Health and Human Development Mentoring Program: April 2007 Newsletter

Spotlight on: Miryam Granthon ’93 COM

Miryam Granthon has served as a mentor since the program began in 2002. Although she is a graduate of the College of Communications, Miryam applied to mentor a Health Policy and Administration student because she works in the field of public health. The HHD Office of Alumni Relations, which coordinates the Mentoring Program, asked Miryam to talk about her experiences during the past six years.

What prompted you to enroll as a mentor in the HHD Mentoring Program?

The information on the website was very informative and organized, so the structure of the program was appealing to me. I have been a mentor for other programs and many times the structure is not there and it therefore results in the matching and outcome of the relationships built.

What kind of advice/assistance have you offered to your proteges over the years? Did you have the opportunity to meet your proteges in person (other than the mentoring dinner) and if so, in what setting?

To build good relationships with their professors, especially those they share specific professional interest with, and see how they can work with them on special projects. You can also learn from your professors outside the classroom. My first year with Grace [Miryam’s first protégé], because her family lives in my area, we had opportunities to visit over the summer and even after the program. Also, during her Spring Break, she came into the office and shadowed me for the day. With Asha [Miryam’s second protégé] we made time before the planned activities and talked about her studies and her applications for internships etc. Because of Asha’s planning her summers were spent in terrific internships in California and Philadelphia, so time was not possible during the summer to meet. Michelle [Miryam’s current protégé] and I got to meet in February at the dinner, and we have emailed about her visiting my office in Rockville whenever she wants. I have also invited her to the APHA [American Public Health Association] conference this fall, which will be in Washington, DC.

What have you gotten out of your participation in the program and why would you recommend it to others?

Encouragement that there’s a new group of incoming young professionals who are committed in careers in health. Also, it has made me Penn State proud to be associated with very motivated students. The positive energy rubs off.

What advice might you have for current or potential mentors/protégés?

Mentors—Take your time getting to know your student. Be persistent; keep emailing them. Depending on the student’s schedule, responses may take a few days, but they do get it and will respond.

Proteges—Ask many questions. Your mentor may not have the answer to them all, but will connect you to someone who does.

Have you been mentored by others in your professional career and if so, how has this helped you in your current mentoring partnership with Michelle?

Yes, my third year at HHS [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] they developed a mentoring program and I was selected to participate. The freedom of communications, of being able to ask their opinion on topics that were new to me, was a great gift. I tried to have this open dialogue with Michelle.

What challenges, if any, do you think today's students face that you did not?

My thought is that the employment market is very different today than 14 years ago when
I graduated. I think additional education, students continuing for their graduate degrees, is more common than when I was in college. My observation is that the Penn State students are better prepared for the job market than when I was finishing my degree. The challenge I see is the competitive market for positions in health, but from my three experiences with students I feel that Penn State is helping them prepare; this mentoring program is one example.

Have your experiences in the program differed from your initial expectations, and if so, how?

Yes, my expectation for the program was to develop a mentoring relationship and after the completion of the program, for it to end. Thanks to technology—email—my communication with my first two protégés continues.

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2008 Mentoring Dinners

It’s never too early to mark your calendar for the 2008 Mentoring Dinners and Workshops!

Saturday, February 16, 2008 (Lunch)

Saturday, February 16, 2008 (Dinner)

Saturday, March 1, 2008 (Dinner)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

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Topics of the Month

For protégés to ask mentors:
Do you volunteer your time to do community projects? Do you belong to a service group or organization? What professional skills that you've develop transfer to your volunteer commitments?

For mentors to ask protégés:
: Do you participate in THON? Do you belong to a service group or organization? What skills have you developed?

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2007 Mentoring Dinner/Workshop Photos

image of Nikki Hill and mentor Annette Weiss

Nikki Hill and mentor Annette Weiss

image of Nursing students participate in a workshop

Nursing students participate in a workshop

image of Hospitality Management protege Christopher Talley

Hospitality Management protege Christopher Talley

image of Hospitality Management mentor Joe McCann and his protege, Calvin Lee

Hospitality Management mentor Joe McCann and his protege, Calvin Lee

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Upcoming Events at Penn State:

Saturday, April 21
Blue/White Game

Friday, May 4
Classes End

May 7-11
Final Exams

Saturday, May 19

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Helpful Links:

Daily Collegian:

Penn State Newswires (subscribe):

College of Health and Human Development Homepage:

Penn State Live (daily news from Penn State):

Penn State Alumni Association Homepage:

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Mentoring Newsletter Archive

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