement) and Wendy McRae-Oworye (Director of Staff Diversity and University Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer). For more information about Bear Pairs, you can email Mirchandani at Ria_Mirchandani@brown.edu .