MENTORSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Embracing Adaptation, A Journey of Career Development and Resilience

This Mentorship Program Spotlight highlights a mentee and mentor duo focused on a journey to navigate the adaptation field. Meet Mentee Dolly Na-Yemeh and Mentor Amanda Farris.

MENTEE Dolly Na-Yemeh is a Climate Adaptation Specialist with the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center at the University of Oklahoma. She collaborates with researchers, resource managers, and local communities to develop science for climate adaptation. Her research interests include stakeholder engagement, climate adaptation, extreme weather impacts, and monitoring. Beyond professional pursuits, Dolly volunteers for community service, conducts outreach and enjoys Zumba, teaching, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

MENTOR Amanda Farris is the Senior Program Manager for the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP). In this role, she helps coordinate the MCAP program and several ongoing grants, collaborates with regional partners, translates climate data and information to support decision-making, and builds networks of climate adaptation practitioners. A key component of Amanda’s work is bridging the gap between climate science and stakeholder communities through network building. Amanda enjoys reading, practicing yoga, and taking road trips to see family with her husband, Ryan, and two dogs, Harmon and Brew.

Dolly was excited to be paired with Amanda because Amanda had experience collaborating with regional partners, translating climate data and information to support decision-making, and building networks of climate adaptation practitioners – experiences relevant to Dolly’s new job as a climate adaptation specialist. Throughout the mentorship journey, Amanda and Dolly have been delving into career development questions and the essential skills required for excelling in their fields. These discussions have been enlightening, fostering an environment of learning, collaboration, and personal growth for both of them. Topics discussed included career development and strategies to excel in adaptation, building strong professional skills, and navigating power dynamics and workplace conflict.

The pair discussed and recognized the vital role of networking in career advancement. Amanda provided invaluable guidance on networking strategies, encouraging Dolly to attend industry events, join relevant associations, and leverage online platforms to expand her reach. As a result of their discussions and the program, Dolly forged new connections, opening doors to potential collaborations and opportunities. Dolly enjoyed learning about Amanda’s positive outlook on life and her career, mainly when they discussed how she handled periods of transition in her career. The mentorship program experience has provided a network of mentees, mentors, and resources available for Dolly’s disposal, and she’s fortunate to have been selected as part of the 2023 cohort!

Fun Facts About the Duo

Amanda and Dolly proudly bear the title of “big sister.” Amanda’s unique family dynamic includes being a twin herself. Dolly’s familial ties to twins run deep, as her dad is a twin, and she’s surrounded by the joyous presence of not one but three sets of twin cousins. Clearly, the bond of twinning is a cherished inheritance in their families.

Despite the geographical distance separating them from their families, Dolly and Amanda hold a special place in their hearts for their loved ones. They understand the value of these connections and eagerly anticipate every opportunity to reunite, celebrate, and rejuvenate their spirits. 

In the grand tapestry of life, Dolly and Amanda shine as individuals who carry forward the legacy of family bonds and the joy of togetherness, no matter the miles that may lie between them.