Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Columbia Mentoring Initiative (CMI)

Columbia Mentoring Initiative Family Tree Chairs

Multicultural Affairs' Columbia Mentoring Initiative (CMI) is an inter-generational mentorship program that connects first-year students (mentees) with returning students (mentors), and all students with alumni. In addition to program-wide events and activities for all participants, students have the opportunity to get involved in various "family trees":

  • Arab & Middle Eastern Family Tree
  • Asian Family Tree
  • Black Family Tree
  • Indigenous Family Tree
  • Latinx Family Tree
  • LGBTQ Family Tree
  • International Family Tree 
  • Mixed Heritage Family Tree

For first-year students, CMI focuses on the adjustment to Columbia University and college life.  The mentors and “family” members will emphasize leadership development, identity development, emotional health, academic success, belonging, and community consciousness.

CMI is an outgrowth of the Alumni of Color Outreach Program (ACOP). ACOP was created in 1996 by Columbia College students, alumni and administrators who were eager to find ways to increase the involvement of alumni of color in the life of Columbia and to provide additional support for students of color. Today, the program is administered by Multicultural Affairs and actively connects with Columbia’s alumni affinity associations: ACAA (Asian Columbia Alumni Association), BAC (Black Alumni Council), Columbia Pride (for LGBTQ alumni), and LAACU (Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University).  CMI offers students the opportunity to be mentored by Columbia alumni from a wide range of career fields and the chance to participate in a variety of alumni–student events including Heritage Month receptions, intimate dinner–discussion programs, and site visits to alumni worksites.

Join CMI!

There are multiple ways in which you can get involved as we engage current undergraduate students, graduate students and our alumni. Applications for mentor, mentee, and leadership positions are open to all undergraduates students. Mentorship opportunities are open to all graduate students and alumni.

CMI Co-Chair 

The CMI CHAIR application is now closed. 

Position Description

Family tree chairs are a select group of students who have been chosen through an application process to work with Multicultural Affairs in coordinating the Columbia Mentoring Initiative (CMI). Family tree chairs are primarily responsible for managing a group of 20 mentors and mentees. Upon acceptance of a family tree chair position, a student must commit to fulfilling all of the responsibilities outlined below for the duration of a full academic year. To apply for a chair position, the applicant must have been active in the CMI program during the previous year, be an enrolled student in Columbia College (CC) or the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.8.

  • Attend weekly CMI Co-Chair Leadership Meetings—not permitted to miss more than two (2) meetings per semester
  • Attend the mandatory family tree chair retreat, training(s) and program kick-off
  • Recruit program participants
  • Coordinate monthly activities for respective family tree(s)
  • Assist in planning CMI monthly events
  • Submit electronic reports monthly
Chair Benefits
  • Gain practical leadership experience managing a University sponsored mentorship program
  • Network and build relationships with University administrators, faculty, staff and alumni
  • Give back to your community and create a welcoming campus environment for student at Columbia University
  • Connect to members of your community in meaningful ways
Selection Process

The outgoing family tree chair and the CMI advisor from Multicultural Affairs will select the new family tree chair. Both the outgoing family tree chair and the advisor will meet to review and discuss the applications submitted for the position. If an applicant meets the preliminary criterion they will be invited to interview for the chair position. After all interviews are completed, the outgoing chair and advisor will meet again to select the new family tree chair.

All applicants must submit a completed Chair Application to Multicultural Affairs in order to be considered for the family tree chair position. The application consists of personal information, campus/outside involvements (including with the CMI program) and short essays. An applicant’s campus/outside involvement is a key factor; however, essays will still be considered a significant aspect of the selection process.

CMI Mentor

The application for the CMI Mentor for the 2018-2019 academic year is closed. 

Mentor Responsibilities:

  • Commit for one full academic year (Fall and Spring semesters)
  • Attend mandatory mentor training and program opening reception/kick-off
  • Serve as a support and guide to your mentee
  • Attend CMI community functions (outings, dinner-discussions, etc.)
  • Attend identity-based family tree functions
  • Maintain communication and meet regularly with your mentee
  • Meet once a month with the CMI program director

CMI Mentee

The application for CMI Mentee will be open on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. The mentee application priority deadline is September 16, 2018.

Mentees participate in the following ways:

  • Mentor Match: Meet regularly with your mentor for one-on-one support
  • Mix & Mingle: Attend dinner discussions and connect with alumni who share their stories of success
  • Social Activities: Participate in fun activities and events that bring together students from across all family trees

Multicultural Affairs


505 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-0720

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Connect with the IRC