Odyssey Mentor Program holds first meeting

Mike Suechting

The Odyssey Mentor Program, Political Science Society and Peace and Conflict International Club hosted the first welcome back mixer and meeting for Odyssey Mentor students on Tuesday.

Students who attended the mixer and meeting enjoyed complimentary pizza and bread sticks at Round Table Pizza in the Union.

Odyssey provides guidance and support to government students. Formed two and a half years ago, the Odyssey’s primary goal is student retention. In previous years, the government department had a low retention rate.

Since the founding of Odyssey, the number of students involved has dramatically increased. The organization started with only 30 students involved. Currently, there are more than 100 members.

Mary McCune, the student director of Odyssey, attributes this growth to the increasing number of students choosing government as their major or minor. McCune said this allows for better circulation of the program.

“By next year, we should have about half of the government department involved. We want, ideally, everybody who is in the department to be involved in the program,” McCune said.

McCune said she has many plans for the upcoming semester. Odyssey students are organizing a career symposium for government and criminal justice majors where students will be able to meet people working in their discipline and gather information on various fields.

They also plan to have three staffers from the Secretary of State’s office, two of which used to be executive fellows and the other a council member to the Secretary of State, come and speak to Odyssey students.

Odyssey students are working closely with students in the Political Science Society club this semester.

Last year, the Political Science Society was formed and its goal is to be a non-academic addition to the Odyssey program.

“It’s a social outlet where we can discuss politics over beers,” McCune said.

The two organizations will work closely with each other to create and plan for these upcoming events.

Mike Suetching can be reached at msuechting@statehornet.com