CFANS Mentor Program: AECM Highlight

Every year, the CFANS Mentor Program connects professionals with students to help them develop professional skills, learn how to network, and explore career opportunities. Participants can connect with their mentor over coffee, email, Skype, and even job shadowing. This year, the program includes over 175 student-mentor pairs!

Mentor ProgramRachel Kircher, a senior (pictured here with her mentor, Alatheia Stenvik), says, “Learning more about potential career options is a big benefit of the program. Also having someone who can answer questions that I have as they arise is super beneficial.” Rachel’s mentor has really helped her become more confident in searching for a career. “I am way less nervous about finding a job after graduation because of the mentor program.”

Paige Hildebrandt, a sophomore in the program, agrees that there are a number of benefits to being a part of the CFANS Mentor Program. “I would have to speak specifically to its networking and career exploration opportunities. Last year I was a freshman who didn’t know what career I wanted to go into. My mentor, Sarah Dornink, was willing to expose me to public relations, advertising, broadcasting, and so many different sectors of communication because of her contacts. She opened my eyes to new possibilities and I know that she will be a life-long mentor.” Not only have opportunities arose for Paige, but the mentor program has allowed her to dream and set goals for herself, while connecting with people who support her career aspirations.

The mentor program is open to freshmen through Ph.D. students and the mentors are volunteers who are both alumni and non-alumni professionals. This year we had many students in the Agricultural Education, Communication and Marketing program who were paired with mentors, some of which are CFANS alumni:

  • Alex Broderius & Wayne Triplett (B. S. Agricultural Economics and Agronomy ’88)
  • Breannca Bussert & Adam Ulbricht 
  • Anna Culbertson & Margaret Hart 
  • Chelsey Daly & Mark Vortherms (B.S. Agricultural Economics and Animal Sciences ’87)
  • Evie Enderle & Adam Herges (B.S. Applied Plant Science ’09, M.S. Applied Plant Science ’13)
  • Daniel Hayes & Justin Williamson (B.S. Agricultural Education ’98, M.S. Agricultural Education ’02)
  • Paige Hildebrandt & Robert Johnson (B.S. Recreation Resource Management '12)
  • Janelle Hueners & Michelle Medina (B.S. Agricultural Education and Spanish ’11)
  • Kennedy Janssen & Christina Connelly 
  • Winona Johnson & Kari Schwab (B.S. Agricultural and Food Business Management ’10)
  • Rachel Kircher & Alatheia Stenvik 
  • Alexis Larson & Lauren Servick (B.S. Agricultural Education ’15)
  • Kayla Leiding & Michael Crusan 
  • Haely Leiding & Theresa Twohey (B.S. Agricultural Education ’13)
  • Martyn Novacek & Myah Walker (B.S. Animal Science ’10)
  • Abby Penzenstadler & Sarah Lee (B.S. Agricultural Education ’15)
  • Joe Ramstad & Keri Sidle 
  • Jack Roessler & Tyler Warren (B.S. Agricultural Education ’14)
  • Adam Stevermer & Patricia Tax

Interested in participating in the mentor program next year? Applications for the 2017-2018 school year have not opened yet, but students should be watching next semester for the application! Mentors, registration for the program is available year-round. Follow this link to fill out an application! If you have any questions or concerns, contact Masha Finn at