Mentorship, community, connection.
That’s what Jordon Brown, a senior studying public health at the University of Nebraska at Omaha is hoping to find by joining the UNMC/UNO Public Health Mentors program.
The program is a new joint collaboration between the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health Student Association and the UNO Public Health Student Association.
“The goal of the program is to strengthen the relationship between UNO and UNMC by providing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to connect across a diverse set of backgrounds and disciplines,” said Anlan Cheney, president of the UNMC COPH Student Association.
The initial matches between mentor and mentees were made on Feb. 17, she said. A meet and greet was set up for March 12, but had to be canceled due to social distancing because of COVID-19.
No worry, said Meghan Krajicek, Brown’s mentor and second year student in the UNMC College of Public Health.
With technology like Zoom, email and cell phones, she is still able to communicate with her mentee.
And Krajicek has plenty of guidance for Brown about finishing the semester online, as she has plenty of experience taking online courses herself, she said.
Ultimately, though, Krajicek hopes to help Brown grow in confidence in his choice of public health as a career.
“It can be intimidating to jump into a new field that many people aren’t aware of or fully understand and being a mentor can help give prospective students an idea of the kinds of jobs available and some level of assurance that continuing their education at the master’s level will pay off in the end,” Krajicek said.
“Public health is one of those fields that someone will do better in their education and career if they have a solid foundation of resources and people to reach out to,” he said.
A mentor he said is invaluable.
“College is tough and for a lot of students, they could be the first person in their family who has gone to a post-secondary school. With a mentor, I now have someone on my team who can help guide me through in places that an advisor or professor could not,” Brown said.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.