Mentor Program e-Newsletter

Marquette University Alumni Association Mentor Newsletter
February 2018

Networking social proves beneficial for mentors, mentees

Bill Krueger, Maribel Langer, Kelly Kauffman and Dan JaffeeA record-setting group of more than 100 mentor program participants and guests attended the Jan. 28 pregame networking social at the brand-new training facility of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Mentees like Michael Van Kleunen, (mentor Harvey Anderson, Eng '84) found the gathering as a valuable opportunity to meet other mentors.

MUAA Mentor Program“The event was a great way to expand my network. As a law student, it specifically gave me a chance to speak with mentors who are attorneys working in an array of fields, specifically law and business. As a result of the event, I obtained new insight into various careers that I plan to consider in the future.”

Special thanks to these generous co-hosts for making this program possible:
Mentee parents Dan and Heidi Jaffee, Michigan City, Ind. (parents of communication mentee Elise Jaffee)
Mentor Kelly Kauffman, Arts ’97; Milwaukee Bucks (Elise Jaffee, communication mentee)
Mentor Bill Krueger, Eng ’87; JATCO USA, Inc; Franklin, Tenn. (Ethan Corr, engineering mentee)
Mentor Maribel Langer, Bus Ad ’89, Hay Group, a Korn Ferry company; Chicago (Megan Niesius, arts mentee)

Mentors, mentees continue sharing value of face-to-face discussions

Each year, mentor program participants find job shadowing/hosting, when possible, to be a valuable experience. Several mentors and mentees connected in various capacities since the January newsletter, including:

Dr. Tony Murray and Emma HartmannTony Murray, Arts ’88 and a neuroradiologist in Rockford, Ill. hosted health sciences mentee Emma Hartmann in January. “Emma shadowed myself and other associates, including at Rockford Gastroenterology Associates,” Dr. Murray says "I’ll likely get to see her again when I teach at Marquette's PA school this month, too."

Dr. Jodi Blahnik and Lexi Boyer Arts mentee Lexi Boyer (shown, second from right) recently shadowed mentor Dr. Jodi Blahnik, Grad ’03 and Marquette senior psychologist, director of student affairs assessment at the Marquette University Counseling Center (shown, far left). “Lexi met with Marquette's Counseling Center graduate practicum students and post-doctoral fellow for a great discussion on how to best prepare and succeed in graduate school and beyond,” Dr. Blahnik says. "It was both great for Lexi to hear from folks who have current or recent experiences in graduate school and for our counselors to reconnect with their passion for doing clinical work.”  

Denise Horne, Bus Ad '88 and corporate vice president at McDonald’s Corporation in Oak Brook, Ill. hosted her arts mentee Valerie Asimacopoulos for a full day of activities.

Valerie Asimacopoulos and Denise Horne“Val met with our Chief Compliance Officer as well as attorneys from a wide variety of practice groups, including litigation, corporate, real estate development, labor & employment and commercial as well as the emerging practice of data, technology & privacy," says Denise. “I think she also got a sense of various law schools that folks attended and their varied career paths (law firms vs. in house, going to law school straight away versus working for a bit after undergrad).  Importantly, lunch was at the Arch with a Quarter Pounder and World Famous Fries!” 


Dr. Billy Kumprey and Patrick Vosters

Arts mentee Patrick Vosters also took advantage his time off during break by shadowing mentor emergency medical physician Billy Kumprey, Arts ’93. “Patrick spent 8 or so hours with me in the Hartford (Wis.) emergency room. Along with seeing several patients, we also talked about the cases, medicine, Marquette, and life in general,” Dr. Kumprey says. “He also shadowed beside a PA student that was working with me, allowing him to learn more about a different career path in medicine.”

Patrick found the experience went beyond just the shadow visit. “Dr. Kumprey didn’t show me a career. He showed me a lifestyle- a lifestyle of service,” he says.

If your mentor resides outside of Milwaukee and you're interested in a potential job shadow in the area, contact Dan DeWeerdt at to learn about opportunities.

Back to the future for mentor, mentee

Mentor Steve Rushin, Jour ’88, Sports Illustrated feature writer and columnist, and author has served in the MUAA Mentor Program every year since the 2013-4 pilot. Along with mentoring five Marquette students, he’s recognized the value of continuing communication with them firsthand in the form of reverse mentoring  

Rebecca Lobo, Deny Gallagher and Steve RushinThis past year, he and his wife, Rebecca Lobo, a 2017 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, launched Ball + Chain, a weekly podcast which provides a behind-the-scenes look at their busy family life and professional careers. The impetus of the podcast came from Deny Gallagher, Comm ’15, Steve’s 2014-15 MUAA Mentor Program mentee and a producer at Sirius XM Radio. Fast forward to today and Deny serves as the podcast's producer.

Steve recalls how Deny helped get Ball + Chain rolling. “I had lunch with Deny in New York, where he suggested I do a podcast and advised me on how to start one,” Steve says. “Now he’s producing it. It shows you what a two-way street the MUAA Mentor Program is. I’ve learned plenty from him, and from my other mentees, and they keep me connected to Marquette, as well.

Regarding his role in the podcast, Deny says he “knows two things for certain about the Ball & Chain: that Steve and Rebecca will be funny every week. And that this entire project wouldn't be possible if Steve and I hadn't been paired together through the mentor program.”

Join Steve and the Marquette community for Travels in Sportswrting with Steve Rushin Feb. 21 at the Alumni Memorial Union. Learn more and register now.

