The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Undergraduate Instructional Program

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MCB Alumni Mentoring Program

The MCB Alumni Mentorship Program started out as a program for students interested in pre-health careers, but it has grown to include alumni mentors in areas of research and scientific writing. The program connects undergraduate Biology, MCB and Biochemistry students with alumni already practicing in the field. It is available to declared Biology, MCB and Biochemistry majors only. This program received the 2013 IlliAAC Outstanding Established Program Award and was recognized in an article published in the December2015 LAS Alumni Magazine.

Initiated in 2010 by alumnus Richard Berkowitz, MD ('79 Biology) and Tina Knox, Coordinator of Undergraduate Instruction ('92 Biology), the program and has grown to include more than 150 UIUC Biology alumni. Each fall, The School of MCB hosts a panel of alumni, who share their story and answer any questions students might have regarding preparation for a health career.  This event serves as a kick off for the alumni mentorship program.

The 2017 alumni mentorship panel and reception will be announced in late August or early September of 2017. Please watch this website for further information about this informative event.

Pictured here are Dr. Berkowitz and one of his mentees, Pha Thaprawat, senior in MCB.

In order to be matched with a mentor, students in Biology, MCB and Biochemistry must apply to the program. The 2017 MCB Mentorship Application will open in September 2017. Please watch our weekly e-newsletter, MCB Road MAP, for further details. Students wanting to learn more about this opportunity shoud read, A Letter to Students, written by Dr. Berkowitz..

Applications for the mentorship program will be evaluated by alumni mentors and ranked based on GPA, and extra-curricular activities. Students chosen to participate in the program will be paired with a mentor based on their specific career goals and geographic location.  We will match as many students as possible, based on mentor availability.

We encourage mentors to provide for 1 - 2 shadowing opportunities per year and to keep in touch with their student(s) via phone, email or Skype during the rest of the year. Mentors can provide students with valuable information regarding pre-health professions and other biology- related professions, in addition to the application and interview processes for professional and graduate school. In return, the students keep the mentors connected to the University.

There are currently over 150 participating mentors in various professions and geographic regions, and the program is always looking to recruit new members.

If you are interested in becoming an alumni mentor or would like additional information please contact Tina Knox or see A Letter to Alumni, written by Dr. Berkowitz.