May 29, 2015
A newly launched mentorship program is making it easier for new graduates to personally connect with the Pacific Dugoni alumni network for career advice, professional and social opportunities, perspectives on dentistry and more.
The Alumni Association at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry launched the Alumni Mentor Program (AMP). The goal is to provide ways for graduates to network with some of the more than 7,100 living alumni from the school.
Alumni interested in being mentors and new graduates interested in being matched up with an alumnus are invited to contact the association at DugoniAlumni@pacific.edu or call 415.929.6423. Volunteers from the association will work with mentors and mentees to match them up based on their geographical location and common interests.
"We are family at Pacific Dugoni," said Nabeel Cajee '15, a student leader of the program. "The strongest families I know empower their young and take care of their experienced members. I'm grateful to many in the family who got this is off the ground. Now it's time for students to invest their creativity in the mentorship program. My fellow students and I could not be more thrilled for the invaluable potential of this service!"
Scott Morgan, president of the Class of 2015, is already paired with a mentor in Dallas, where he will be moving after graduation to pursue a specialty program.
"It's a very exciting program and a good opportunity to share knowledge and increase our network," Morgan said.
Members of the Alumni Association board of directors and other volunteers are getting involved in the program and helping to organize the matches. The mentorship program was announced at a luncheon during the association's annual meeting in March. Since then more than 200 mentors and mentees have signed up.
"Each relationship is what the mentor-mentee pair make it," said David Eastis, executive director of the association. "After the first communication, each team can decide how and when they meet and what are the best ways to communicate."
"Mentorship has been very meaningful to three generations of Dugoni School graduates in our family," said Leon Nelson '60. "It was a remarkable way for us to share the tremendous benefits of our having had such an incredible learning experience at Dugoni!"
A student from the Class of 2014 shared a story about a recent successful mentorship experience.
"Dr. Bill Gilbert '85 emailed me inviting me to his office and his home to meet his family," said Kamile Jureviciute '14. "I was amazed by his compassion and on-point advice. He followed up with me all throughout my undergraduate and dental school studies. I was able to ask him about "real world" dentistry the entire time I was in dental school."
"A mentor can help a student keep an eye on the prize," said Dr. Bill Gilbert '85. "I remember when I was a student, sometimes I became so bogged down in biochemistry, anatomy and other topics that I lost sight of the career and the life I was preparing myself for. Spending some time with someone who is living the life that the students are aspiring to can be fortifying. It can motivate them to push through the short-term trials if they are frequently reminded of the long-term purpose for their studies."