The vision for Mentor Us began in early 2013. It started as a conversation among a group of MN (Masters in Nursing) students, who felt that peer mentorship could benefit new MN students by offering a supportive relationship where mentors could provide first-hand advice, act as an academic guide, help problem-solve, and provide socialization.
Over the spring and summer, support was garnered from faculty members, and in Fall 2013, the Mentor Us team entered the Heroes for Health challenge to obtain funding for program development. While another team won the Heroes for Health challenge, the Mentor Us team received a generous funding offer from Dr. Olive Yonge, through her Vargo Teaching Chair.
The Mentor Us team became very busy with the development phase, and were excited to announce the official launch of Mentor Us in Fall 2014. We would like to give a special thank-you to Dr. Olive Yonge and Dr. Pauline Paul for their assistance and their continued support.
Founders - Active 2013-2015
Sarah Cooper since graduating (2016) from the Master's of Nursing program has gone on to a career with Alberta Health Services as a Nurse Practitioner. In her current role she is responsible for the health promotion, disease prevention and illness management for adults with traumatic brain injuries at the the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. Sarah remains passionate about mentorship for the growth and development of future leaders in healthcare and remains active in local mentorship groups. Sarah is grateful for the network of peers developed through the Mentor Us program and the sense of community and comradery she gained through her experience in co-developing and participating in the program. [Updated December 2016]
Kimberly Hodge is a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery at the Grey Nuns Hospital, and also works at an urgent care center in Sherwood Park. She is in her final year of the Nurse Practitioner stream in the MN program. Kimberly co-chaired the VP Communications position for the Nursing Graduate Students' Association (NGSA) during the 2013/2014 academic year and helped lead the MENTOR US team during the development process. She is currently heading the Resource Team for MENTOR US, and is responsible for developing all protocols, forms, and information packages. Kimberly is looking forward to facilitating peer-to-peer mentoring relationships, as she believes that sharing first-hand experiences among graduate students can help facilitate success and reduce anxiety.
Christine Howell is a Registered Nurse with clinical practice in community health. During her time in the MN program, she co-founded Mentor Us and served as the Website Development Team Lead. Her vision was to create a multi-purpose, user-friendly hub where people could access information about Mentor Us, apply to participate in the program, learn about the mentors, get updates about events, and participate in the program evaluation. As an MN student, she also co-chaired as VP Communications, and served on the social committee, for the Nursing Graduate Students' Association (NGSA). She completed her MN degree in the leadership stream in 2016. Her thesis work explored workplace bullying among nurses. She is currently disseminating the findings of her research with the goal of educating stakeholders, improving organizational policy, and ultimately decreasing the prevalence of nurse-to-nurse bullying in the workplace. She is very grateful for the strong mentorship she received throughout her education and nursing career, and is proud to be a part of the Mentor Us team. [Updated December 2016]
Allison Norris is a Registered Nurse at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. She is currently a PhD nursing student at the University of Alberta. Currently, her research is focused on arts-based knowledge translation and pediatric chronic pain and is also a project coordinator for Dr. Shannon Scott. She was president of the Nursing Graduate Students' Association (NGSA) and served as the Director of the Mentor Us program for the 2014/2015 academic year. Among other volunteer activities, Allison continues to provide mentorship to graduate students in the program. She believes that a supportive community and formal mentorship provides a pathway to build strong nursing leaders and heightened academic success for both mentors and mentees. She envisions that Mentor Us will help attract additional students into the nursing graduate program at the University of Alberta, and foster a sense of belonging among the student community. [Updated December 2016]