Alumni Mentor Program

Experienced alumna chatting with recent alumnus

Mentorship can change your career. We're connecting successful alumni with those who are just getting started to ensure every UIC-educated nurse has the tools to lead.

When the UIC College of Nursing surveyed alumni in January 2017, we were happy to see that nearly 40 percent said they would be interested in a mentorship program. So we got right on it.

Launched in July 2019, the UIC College of Nursing Alumni Mentor Program’s purpose is to connect mid-career and seasoned alumni with early-career alumni. Mentors will share advice and information about areas of practice, navigating career paths, building networks, increasing self-confidence, honing leadership skills and other issues relevant to career advancement.

Why join?

It's simple. Mentored employees have been found to receive higher compensation, more promotions and feel more committed to their careers. On the flip side, mentors get a boost, too, reporting greater job satisfaction and commitment to their organization.

Alumni Mentor Program 2020-21 enrollment is now open! Enrollment period closes July 31.

Enroll Now

Nicole Jacksetich

“This program could not have come at a better time for me. I was starting to feel burned out after four years as a bedside nurse. Susan lent an empathic ear, provided insightful perspective, and challenged me as I considered the next steps in my nursing career. She is a kind and inspiring leader, and I am thankful to have her as a mentor. I hope UIC Nursing continues to provide this program because, in my opinion, no one inspires nurses as much as other nurses.”

Nicole Jacksetich, BSN ’15, RN  |  Speaking about her mentor, Susan Okuno-Jones, MS '06, Vice President and CNO, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

Alumni Mentor Program Taskforce

  • Beena Peters, DNP ’07, MS ’94, Taskforce chair, chief nursing officer, Cook County Health
  • David Barishman, BSN ’94, director of patient care services, UI Health
  • Ann Blouin, PhD ’94, retired, Joint Commission
  • Yolanda Coleman, PhD ’12, system assistant CNO, Sinai Health System
  • Melinda Cooling, MS ’03, DNP ’10, director of advanced practice, OSF HealthCare
  • Jamie Ghafari, MS ’11, director of patient care services, pediatrics and pediatric intensive care, UI Health
  • Alina Kraynak, DNP ’17, MS ’15, women’s health consultant, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Lynn Lenker, MS ’95, system CNIO, SSM Health
  • Susan Okuno-Jones, MS ’06, DNP ’10, vice president and chief nursing officer, Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital
  • Sarah Overton, BSN ’10, MS ’17, chief nursing officer and vice president of ambulatory nursing, OSF HealthCare
  • Kathleen Pavkov, BSN ’78, associate nurse executive – ambulatory services, Cook County Health
  • Janice Phillips, PhD ’93, director of nursing research and health equity, Rush University
  • Brian Stahulak, BSN ’97, senior vice president and chief nursing officer, Lurie Children’s Hospital

To learn more, contact:

Sara Almassian

Associate Director, Alumni Engagement and Participation