Mentor Program Newsletter

Marquette Mentors Newsletter
December 2019

Evelyn Puga Ruiz

Education mentor, mentee already giving top grades to partnership in college's debut

Thanks to the significant commitment and collaboration of more than 20 campus partners, Marquette Mentors now serves every university undergraduate college and the graduate school. The College of Education is new to this year’s program and mentor Kaitlin Reichart, Arts ’10, and Education mentee Evelyn Puga Ruiz have made the most of their time together. Early in the program, Evelyn shadowed Kaitlin, principal at Our Lady of Grace School in Chicago.

“We observed multiple classrooms, provided feedback to teachers and discussed the many components of school administration, including marketing, development, finance, HR, and instructional leadership,” says Kaitlin. “It was a great day discussing topics of education and Evelyn's plans for the future.”

Evelyn has already benefited from working with Kaitlin, with plans to shadow Kaitlin again in the near future. “Working with Kaitlin has been such an honor and privilege,” she says. “I’ve learned so much about what it takes to run a school and the tremendous work that goes into it.”

Peter Hoskow and Moyo Ogunkunle

Mentees reminded of travel stipend application to shadow out-of-state mentors

Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, Miami, Atlanta and Chicago are just a few cities mentees will be visiting in the coming months to meet and job shadow their mentors. Thanks to generous contributions by mentors, the Marquette Mentors travel stipend is available for mentees to apply for air or train fare, or car mileage reimbursement to visit and shadow their mentors.

“An opportunity to shadow and see ‘a day in the life’ of a mentor can be transformational for a mentee,” says Dan DeWeerdt, senior director of Marquette Mentors. “It can help envision a potential career, in addition to enhancing the partnership with their mentor and broadening their professional pool of contacts.”  

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Apply now.

Read how a job shadow visit
with mentor, Pete Hoskow, Arts ’99, impacted his mentee last year.

Marquette Mentors 2019-20

You’ve made your (goals) list, now check it twice

Since Marquette Mentors was established in 2013-14, the program's cornerstone to mentor-mentee success has been mentee-driven communication and identifying, tracking and completing goals developed and agreed upon by both parties. Consider these tips in third month of the 2019-20 program. 

  • Goal-centric. Review, celebrate achievements, chart the course to accomplish the goals and adjust, if necessary. Refer to the goals document regularly and stay on track.
  • Mentors- utilize your network to help your mentee. It’s not imperative to have every answer. Think about your own professional network and who might be able to lend a hand. Referring to fellow alumni available through this year’s mentor online directory can help.
  • Mentees- your initiative is imperative (and required) to ensure success. Many indicated scheduled meetings- including planned agendas sent by the mentee in advance of the conversation- have been catalysts to their success. You’re busy, they’re busy. Discussing key takeaways, such as progress toward goals, honoring deadlines, and including responsibilities to be accountable to each other are essential. 
  • It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
    While you may want to complete your goals immediately, discuss if there are other topics or themes to complement that goal. For example, if enhancing a resume is a goal, think about adding mock interviews (in-person, phone, Skype) or reviewing a LinkedIn profile.
  • Me and my shadow. Semester break is an excellent time to shadow or meet in person. Discuss this possibility now before the holiday season.

For additional information, including fellow mentor and mentee insights, discussion topics, the importance of networking and Career Services Center support, consider the 2019-20 Marquette Mentors Resource Guide.

Marquette University

Wealth of career experiences, insights, mentors available through new directory

Thanks to more than 130 mentors who’ve generously given the gift that keeps on giving- offering to help other participants with their inclusion in the 2019-20 Marquette Mentors Online Mentors Directory. The secure directory link, which includes mentor career biographies and contact information, was emailed to program participants earlier this month.

Recognizing the broad scope of careers and professional experiences, Nancy Armour, Comm ’91 and columnist of USA TODAY Sports, immediately contacted fellow mentor Jeff Sherman, Bus Ad ’92, co-founder and president of, and co-founder of ZYN, to assist her mentee, Kelli Arseneau.

“Kelli has such a diverse skill set- the Wire, some broadcast plus broadcast- that I thought he’d be great for her to contact,” she says. “Plus, given her background in entertainment reporting, I thought OnMilwaukee could be appealing to her.”

Learn about mentor-mentee relationships, mentor career journeys or simply expand your professional network through the directory to enhance the program experience.

