Marquette University Alumni Association Mentor Newsletter
January 2017

Celebrate Marquette, network at Jan. 28 social

MUAA Mentor Program socialRing Out Ahoya! Sport your MU gear and join mentors, mentees and others for the second annual MUAA Mentor Program networking social. The casual and complimentary event takes place from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Buck Bradley’s, 1019 N. Old World Third St., prior to the Marquette men’s basketball game at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Attendance to the game is optional.

“Last year’s gathering was a great opportunity to expand my professional network with alumni and fellow students in a casual setting- while also showcasing our Marquette pride,” says Cole Blazer, Eng ’18 (pictured).

Sign up for the complimentary event by Jan. 25. Tickets for the basketball game can be purchased here.

All the world’s a stage for mentor, mentee match

Carisa Barreca and Nadja SimmondsThink improv? Think Second City. So, when Nadja Simmonds, Comm ’18 and theatre arts major, was matched in the program with mentor Carisa Barreca, Comm ’02 from The Second City, the pair have flourished. In December, Nadja traveled to Chicago to see Carisa perform in Twist Your Dickens at the Goodman Theatre and spend time with her.

For Carisa, she’s enjoyed working with Nadja and is grateful to give back to her alma mater. “Being part of the MUAA Mentor Program has been amazing,” Carisa says. “Nadja has impressed me over and over with her enthusiasm and talent. I am honored to support her as she continues toward her career path and her dreams.”

Consider these topics to enhance your mentor, mentee relationship

To ask mentors
Check the progress of the goals you both established in the beginning of the program.
What was their favorite class at Marquette? Why?
What were their first five years like following graduation from Marquette?
Would they have done anything differently? 
What suggestions do they have for you following graduation related to professional 
and personal development?
What extracurricular activities do they enjoy? Why?

To ask mentees
Check the progress of the goals you both established in the beginning of the program.
What keeps them up at night (not including studying)?
What are their goals immediately, three and five years after Marquette?
What city or area are they considering living in following graduation? Can you help with their planning?
What are their plans at the end of the semester related to career development? Are they on track and how can you help them? Set a timeline, too.
Have they expanded their network in the past year? One suggestion is to review the MUAA Mentor Program directory and suggest they contact another mentor to learn more about their career and how they may be able to help them.

Semester break doesn’t mean break in the action for mentors, mentees

Mike Eichten and Humberto MuruaMany program participants took advantage of semester break to connect. Here are a few accounts:

Appreciating career exploration through job shadowing can provide special insights, Mike Eichten, Eng ’92, hosted mentee Humberto Murúa, Eng ’19, at AECOM in Chicago on Jan. 11. “I shared an overview of my current projects (including the Circle Interchange,
I-55 and Lake Shore Drive) and he also got the chance to speak separately with six of my co-workers from different disciplines,” Mike says. “It was no surprise, either, that all of them were very impressed with Humberto.”

In California, mentee James Davies, Comm ’18, traveled home to the San Francisco area, which also also meant the chance to meet his mentor and fellow resident Meghan Arnold, Comm ’02, in person. “Meeting with Meghan gave me a chance to see the person behind the screen (or phone), so it’s made the relationship stronger,” he says “She’s improved many aspects for me professionally- including my resume and LinkedIn profile- and also challenged me to think about different career paths I wouldn't have otherwise.”

Mentor Kayleen Helms, Eng ’88, meanwhile, visited Chicago during the holidays and took time to meet her mentee Phillip Parisi, Eng ’19, who lives in the Chicagoland area. “I feel fortunate to have been paired with Phillip and meet with him over the holidays in the Chicago area (I live in Arizona),” she says. “It’s been a great pleasure to be able to help an enthusiastic, talented student navigate his career path and I hope that he will be part of my network long beyond his tenure at Marquette.” 

Whether it's mentors returning to campus to meet mentees or students traveling to meet mentors and shadow them at their workplace, consider discussing the chance to connect prior to the formal program conclusion on Apriil 27

Program receives higher ed award, highlighted at conference

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of alumni mentors, student mentees, and faculty and staff campus partners, the MUAA Mentor Program received a 2016 honorable mention award by CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) V for best student alumni programming. The awards event, which took place in Chicago last month, was held as part of the CASE V-VI conference, which included a presentation by program director Dan DeWeerdt and mentor Marilynn Gardner, Jour ’88, and 2015-16 mentee Jacqueline Hackmon, Arts ’16.

Session attendees called the mentor program presentation “inspiring” and another indicated, “It was outstanding. I have notes written on every inch of white space in my program book.”

Mentee goes extra mile to Be The Difference for mentor's organization

Michele Bria, Alex GambacortaThe MUAA 
Mentor Program salutes mentee Alex Gambacorta,
Arts ’18 (pictured, second from left) for demonstrating the Jesuit mission of men and women for others in unprecedented fashion. As the mentee of Michele Bria, Arts ’91 and CEO of Journey House in Milwaukee, Alex not only participated in the organization's Stuff the Truck during the holidays, but she also recruited more than 10 teammates from the women's lacrosse team to participate.

“Dr. Bria has been such a great mentor for me,” Alex says. “She's been extremely beneficial to work since she's in a career field which I find of interest. I’ve seen a first-hand account of her impact on the greater Milwaukee community and I look forward to learning and gaining further experiences from her in the upcoming year.”

Survey says....mid-point survey to be sent soon

To better serve participants, the MUAA Mentor Program mid-point survey will be sent the week of Jan. 22. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and all survey respondents can qualify for a chance to win Marquette merchandise. Thank you in advance for taking the time to share your insights.

Five Questions With... Daniel Stein, Arts ’98 
(Connor O’Neill, Arts ’19, mentee)

Dr. Dan Stein, Connor O'Neill1. This is your first year in the MUAA Mentor Program. Why are you serving as a mentor?  
It’s an opportunity to stay connected with the Marquette community and help current students develop the tools necessary to achieve their career goals.

2. What suggestions do you have for mentees?
Stay connected with your mentor, schedule regular meetings and come to them with an agenda or a list of questions to discuss. 

3. What’s your current or last book?
Kenji Lopez Alt: The Food Lab. (I love to read cookbooks.)

Read Daniel's full interview.

Save the date for April 27 program finale

Planning is underway for the 2016-17 mentor program finale from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 27. The celebration and social will be held on campus in the Eisenberg Reading Room in Sensenbrenner Hall. Details will be available soon.

In the News

Congratulations to these mentor program participants for their recent achievements.

Frank BravoFrank Bravo, Arts ’10, has been named as program officer of real estate development and lending at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for the City of Milwaukee. He's serving in the mentor program for the first time. (Karl Tatum, Comm ’19, mentee)


Julie GriepJulie Griep, Eng ’17, has been accepted to University of Minnesota Law School. (Nick Brescia, Arts ’06, mentor)




Karlie Hornberger

Karlie Hornberger, Eng ’19, will be serving as an intern this summer at Renewable Energy, a branch of GE in Greenville, South Carolina. (Brittany Hess, Eng ’08, mentor)



If you have a new job, received a promotion or award, joined a non-profit or another accomplishment you'd like to share with fellow mentors and mentees In the News, send 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:

3 Thought-Provoking Questions To Ask Your Female Mentor in 2017; Forbes

To succeed at startups and innovation, you need great mentors; Techstars

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


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