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March 20, 2019

Guilford Women Mentors: Krishauna and Dayna


A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser who offers support and guidance. In honor of Women’s History Month we highlight three stellar relationships on campus. This conversation, conducted by Katie Claggett ’19, focuses on Krishauna and Dayna.
 

Krishauna Hines-Gaither, Intercultural Engagement Center

Please introduce yourself!
I’m Krishauna Hines-Gaither, Ph.D. My pronouns are she, her, and hers and I’m the Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Director of the Intercultural Engagement Center.  I joined the Guilford community in 2017. My research focuses on the intersections of race, class, and gender throughout the African diaspora. I’ve published on African descendants in Latin America, Francophone communities, and the United States. 

Who do you mentor on Guilford’s campus?
I support students from all backgrounds, genders, and identities. As an African American woman at a predominantly white institution, supporting all students is my goal. It’s particularly important to make space and time for students who are underrepresented given they have fewer models who look like them and who share their lived experiences. I aim to support my students in whatever capacity is needed. I meet them where they are.

Dayna Bryden ’20 became my friend and mentee after we met through IEC programs. She served as an intern in my office and employee. In an age when so many people engage impersonally through social media, it is refreshing for students to be able to sit down with someone that they trust and hold a conversation in confidence. I take it very seriously that students trust me enough to share their lives with me. Whether we realize it or not, students are always watching us and taking note of our character. I feel that the best relationships are those that are not scripted, but those that happen organically and informally. 

In what ways do you support your mentee? 
When supporting students, I use a combination of compassion, faith, life experience, and good old fashioned listening skills. I meet with some students one on one at regular intervals, at their request. There are others with whom I do not meet regularly, but I may share resources with them or direct them to the right place. A substantial way I support students in my professional role is by offering programming that reflects their identities and lived experiences. 

What do you learn from each other?  
This quote guides my teaching: “I pray for the strength to teach my students what they must learn, and the humility and wisdom to learn from them so that I might better teach.” It’s adapted from author Lisa Delpit who wrote Other People’s Children. This quote is very empowering to me because I feel I have learned so much from Dayna and other students. Dayna has taught me lessons of humility, self-determination, compassion, and positivity. The synergy that emerges when you are in community with Dayna is palpable.

Why do you value your role as a mentor?
I am a pragmatist, and therefore I understand I do not always have the answers. It is humbling to sit down with a student and work through a situation together. These are the best moments. It is rewarding and satisfying to see people developing their full potential and talent. I am energized to work side by side with such a smart and witty generation. I will never get old as long as I am in the company of college students. They are at an amazing point in their lives as they cross the threshold of young adulthood into career readiness. I am thrilled to be a supporting cast member on their stage. I am honored to work with the students of Guilford College. 

Dayna Bryden ’20

Tell us about yourself! 
Hi, My name is Dayna Bryden, my pronouns are she, her, and hers, I am a junior. My major is Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies and Interpersonal Communications. I am a proud member of Black Student Union and a Coordinator of Sisters Empowering Each Other. I’m also a Resident Adviser and the Serendipity co-chair of Campus Activities Board. 
 
Tell us about your mentor.
I have many mentors on campus who have impacted me in positive ways, but Krishauna has had the most impact on me. I have known her since my first year, but we started to grow closer last year as I became more involved on campus. I spent most of my time in the IEC. I was blown away by all the work Krishauna does and it made me want to be better. She inspires in everything that I do. Eventually, I asked her if she would become my mentor and help guide me. She is truly an amazing  and remarkable woman who just has this spark about her.
 
In what ways does Krishauna support you?
She provides advice and guidance when it comes to personal or academic life. We’ve had conversations about my future and where I want to go and be. From that, she’s helped me ask myself the right questions in order to achieve the level of success I want. Most importantly, just by observing her and seeing all the work she does, I’m inspired to have that same dedication and passion for what I want to do in life. 
 
What’s the best lesson she’s taught you?
She’s taught me that you won’t get by doing nothing in life and that hard work can go along way and can pay off. She also taught me that it’s okay to go through hard times and face certain challenges. It’s only natural, but you need to keep moving and pushing because you will get where you need to be. She also taught me that uncertain times reveal reality and that I am the only one who can shape what that reality looks like.
 
What’s especially valuable about your relationship with Krishauna?  
I value this relationship with my mentor because you don't always find that one person in life who is looking to see you succeed. In today’s time, society has shown me that everyone is in competition with each other, and I can see that, but when you find that one person who can help guide you and you resonate with and can help you become the person you want to be, you hold onto that and cherish that  person. Also, because I am also able to relate on many levels like spiritually, personally, and through academic interests, that relationship also holds a deeper value to me that I will continue to maintain.