Special thanks to the alumni mentors who have generously agreed to be included in the directory and serve as another resource to participants. Please contact Dan DeWeerdt with any questions.

Nick Dillon, Koren Dennison

Mentee gets opportunity to learn, hone leadership skills thanks to mentor

When mentor Nick Dillon, Comm ’90 and founder and CEO of BELIEVE University in Brookfield, Wis., served as the emcee for a leadership event hosted by GE Healthcare, he also recognized a valuable mentoring opportunity to include his mentee, Communication student, Koren Dennison.

“It was a great experience that offered her amazing insight on some great worldwide leaders,” Nick says.

He's also been impressed with Koren's initiative, a critical component to help ensure a productive and valuable experience between both parties. “She has definitely taken the lead and we have met several times to discuss her goals and professional initiatives,” he says.

“We're currently working on strategies to increase her visibility and exposure to employers online to leverage employment opportunities as she enters the final year of her graduate program. I love Koren's energy and personality and am excited about our accomplishments so far.” 

Marquette Mentors

January networking and career panel provides special opportunity to meet mentors and alumni

Marquette students, parents and alumni are invited to "Navigating the Road to a Rewarding Career Journey: Preparing for Life After Marquette" on Thursday, Jan. 9, in Chicago. The event takes place at Merchandise Mart and will include career networking and a panel discussion featuring high-profile alumni from a variety of professions, including host, emcee and mentor Maura Farrell, Arts ’92 and managing partner at Kivvit, and mentor Marilynn Gardner, Jour ’88 and president and CEO of Navy Pier. The event is presented by the Marquette University Alumni Association and Marquette Mentors. Along with mentors Farrell and Gardner, other mentors and mentees will be in attendance, so meeting and networking with fellow participants is an added benefit.

The evening will also include welcome remarks by Dr. Kimo Ah Yun, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Marquette University.

See complete details and register here today. Seating is limited. 

Tim Donovan, Bus Ad '18

Where Are They Now?

Did you know more than 600 Marquette students have served as mentees, thanks to the outstanding leadership of Marquette alumni mentors? Where Are They Now? is a new monthly feature highlighting Marquette alumni who served as mentees in Marquette Mentors. He's currently a member of the new Mentee Alumni Leadership Commitee for Marquette Mentors. 

This month's mentee alumni is Tim Donovan, Bus Ad ’18, who was mentored in 2016-17 by Valerie Wilson Reed, Sp ’79, CEO of Valcooks LLC in Hinsdale, Ill.

First job following graduation:
One year at MLG Capital, a private real estate company in Brookfield, Wis.

Current title:
Senior associate at Midloch Investment Partners, a private real estate company in downtown Milwaukee

One key takeaway from Valerie?
Teaching me how to treat mentors and other experienced professionals as peers and friends was invaluable. I think one of the most difficult aspects of starting a relationship with a mentor is feeling comfortable opening up when there is a substantial age or experience gap. She helped me understand every mentor and professional isn’t very different from me. It’s helped build trust and genuine relationships.  

One piece of advice mentors should consider when working with mentees?
Be open professionally and personally. I know from experience it can be initially daunting for a young college student to build a relationship with someone who has had a fantastic career and years of industry experience. The sooner a mentor can demonstrate there are more similarities than differences with their mentee, the sooner the relationship can deepen and become more impactful.  

Three words of advice for mentees related to their professional journey:
Open-mindedness, sincerity, gratitude

In the News

Sarah GuernseySarah Guernsey, Arts ’94, has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Art Institute of Chicago. She’s serving for the third year in Marquette Mentors. (Liz Trump, Arts mentee)



Derek Gutierrez Derek Gutierrez, Bus Ad ’04, has been promoted to General Manager – Sr. Market Director of the Los Angeles Market at PepsiCo, including Los Angeles and Orange counties. He’s mentored students through Marquette Mentors program since 2016. (Meredith McGuire, Communication mentee)



Brendan StevensonBrendan Stevenson, Engineering mentee, will be serving as a field engineer intern in summer 2020 at The Boldt Company. The construction company is headquartered in Appleton, Wis. (Sarah Noth Gundzik, Eng ’00, mentor)


Share your latest news such as a new job, promotion, award or service project with program participants In the News. Send a one-sentence description with a headshot (no selfies, please) to Dan DeWeerdt.


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