Participants provide mid-point program feedback, suggestions

Mid-point survey Thanks to approximately 110 program participants who shared their experiences in the MUAA Mentor Program mid-point survey. Results help provide support for participants, demonstrate program outcomes and serve as a vehicle for the alumni association to better support mentors and mentees. Among key findings:

Mentor/mentee experience to date
- 64% excellent, 23% very good, 7% good, 6% fair|

Program expectations to date
58% exceeded expectations, 38% met expectations, 4% not met expectations

Anticipated goal completion by mentors and mentees
99% expect to complete them, 1% anticipate goals will not be completed

Jim Santelle and Thomas BurkeThe program is a wonderful opportunity for mentors to re-engage with Marquette and provide great student guidance.”
Working with my mentor has proved greatly rewarding for me, helping refine my ideas for the future.

Among most beneficial topics to date
- Resume and internship support, career goals, networking and professionalism

How the Marquette University Alumni Association can serve as a better resource
While most respondents indicated no resources beyond what’s provided were necessary, others suggested understanding resources at the university's Career Services Center and learning what other mentor and mentees are discussing.

Biggest challenges thus far  
- Meeting times, speaking regularly, none to date

Congratulations, too, to survey respondent and mentor Meghan Arnold, whose name was selected as the recipient of a Marquette prize package.

February 22 is Give Marquette Day

MUAA Mentor ProgramMarquette University invites you to join alumni, family and friends worldwide on Feb. 22 for Give Marquette Day. It's a special day to show your Marquette pride and support the university's initiatives that matter most to you.

Here are two ways to participate:

Be Counted.
Make your gift on Feb. 22 by visiting, and track our progress throughout the day.

Be an Advocate.
Sign up to become an advocate at, and help spread the word. You can earn prizes for sharing Give Marquette Day with your social networks.

Contact Dan DeWeerdt to learn more, including how to offer a matching gift. Thanks for your consideration- We Are Marquette!

Save the dates

Mark your calendars for these important upcoming dates. Details coming soon.
Tuesday, March 6: Mentor best practices teleconference workshop
March 11-18: Spring break
Tuesday, March 20: Mentee best practices workshop
Wednesday, March 21: Mentee best practices workshop
Thursday, April 26: Goal completion deadline and 2017-18 MUAA Mentor Program Finale; 707 Hub

Five Questions With…. Dr. Heather Smith, Arts '97 (Julia Pawlowski, arts mentee)

Dr. Heather Smith1. What’s one piece of advice from a mentor that has stuck with you?
I’ll never forget what one of my mentors said when I unexpectedly had to go on a brief bedrest while pregnant with my second child. I was fretting a bit about being off of work in advance of my maternity leave and he specifically said, “Heather, work will always be there. Family comes first.”  He was right, and he knew I needed to hear that. I still channel those words when I periodically find myself needing to re-evaluate my work-life balance.

2. What qualities do you look for and appreciate in the people you work with or hire?
I value dedicated, enthusiastic, open-minded employees. I strive to hire staff who are invested in serving Veterans, as that is the primary mission of the Veterans Health Administration and the facility in which I work.

3. Favorite place on campus?
I love the area near the St. Joan of Arc chapel.  It’s a quiet, peaceful sanctuary in the midst of the bustling campus and city.

4. Your career dream job when you graduated from Marquette was…..
The one that I have now! I knew I wanted to be a psychologist. I only had an inkling of how fantastic a career it would become, however.

5. Is there anything you would’ve done differently at Marquette to help prepare for your career?
I honestly don’t think so. I believe Marquette prepared me extremely well for my current career, and I took full advantage of the opportunities to engage in academic, research and service pursuits to position myself well for graduate school in psychology.

Dr. Heather Smith, Arts '97, is lead psychologist at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center and has served in the MUAA Mentor Program for three years.

In the News

Congratulations to these mentor program participants for their recent achievements.

Britta Burreau Britta Bureau, health sciences mentee, has been admitted to the Medical College of Wisconsin's MD program. In addition, her two Mayo Clinic research studies were accepted for poster presentation at the April American Academy of Neurology National Conference in Los Angeles. (Dr. Laura Rosanova-Philip, H Sci ’98, mentor and optometrist, Palatine Vision Center; Palatine, Ill.)  

Kathryn McCarthyKathryn McCarthy, communication mentee, has been named employer relations program assistant at the Marquette University Career Services Center (Chris Devine, Comm ’94, mentor and director, client solutions, Cisco Systems; Southfield, Mich.).

Dr. Jenny Thomas Jenny Thomas, Arts ’89 and MD, MPH, IBCLC, will be serving as the keynote speaker at the March Lactation Consultants of Great Britain meeting in March. She's serving for the first year in the MUAA Mentor Program. (Olivia Osunkwo, arts mentee)

Sam WebbSam Webb, business mentee, is serving a spring semester internship at ORBA in Chicago (Carol Tillis, Bus Ad ’85, mentor and vice president of finance and administration, Personalis, Inc.; Menlo Park, Calif.)


Brad WestBrad West, Comm ’01, has been named senior manager at FGS Inc. in Chicago. This is his fourth year in the MUAA Mentor Program. (Julia Pearson, communication mentee)




If you have a new job, received a promotion, award or volunteered recently, share it with fellow mentors and mentees In the News. Email it with a headshot to

MUAA Mentor Program Toolbox offers relevant mentor, career resources

From mentor and mentee icebreaker questions to timely and trending mentor and professional development articles, visit the MUAA Mentor Program Toolbox. This month's featured resources:

Mentor program questions or comments? Contact MUAA Mentor Program Director Dan DeWeerdt at or (414) 288-4740.


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Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

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