Updated: Dec 31, 2020
On Wednesday December 2, 2020 the Alumni Association's Diversity Committee, led by Chairs David Sanchez, MD' 96 and Chantal Pyram-Vincent, MD' 05, held its first mentorship mixer. The mixer, which happened to have the highest attendance of any virtual event this year, was attended by alumni and current medical students alike. Alumni from the 1950s to 2000s showed up to support SUNY Downstate students.
Moderated by second year medical student Latia Skerving, the two hour mixer started with an ice breaker, allowing students and alumni to get to know each other a bit more. Questions ranged from "which fashion trend you would bring back" to "if you can be any body part which would you choose". Students were also able to learn of the many specialities that were present that night, like pediatrics, cardiology, psychiatry, family medicine, ophthalmology, and anesthesiology to name a few. In addition to the new connections being made between students and alumni, there were connections between alumni that existed beyond being past Downstate students. For example, an alumnus who happened to be another's pediatrician and an alumnus who happened to be another's faculty advisor.
Though the mixer was a great way for alumni to connect with each other the purpose of the event was to provide mentorship to students, and our alumni did not disappoint. Students were allowed to speak freely and encouraged to ask as many questions as they would like. They were able to connect with alumni based on their various interests. While it was clear that the wheels had already started turning and students were eager to select mentors, they were reminded to remain open minded. Dr. Pryam-Vincent stressed the need to be open to growth, criticism and the possibility that mentors may not necessarily match their initial idea. She informed students that a mentor does not have to have the same specialty as their interest may change in time and, one can have multiple mentors.
While the Mentorship Mixer was a mixer intended to break the ice and gain mentors it was so much more. It provided a taste of what having an accountable mentor would be like for our students. It reminded them that the Alumni Association is dedicated to making their medical school experience the best experience possible!
Please save the date for our next virtual event, the Diversity Committee Speaker Series Mixer on January 13, 2021!
The Alumni Association would like to thank Mr. Runako Gulstone, Undergraduate Program Director in the Office of Diversity Education and Research and Latia Skerving for their assistance with organizing this event!