December’s Mentee of the Month: Dean Temple CC'90

Congratulations to Dean Temple CC'90 for being selected as our Mentor of the Month for December. Temple received his BA in Russian Language and Literature. He now is a Creative Director, Actor, and Writer. He has participated in the Odyssey Mentoring Program and has mentored two students.

Interview with Dean Temple CC'90

Have you connected with students during the Covid-19 pandemic? What has that experience been like? 

Yes, but only through the Odyssey Mentoring Program. I've enjoyed it quite a bit, particularly in light of lockdown, because it's made Columbia feel like an extended community. We've all been reaching out to each other from home, and each of us is trying to get their work done in ways that can feel strange and isolating. It's been fun to talk to younger people who are so enthusiastic about these two fields where I work (design and acting). 

What have you gained from being a mentor?

Greater admiration for Columbia. My mentees have been so bright and positive, it made me feel hopeful.

What advice would you give a student looking for a mentor?

Make sure you take the time to talk deeply about the things that interest you most. When I was younger, I felt like there were things I was supposed to do and things that were too crazy to want to do. Of course, I ended up doing the crazy things with my life, and I love doing them. I'd also say, learn everything you can about the things that scare you most (in the right way) because maybe you'll discover something. 

Did you have mentors during your time at the College? If so, could you share a bit about them? 

I did not, although I desperately needed one. I was lucky enough to have a mentor as an adult in Zachary Solov, a fabulous artist who was the choreographer of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Zachary may have died 16 years ago, but I still learn something from the things he told me all the time. 

Any additional thoughts about the Odyssey program?

I'm thrilled I've started doing this. I enjoy contributing a little bit in this way, and it's fun to meet younger people from Columbia. 

About the Odyssey Mentoring Program

The Odyssey Mentoring Program (OMP) was founded on the belief that Columbia College students and alumni want to support one another, share stories and encourage one another’s success, thus creating a strong and tight-knit community. The College has more than 50,000 alumni working in myriad careers and around the country. OMP makes it possible for community members to connect in a variety of ways, from an email exchange to in-person meetings and small group gatherings.