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Have you ever attended a conference for the first time and wished there was someone you could talk with about the meeting or the organization? As part of a welcome to those attending the 2004 annual meeting for the first time, experienced ISTSS members will be available for questions and comments regarding any aspect of the conference and the organization. These individuals are called the meeting mentors.

How can you find a meeting mentor? Starting this year, there will be two ways to receive mentoring. The first way is on-site mentoring—at the annual meeting, just look for those wearing pink lapel buttons labeled “Mentor,” and ask your questions! Alternatively, all first-time attendees are issued pink ribbons to wear on their conference ID badge. These ribbons are distributed at the registration desk with the conference program and other registration materials. By your wearing the pink ID ribbon, mentors will know that you’re someone special and important, and they will reach out to you. Equally important people who also wear ID-badge ribbons at the meeting are the ISTSS president and members of the board of directors. Therefore, please know that the pink “first-timer” ribbons are never used to discriminate or stigmatize the wearer in any way.

The second way to receive mentoring is more structured. This year, we will assign mentors to those who pre-register for mentoring. On the ISTSS registration form, there will be a box to check if you would like to have a mentor assigned to you. If you check the box, we will contact you and will attempt to match a mentor to you on the basis of your interests, if feasible. Mentors assigned via pre-registration will be expected to meet with you at least once during the conference.

We think you’ll find the mentors accessible, friendly and knowledgeable. If you have questions about the meeting mentor program or if you wish to volunteer to be a mentor, contact Elisa Triffleman, MD, chair, ISTSS Diversity Task Force, at elisa.triffleman@yale.edu.