TRiO and Alumni Association Collaborate to Offer Mentor Program

In collaboration with the Medaille Alumni Association, Dr. Mary Ellen Mulvey initiated the Alumni Mentor Program last September, which matches up a current TRiO student with a Medaille alumnus in the same field. The alumni help with career guidance and provide personal tips for the students along the journey. In its first year, the program  paired 12 students with Medaille graduates. 


Stephanie Calhoun '03 (mentor) and Zachary Kieser '14 (mentee)

Stephanie Calhoun and Zach KieserZachary Kieser, a senior from Orchard Park, is a liberal studies/pre-law major. He is in the Honors Program and played an important role during the forming of the student representative structure in the program. Although Kieser had been accepted at several other colleges, he chose Medaille for its personal attention.

“When I came to Medaille to visit, I felt that the faculty and staff really cared about me as a person,” says Kieser. “I just felt it was the right fit.”

He is among the first group of students participating in the TRiO Alumni Mentor Program coordinated by Tiffany Hamilton, Student Success Advocate at TRiO. Kieser plans to go on with his education and get a Ph.D. He and Calhoun plan to continue their mentoring relationship throughout his quest for his Ph.D.

According to Kieser, Lisa Black, the assistant director at TRiO, has been instrumental in providing guidance in the application process for continuing his education. 

In preparation for what he anticipates will be a particularly rigorous doctoral program, Keiser has taken a series of independent studies with Dr. Lee Nesbit, professor in the Humanities Department, and Dr. Kim Carr, associate professor in the Social Sciences Department, with the goal of honing his research skills. Keiser notes that Nesbit has had the most influence on his decision to pursue his Ph.D.

Melanie Porter '08 (mentor) and Asia Battle '15 (mentee)Melanie Porter (mentor) and Asia Battle (mentee)

Melanie Porter is currently working on her Ph.D. in Human Services with a specialization in non-profit management and leadership. She would like to own a non-profit organization that will benefit families who care for foster and adopted children.

“I hope to pass on valuable information and techniques that I learned,” says Porter, referencing her mentor role. “The goal is to help those coming behind me achieve success with less complications."

Kandis Fuller '09 (mentor) and Arielle Kaigler-Hall '14

Kandis Fuller currently serves as a communication manager at Univera Healthcare. She is mentoring Arielle Kaigler-Hall, a communication major from Syracuse, NY. Fuller sees her role as a mentor to be a guide and adviser as Kaigler-Hall thinks about her next steps after graduation. They email and text each other and sometimes have lunch together on campus. 

“I was fortunate to have really good mentors,” says Fuller. “When this opportunity came up, I really wanted to give back.”

The TRiO Mentor Program  is a service proudly offered by the Medaille College Alumni Association. Write to for more information.
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