A Faculty Mentor’s Bittersweet Goodbye to Babson Posse 12

Marjorie Feld and Babson Posse 12

In 2003, Professor Marjorie Feld served on the launch committee for Babson’s partnership with the Posse Foundation.

Now, more than 15 years later, she’s saying goodbye to a Posse of her very own.

This May, 10 of the scholars who make up Babson Posse 12 will cross the Commencement stage. The 11th Posse scholar graduated last spring. As their faculty mentor, Feld has been with them through every step of their Babson journey.

“It’s very bittersweet,” she says. “They’re ready, but I’m not.”

The Posse Experience

The Posse Foundation recruits and trains public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential to become Posse Scholars. Babson is the only business-focused school among Posse’s 57 partner colleges and universities around the country. Feld is one of 15 valued members of Babson’s faculty who have taken on the critical role of Posse mentor.

During a Posse’s first two years on campus, scholars meet with their mentor each week as a group and every other week individually. Those conversations focus on academic, social, and career development. And, they’re critical in supporting the scholars, says Feld.

“It’s truly rewarding work,” she says.

And, the spontaneous moments that happen outside of structured conversations are just, if not more, special.

“The non-required things are the jewels in the crown. We’ve been bowling, they come to my house for Thanksgiving dinner,” she shares. “Or, they just come over to hang out. They’ve become part of my family.”

Scholars and Leaders

The connections and impact of Posse scholars extends beyond those one-on-one and group conversations. “Babson Posse scholars have been enriching our campus for 15 years,” she says. “The Posse scholarship is a leadership scholarship, and mine have led all over campus as RAs, athletes, admission fellows.”

One of the biggest benefits of being a Posse mentor, she says, is everything you learn from the scholars themselves.

“They’ve taught me a lot about being a student here, about being open minded, about ways of being in the world.”

This spring, Feld is teaching Working in America: Labor in the U.S. Since 1892, and has found that students’ bringing their experiences into the classroom has enriched course discussions, and helps students teach each other. “The diversity of the classroom always lends itself to more rigorous analysis,” she says. “The students here are open and smart, and they know that the lessons of their liberal arts courses are essential to all aspects of their lives.”

Goodbye for Now

On the evening before Commencement, Babson Posse 12 will have a special ceremony to celebrate their accomplishments and their journey. Feld will offer a goodbye and a congratulations to her Posse during that ceremony, but knows she’ll stay connected to the scholars long after they’ve collected their diplomas.

“I signed up for Snapchat and Instagram accounts, so I can stay in touch with them,” she shared. Feld will be embarking on her own journey, as she has been named the Goldstein Goren Fellow in the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU while on a one-year sabbatical from Babson next year. She will be visiting Manhattan often for research and even a few teaching gigs. So for any of her scholars returning to the New York area, she’ll be close by for dinner, bowling, or just a conversation.

Featured photo: The members of Babson Posse 12 at the Posse Plus Retreat in New Hampshire in January. Top Row, left to right: Kenrick Alfred, Jarrett Moore, Amanda Lee, Federico Leyva. Front Row, left to right: Leslie Parra, Davele Zephyr, Marjorie Feld (faculty mentor), Sharice Alonzo, Leigh Singer, Mikhaila Marchan, Mahd Sharif. Not pictured: Claribel Truglia, who graduated in May 2018. Photo courtesy of Dean Ian Lapp.

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