Mentor Program Newsletter

Marquette Mentors Newsletter
May 2020



Marquette Mentors virtual finale

April finale transitions to virtual celebration, attracts participants nationwide

When the April 23 Marquette Mentors finale celebration at the 707 Hub was canceled in light of the pandemic, it also provided an unprecedented opportunity to gather participants. The program shifted to a virtual celebration and attracted 150 mentors, mentees, mentee alumni and campus partners in 25 states.

“Although we couldn't gather in person to celebrate and honor program participants, we did the next best thing by coming together virtually in 25 states,” says Dan DeWeerdt, senior director of Marquette Mentors. “We felt the spirit, enthusiasm and commitment from all participants come alive from coast to coast.”

Prior to the formal program, mentor moderators led seven industry/theme break room sessions for mentees, mentors and campus partners to discuss topics and network.

“The break room was really nice to meet and speak with so many who really help make the Marquette community strong,” says health sciences mentee Ella Geise (Mentor Dr. Robert Panther, Arts ’86). “I also enjoyed hearing from some of the mentee alumni about how their mentor/mentee relationship helped prepare them following Marquette, such as grad school or workforce entry.”

The celebration also included a formal program with remarks from Marquette College of Nursing Dean Janet Krejci, a participant panel discussion, year-in-review and 2013-18 extended slideshows along with a special twist. Communication mentee Tyler Peters and his band, Laconia, performed several songs, including “Here Comes the Sun” to mark a special conclusion to an extraordinary year. See the finale program.

Due to the tremendous finale response, look for more virtual mentor programs in the future to connect mentors and mentees in a meaningful way.

Special thanks to all program participants for the outstanding efforts to make this program a national model and considered the gold standard for mentoring initiatives by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Very special thanks to program interns and mentees Kathryn McCarthy, Comm ’20, and M'Laya Sago for their remarkable partnership.

Marquette Mentors
New Marquette Mentors LinkedIn group to launch in near future

Keep an eye out on LinkedIn for an invitation to join the Marquette Mentors group. The new hub for current and past participants is being created to connect all mentors, mentees and mentee alums on LinkedIn.

Considering more than 600 mentees and 200 mentors have participated in Marquette Mentors, this new LinkedIn group will provide another platform to stay connected with those who have made the program a valuable means to connect and learn from each other. Invitations to join the group are expected in the next month and the initiative is in collaboration with the Marquette Mentors Mentee Alumni Leadership Committee and program staff. 


Marquette Mentors salutes Class of 2020 with video

The Class of 2020 was set to graduate May 17, but due to the unprecedented times and postponement of graduation, the Marquette University Alumni Association honored and welcomed graduates into the alumni network through a heartfelt Facebook video Sunday. 

“I firmly believe I would never have become the person I am if not for a variety of socioemotional, extracurricular, academic, and interpersonal development opportunities I’ve been so privileged to have the past four years. Marquette Mentors has certainly been one of those initiatives,” says James Ritter, H Sci ’20 and mentee (mentors Laura Kasimatis, Bus Ad ’10, Google X, San Francisco, and Pat McQuillan, Arts ’03, Minnesota House DFL, St. Paul, Minn.).

Many notable alumni, including mentors Sophia Minnaert from the Milwaukee Brewers, Sheena Quinn from the Chicago White Sox, Marquette Mentors alumni actor, director and comedian Rondell Sheridan and ESPN reporter and host Jen Lada, former Marquette basketball stars Dwyane Wade and Steve Novak, Los Angeles Clippers' head coach Glenn "Doc" Rivers, and Joseph Simmons, S.J., doctoral student at Oxford University congratulated the Class of 2020 on their achievements. 

The video, which has more than 120,000 views, aimed to show seniors they are not alone, as they enter into the group of more than 115,000 members who make up the Marquette alumni family. 

Beyond Mu

Stay connected through the Marquette University Alumni Association's Beyond MU lifelong series, including:

- May 27, Dr. Kathy Coffey-Guenther will be discussing what the saints and doctrines of the Church teach about having peace during times of panic.
- Tuesday June 2, Father Jim Voiss, S.J., Marquette University vice president for Mission and Ministry, will be discussing how to be more forgiving during this time of the pandemic.
- Wednesday June 3, Dr. Alie Kriofske Maniella will be giving tips on how to stay positive during these lonely times. You can register here

In case you missed it, on May 12 Courtney Hanson, Arts ’98, H Sci ’00, Grad ’06, and director of Marquette's Career Services Center, shared how alumni can also use the university's career services. You can find the webinar here

Utilize the Marquette Career Services Center 

Sheena Quinn

Mentors offer advice to admitted students, encourage Marquette enrollment 

Special thanks to mentors Pat Finn (actor), Marilynn Gardner (Navy Pier), Len Kasper (Chicago Cubs), Bob Kohl (Nashville Predators), Sophia Minnaert (Milwaukee Brewers) and Steve Rushin (Sports Illustrated) among others for sharing their congratulations and insights to accepted high school seniors who are considering Marquette. The video was produced by the Office of Admissions. We Are Marquette.

In the News

Tim BlairTim Blair, Arts ’91, has been named vice president of communications at Deloitte Consulting in Denver. (Alejandra Juaregi, communication mentee)


Zoe ComerfordZoe Comerford, communication student and mentee alumna, has been named Marquette Mentors summer intern. (Mentor Len Kasper, Comm ’91, Chicago Cubs)


Lara EmmendorferLara Emmendorfer, Nurs ’20, has been hired as a Registered Nurse at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. (Mentor Eva Zunich, Nurs ’85, Lifeline Org. Chicago and HRH Royal Crown Princess Katherine Foundation, Avon Lake, Ohio)


Aleisha JaegerAleisha Jaeger, Eng ’03, has been promoted to director of project engineering for North America at Kerry Inc in Chicago. In addition, she was named recipient of the Opus College of Engineering’s Young Alumna of the Year Award by the Marquette University Alumni Association. She will be honored at the 2021 MUAA Alumni Awards weekend.  (Sophia Camarota, engineering mentee)


Bridget McGeeBridget McGee, Nurs ’20, has been hired as a Registered Nurse by Children’s Wisconsin in Milwaukee. (Mentor Nancy Korom, Nurs ’93 and Children’s Wisconsin, Milwaukee)  



Grace ConnatserGrace Connatser, Comm ’20, has been named agriculture reporter at Wisconsin State Farmer in Milwaukee. (Mentor Aaron Maybin, Comm ’15, FOX 6 News, Milwaukee)



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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Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

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