Indiana State University Newsroom

‘Destination Success’ increases female tech students’ confidence in future

February 23, 2016

A pilot program that connects female technology students and mentors is underway at Indiana State University and aims to help them be more successful as students and beyond.

A recent coaching session focused on helping the students in the program fine-tune their resumes and learn how to set and obtain goals. Sarah Wilde, career services coordinator and College of Technology liaison, jumpstarted the session with a presentation on resumes. Afterward, students were treated to a five-minute cupcake break in honor of National Mentoring Month before a presentation by State alumna and Destination Success organizer Mary McGuire from the College of Technology Executive Advisory and ISU Foundation boards.

"From my perspective, I had a great career as an engineering manager, a blessed life -- and now it's my opportunity to give back to Indiana State and the College of Technology," McGuire said. "When I was at Indiana State, I had a couple of mentors that were key to my success in my early career, and I think it's important to offer the same thing to this current generation."

McGuire serves as co-chair and champion (mentor) of Destination Success along with Dwuena Wyre, associate professor of human resource development, and Kara Harris, associate dean in the College of Technology. Cheryl Roberson, program director in the defense sector of Rolls-Royce and State alumna, also helps to champion the 11 female students in the pilot program.

McGuire's data-and-output based presentation revealed how to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (or SMART). McGuire also revealed her own personal trick for sticking to goals -- finding an "accountability buddy" to promise results to and count on for support. The students learned to apply McGuire's process to their own personal goals, which they revealed to the room after a 10-minute goal-setting exercise.

Brianna Francis, a junior computer engineering technology major from Port Charlotte, Fla., plans to apply for internships so she can secure one for this fall.

"Having the one-on-one sessions with my mentor is really nice because it reassures me and motivates me, and we can set goals together so it's not all on me," Francis said. "So, it's nice to collaborate and get things done with an ‘accountability buddy.' It's very encouraging."

Geena McFaul, a senior safety management major from St. Anthony, will settle for nothing less than a B for her final semesters, so she can graduate with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

"It's just nice talking with Mary and everything, especially being a female in a more male-dominated field. It makes a big difference," said McFaul of her mentor McGuire. "It's good to express that and get feedback and personal stories. It can be intimidating knowing you're the only female in a career, but it's also like a motivation, too."

Francis says that as a woman in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) field, the future looks "very bright," and she hopes she is invited back to the program next semester.McGuire says she chose her career because she loved what she was doing and stayed with it.

"I never looked at it as being a women -- it was me. If we can build a passion in these ladies to go after their goals -- and let them know that they can do it -- that is really what my goal is," McGuire said. "No matter what you do, you'll have issues, but it's how you approach them. Having a positive attitude, setting goals will make you very successful in your job, and also in life."


Photo: -- Indiana State University College of Technology students participate in Destination Success, a new mentoring program.

Contact: Dwuena Wyre, assistant professor, College of Technology, 812-237-3801 or

Writer: Kristen Kilker, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3773 or