Mentor Program

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Our mentor program connects public health students to public health professionals to help with career and professional development. Mentoring relationships can benefit both mentors and mentees. For mentees, the program can have a key impact on future career choices. For mentors, helping the next generation of public health leaders can be rewarding and impactful.

The School of Public Health boasts the largest mentor program of any school of public health, serving approximately 400 students and mentors with special events and helpful resources for mentor pairs.

We work to provide students with diverse professional experiences and recognize the role that mentors have in training future public health leaders. These relationships have proven to be enriching and longstanding.

In 2014, Minnesota Business Magazine awarded the School of Public Health Mentor Program with its Leaders in Health Care honor for Education and Workforce Development.


  • The Mentor Program accepts all interested SPH alumni and public health professionals.
  • The Mentor Program runs from October-May of the academic year.
  • If you are interested in serving as a mentor for 2016-17, contact Meghan Laffen via email or at 612-626-7405.


  • The Mentor Program is open to all enrolled SPH students.
  • The Mentor Program runs from October-May of the academic year.
  • Sign-up for the 2016-17 Mentor Program will be available in late summer 2016.

Mentoring Committee

The Mentoring Committee was created to support the School’s annual Mentor Program in terms of providing assistance with the recruitment of mentors and the matching process, as well as providing additional content and support for the Program’s participants. Volunteers on this committee also work on programming that connects alumni and students, especially virtual opportunities. Contact Meghan Laffen via email if you are interested in participating.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a mentor/student?

Volunteer mentors and students review the student and mentor applications and match participants up appropriately. This happens at the end of September. We’ll notify students and mentors about their match status the last week of September or the first week of October. The program is open only to participants who sign up by the deadline.

What is the time commitment?

Approximately 1-3 hours per month, using the communications tools that work best for you and your match. The program officially runs from October through May.

What is expected of mentor pairs?

Mentors and students who apply should be committed to engaging with their match and developing a professional mentor/mentee relationship. This includes communicating on a monthly basis and meeting at events in person when possible.

Are long-distance mentor pairs allowed?

Yes. Students may request a mentor who lives or works in a specific part of the country or who works in a specific field. Students should indicate these preferences on the Mentor Program application. Mentors who live outside of the state of Minnesota, or even outside of the United States, are encouraged to apply. The matching committee will do its best to match students and mentors accordingly.

How does the program support me?

The program supports participants by matching participants up appropriately, communicating pair opportunities through a monthly e-newsletter and news updates on this page, and one-on-one guidance. Informal mentoring opportunities at SPH include networking events, career panels, symposiums and lectures, and informational interviews.

Mentor/Mentee pair at kick-off breakfast
Ellie Madison

It was great to have the perspective of someone who went through my same program, and has also been out in the real world and can share her advice and experiences.
Ellie Madison, MHA 2015

Contact Information

Meghan Laffen
Assistant Director of Alumni & Constituent Relations