Two Marist students selected for inaugural Gumbo Coalition University Mentorship Program

Following a competitive application process Marist students Terrence Echols ’21 and Kaylin Moss ’21 were selected to enroll in the inaugural  Gumbo Coalition University Mentorship Program sponsored by  Resorts World Casino.

Echols and Moss were two of 10 college students who earned the opportunity to participate in the intensive six-week virtual mentorship program to hear from prominent authors and speakers from all over the nation. Upon completion of the program each student will receive a $500 scholarship from Resorts World Casino.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to not only network and meet new people, but also gain knowledge and insight on what it takes to be a good leader and mentor,” Echols said.

The lecture series is based off Marc Morial’s bookThe Gumbo Coalition: 10 Leadership Lessons That Help You Inspire, Unite, and Achieve. Students in the program will read chapters of the book and participate in virtual discussions with other leaders on the topics and lessons contained in that particular section. The first virtual meeting was held in late January and virtual sessions will continue into late April.

“The program takes a really holistic and unique approach to mentorship,” Moss said. “It’s really conversational and a there’s a lot of back and forth dialogue that makes it feel more like a Q&A than a lecture.”

“Throughout history, effective leadership has guided us through the most challenging times,” said Michelle Stoddart, Vice President of Community Development at Resorts World New York. “Now more than ever, a new generation of students must be equipped to lead boldly in the face of the medical, political, and environmental challenges we face as a country. By teaming up with renowned civic leader and former New Orleans mayor, Marc Morial, Resorts World is proud to present the Gumbo Coalition University, a virtual platform that will shape the leaders of tomorrow.”

Students in the program will read chapters of Marc Morial’s book and participate in virtual discussions with other leaders on the topics and lessons contained in that particular section.
Morial, who was mayor of New Orleans from 1994-2002, is president and CEO of the National Urban League (NUL), the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization. In addition to Morial, the speakers in the series are Dr. Elinor Jackson, Ed.D, an expert advisor with extensive experience in business development and program management; New York Times best-selling author Lavaille Lavette; Aswad Walker, a professor of African American Studies Program for the University of Houston; and Silvia Mathis, the founder of the multimedia production company Punkin Pictures.

Both Marist students learned about the Gumbo Coalition University Mentorship Program from Desmond Murray, Associate Director for the Employer Experience in the Marist College Center for Career Services.

Students filled out an online application that included an essay discussing their professional experience and career-related goals. Candidates who advanced to the next round were invited to meet virtually with the program’s speakers and talk about what leadership meant to them. Then the speakers made the final selections.

https://maristcareerservices.weebly.com/files/theme/images/quotes.png?1582137939″); font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 28px; background-position: 0px 25px; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding-left: 30px !important; border-left-width: 0px !important;”>“The program takes a really holistic and unique approach to mentorship. It’s really conversational and a there’s a lot of back and forth dialogue that makes it feel more like a Q&A than a lecture.”  – Kaylin Moss ’21

Echols is majoring in communications with a concentration in public relations/advertising and has already begun graduate work in Marist’s 5-year dual degree program in Integrated Marketing Communication. Moss will receive her bachelor’s degree in computer science with a concentration in software development in December 2021. Both seniors agreed that their experiences at Marist helped them earn the Gumbo Coalition scholarship.

Echols is a student-athlete on the men’s basketball team and a senior researcher in Marist’s chapter of the American Advertising Federation. As an AAF member he writes copy and helps prepares presentations with his group for the  National Student Advertising Competitionthat will take place later this spring.

“Collaborating with everyone using online platforms like Zoom, Face Time, and Google Meet has really helped me get comfortable having meaningful conversations in a virtual environment,” Echols said.

Echols mentioned how joining the Marist Radio Club as a freshman inspired him to create his own podcast, which has helped him articulate his thoughts and ideas on a variety of topics.

https://maristcareerservices.weebly.com/files/theme/images/quotes.png?1582137939″); font-size: 18px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 28px; background-position: 0px 25px; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding-left: 30px !important; border-left-width: 0px !important;”>“I’m learning how I can be someone who others look to for guidance, and that’s inspiring.”  – Terrence Echols ’21

Moss participated in the  Marist/IBM Joint Study programfor one year and completed a virtual internship with IBM in the summer of 2020.

“The joint study exposed me to a lot of public speaking roles and presentations,” she said. “So I felt like I had a lot to draw on from that experience when applying for the (Gumbo Coalition University Mentorship) program.”

In October 2020 Moss founded a chapter of the  National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)  at Marist College. The organization’s main goal is to create an inclusive community for black students and other students who are interested in pursuing opportunities in technology, engineering, and other sciences. Moss said she wanted to learn about different styles of leadership in the program so she could apply them to her role as NSBE President.

Interestingly, Moss sees computer science as an industry where she can hone her artistic talents.

“In my career I want to focus on things like software development, web design, user interfaces, and anything else that creates new digital experiences,” she said.

This summer Echols will intern with  Galaxy Media, a multi-dimensional media company that services clients in Syracuse, New York. He has thought about owning his own advertising agency one day, but definitely aspires to a leadership role in marketing or public relations. He said participating in the Gumbo Coalition University Mentorship Program aligns with these goals.

“I’m learning how I can be someone who others look to for guidance, and that’s inspiring,” he said.