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Fall 2011 Mentoring

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Enduring Influence

Alumni reflect on the influence of their faculty mentors before – and after – graduation.
Do you have a story about your faculty mentor to share? Have you continued to be in touch with your mentor since graduation? Email your stories to
Wilkesmagazine@wilkes.edu.
 

Salman Punekar ’07
Business Administration Major, Biology, Chemistry and Economics Minors

Current position:
After earning a medical degree, Punekar works in oncology research

Faculty Mentor:
Linda Gutierrez, assistant professor, biology

“Dr. Gutierrez was always supportive and believed in her student's ability to learn, be creative and succeed.”

How often are you in touch with your former professor since graduating?
Every one to two months, we check in to see how each other is doing.

Can you share a favorite memory from your Wilkes days with this professor?

I remember when I was her first and only student while she was still establishing her lab.  We would design experiments and work with animals for our studies.  I remember when she first taught me how to handle mice and do all the steps in an experimental protocol.

Did your professor influence your career choice?

Yes, Dr Gutierrez is a physician whose research focuses on oncology. I am currently in the field of oncology. Dr Gutierrez was a major proponent of me during my time at Wilkes and facilitated my entering medicine and now, oncology. I published my first (research) article with the help of Dr Gutierrez; I still get asked about this article.
 

Lauren Carey ’08, MFA
English Major, Women’s Studies and Studio Art Minors | MFA, Creative writing


Current position:
Search Engine Optimization Manager at Solid Cactus in Shavertown, Pa. Carey is also an adjunct English professor at Luzerne County Community College and a freelance church organist.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mischelle Anthony, associate professor, English

“I miss being able to go up to Dr. Anthony’s office whenever I need to. I spent the majority of my senior year in her office working on poetry and just talking about EVERYTHING. Email is nice, but face to face is better.”

How often are you in touch with your former professor since graduating?

Mischelle and I are in touch via email on at least a semi-monthly basis. It all depends on what we have going on!

Can you share a favorite memory from your Wilkes days with this professor?

Mischelle was always there for me when I needed her to be. She was the advisor for the Manuscript literary magazine, and I was on staff all four years as an undergrad. She was also my capstone advisor. Since graduation, I have gone back to Mischelle for teaching advice, too!I really appreciate her help in so many ways.

Melissa Leet ’10
English Writing Major

Current position:
Reporter, The Wayne Independent, Tunkhannock, PA. Working on stories for an international anthology.

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Marcia Farrell, assistant professor, English


“I miss taking Dr. Farrell’s classes. She is such a wonderful teacher and made sure to explain all facets of the text at hand. I loved being in her classes and being able to openly discuss texts to develop a deeper understanding of the issues…”

How often are you in touch with your former professor since graduating?
I’m in touch with Dr. Farrell almost every day to discuss stories I’m working on for the newspaper.

Can you share a favorite memory from your Wilkes days with this professor?

During my capstone construction in my senior year, the paper was a mess. I ended up cutting it up –literally --and rearranging it on the floor of Dr. Farrell's office. The capstone ended up being wonderful and I'm so glad she recommended the cut-and-tape method.

Did your professor influence your career choice?
Of course! She helped me develop my editing skills that I use in my job every day. She was always supportive of my writing and, with her guidance, my writing grew by leaps and bounds.  I'm so thankful to have had her during my career at Wilkes.
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