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Insights from a Two-Time NABITA Mentor: Andrea Dalimonte, M.Ed, B.Ed, OCT

NABITA’s Mentor Match program is available to all NABITA Members at no cost. The program aims to cultivate leadership in the field by linking seasoned BIT professionals with those who are newer to the field. We had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Dalimonte, M.Ed, B.Ed, OCT, Manager, Student Care and Support at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada. She graciously shared her insights on the program and highlighted why members should consider it.

What inspired you to participate in NABITA’s Mentor Match program as a mentor for a second time? 

Last year, I decided to become a mentor because I had gained valuable training and experience with NABITA. Feeling more seasoned in my role—having chaired and co-chaired committees for CACUSS (Canadian Association of College and University Student Services) and expanded my team from two to five staff—I appreciated the importance of mentoring. I saw that firsthand with my own mentors, who guided me through challenging situations and helped me develop new strategies.  

In Canada, roles like mine are still evolving and often exist as standalone positions and offices. A lack of funding makes formal training challenging, which is why the 1:1 connection, resource-sharing, and mentoring guidance can be so valuable. Last year, I had the privilege of mentoring two individuals, and our frequent meetings went beyond the recommended time commitment because of the mutual benefits we derived from the relationship. The NABITA Mentor Match program provided an exceptional platform for this, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment that was instrumental in our professional growth. 

This year, I decided to take on the role of mentor again, this time with three mentees, each bringing unique experiences and skills. Some had as much experience as I did but sought more freedom in their roles or committee experience. It was rewarding to share my journey and reassure them that it does get easier. As we stay in touch, I love seeing their growth and progress. 

What is your experience with NABITA? 

When I stepped into my role eight years ago, we had a NABITA Team Membership. We had just implemented a CARE Team, using NABITA as a hub for everything related to CARE, Threat Assessment, conduct, and support. We use the NABITA Risk Rubric in our CARE Team meetings and follow NABITA’s Standards for Case Management. I attended NABITA’s Case Management Summit in Nashville and participated in various online Case Management trainings. Our team regularly attends the NABITA Annual Conference, and I will attend this year’s Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. Funnily enough, I won the free registration to attend the Annual Conference by completing NABITA’s State of the Field Survey!

What networking opportunities have you gained as a mentor? 

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a mentor is the networking opportunities it brings. One of my mentees attended NABITA’s Non-Clinical Assessment of Suicide (NAS) training and invited me to sit in virtually while she presented her learnings to her colleagues. This was an excellent opportunity for her to share her work and for me to gain insights into the dynamics at her institution. With all my mentors, we connect on LinkedIn and discuss attending upcoming NABITA workshops and conferences, further expanding our professional networks.  

What advice do you have for mentees? 

For those in case management roles, understand that the workload can be immense, but reaching out and pursuing professional development through free programs like Mentor Match is crucial. It helps to realize that others across the country and internationally, like me in Canada, are doing similar work. Networking is vital because you never know where it might lead you. 

Why would you encourage mentees to join? 

First, it’s free for NABITA members! Many may not have the means for a 1:1 connection otherwise. The Mentor Match program is structured to provide regular meetings and discussions over a set period, typically six months. These guided conversations are more organized and purposeful than I anticipated. We discussed timely topics, such as how my mentee could use their institution’s case management system and specific approaches and processes that work elsewhere. This personalized guidance is more specialized to individual needs than a group session or conference can offer. 

What impact will NABITA, or Mentor Match, have on the Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment field? 

NABITA provides best practices and guiding steps, which my institution relies heavily on. We look for trends in other institutions and observe how student needs change year to year. The Mentor Match program plays a crucial role in sharing this evolving information in a less formal, more vulnerable setting. Participants may feel more comfortable asking questions they might hesitate to ask in formal trainings, thereby contributing to the continuous improvement and growth of the Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment field. 

What experiences or skills are most important for mentors and mentees in this program? 

To mentors, I say: Be good listeners, reliable, and open-minded. Avoid last-minute cancellations. Be realistic about your available time and flexible when rescheduling, to maximize the benefits for your mentees. 

And to mentees, I say: Identify key areas you want to discuss. If you’re unsure, say so, as this can open valuable conversations. Have topics prepared early on to make your meetings productive. Even a short discussion can lead to valuable information and resource sharing. 

I recommend trying to mentor at least once, even if you think you have little to offer. Someone in a similar field can always provide helpful insights. It’s mutually beneficial; I’ve learned fascinating facts and observed how U.S. institutions operate, revealing similarities despite our different countries. 

At NABITA, we know our members make great mentors. Please consider applying as a mentor or mentee during our next application cycle. Applications will open in September 2024. Learn about Mentor Match by visiting