AWRA 2012 Annual Conference
AWRA Connections

AWRA Conference Connections Program

Deadline for Registration - October 12, 2012

Program Contact

Rafael E. Frias

Are you interested in providing a young professional or student with guidance and advice on navigating the professional world of water resources? Then the AWRA Conference Connections Program is for you.

The AWRA Conference Connections Program is a mentoring/networking program to be held during the 2012 Annual Water Resources Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. This program matches experienced AWRA members with new AWRA members, first-time conference attendees, young professionals, and students. It is available to both AWRA members and nonmembers.

Community, conversation, and connections are key principles of AWRA and this program has been developed to put these principles into practice. The program will build relationships within the water resources community, create a platform for conversation, and create connections that will enhance an individual's knowledge and expertise. Networking, sharing ideas, discussing trends, establishing connections, and developing a career path are just a few of the benefits that the AWRA Conference Connections Program can offer its participants.

We strongly encourage all conference attendees to participate in the inaugural AWRA Conference Connections Program. We received positive feedback from the first program, inaugurated at the 2010 National Conference in Philadelphia, and want to make sure the benefits of AWRA connections are available to all attendants to the 2012 National Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. If you are interested in participating in this program, please read on for more information and register at the link above.

Intent of Program

The program matches AWRA members (experienced water resource professionals) with new AWRA members, first-time conference attendees, young professionals, and students. The program is available to both AWRA members and nonmembers. It is built upon AWRA's guiding principles of community, conversation, and connections.

Who Can Participate in the Program?

Preferred criteria for a Mentor:

  • 2-year membership in national AWRA or a state section,
  • 5 years professional experience,
  • Attended at least one AWRA conference, and
  • Planning to attend the conference for a minimum of 2 days.

Preferred criteria for a Mentee:

  • AWRA members (state section or student section)
  • Nonmembers
  • Students (Graduate and Undergraduate)
  • Young Professionals
  • New AWRA Members
  • First-time AWRA Conference Attendees
What is Expected of Each Mentor?

Mentors facilitate the conference experience for young-professionals, new AWRA members, first time conference attendees, and students. Mentors are expected to:

  • Provide opportunities to meet throughout the conference;
  • Share professional background and experience, learn the professional goals of the mentee, and provide career guidance;
  • Encourage conference networking; including suggestions of other mentors and members with whom the mentee might speak.
  • If requested, serve as a professional mentor to the mentee post-conference.
What is Expected of Each Mentee?

Mentees are expected to:

  • Provide opportunities to meet with their mentor throughout the conference.
  • Take advantage of their mentor's professional experience to chart out personal career goals.
  • Participate in conference networking events to make connections with their mentor, other mentors, and other conference attendees.
  • If desired, call on their conference connections for professional advisement post-conference.

The conference committee will make every effort to partner individuals with professionals of similar interest areas.

Prior to the conference, mentees will be expected to contact their mentors via telephone or email to identify an initial conference meeting as well as additional opportunities for meeting during the conference. This contact should be made by Friday, October 26, 2012. If the mentee has not made the initial contact we request that the mentor reach out to the mentee to initiate the connection prior to the conference.

The mentors and mentees will be designated by a sticker on their nametag that will be distributed with the registration materials. Mentees are encouraged to connect with other participating mentors and mentees throughout the conference.

Ideas for Informal Opportunities for Mentors/Mentees to Meet Up

  • Session breaks
  • AWRA Conversation Corner
  • Student Attendee Conference Orientation (Monday)
  • AWRA 5K Fun Run (Tuesday)
  • Lunch breaks during the conference
  • Opening Networking Reception (Monday)
  • Monday Opening Plenary Session
  • Dinner at the River City Brewing Company (Tuesday)
  • AWRA Awards Luncheon (Wednesday)
  • Student Career Night (Wednesday)
Application Submissions

Completed Mentor and Mentee Applications should be emailed to Rafael E. Frias. Thank You!