Posted May 29, 2014

Alumni mentors point the way for students

Greg Fornia, SMC ’92
Jim Guare, CST ’77, ’83, arranged for junior chemistry major Phimy Pham to conduct research in the Temple School of Pharmacy’s Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research.

The grade-point average of Phimy Pham, a chemistry major who wants to become a pharmacist, increased a full point from one semester to the next after Jim Guare, CST ’77, ’83, began mentoring her through the Owl to Owl Mentor Program in the College of Science and Technology (CST).

Spearheaded by Guare—vice president of CST’s alumni board and chair of its mentoring committee—the program pairs CST students with CST graduates. Its exponential growth—56 mentors and 63 students in its second year—is one reason it is being replicated by other colleges and schools at Temple.

Among many achievements during his 28-year career at Merck & Co. Inc., Guare helped develop Crixivan, one of the drugs that transformed AIDS from a fatal disease to a chronic condition.

“I had a wonderful career, but I didn’t do it by myself,” Guare said. “I had people all along the way, from high school to Temple to Merck, who mentored me. Now that I’m retired, it is a good time to start giving back.”

He arranged for Pham to do research in the Temple School of Pharmacy’s Moulder Center for Drug Discovery Research. “He motivated me to push myself more,” Pham said. “I’m really grateful that I met him.”

Alumni board member Jen Gresh, CST ’98, manages the Philadelphia office of Duffield Associates, an engineering firm. She has met multiple times with geology major Chelsea Rush—over lunch, at a Society of Women Environmental Professionals networking event and out in the field to assess groundwater for possible petroleum contamination. “The business of geology wasn’t obvious to me as an undergraduate, so I’d like to give Chelsea the full picture,” Gresh said.

“It’s really interesting to see what the job actually entails,” Rush said.

Madison Martin, a biology major who will be a senior in the fall and hopes to go to medical school, has been paired with Risa Altman, CST ’81, a Lehigh Valley pediatrician associated with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “We’ve talked over lunch about the process of becoming a doctor, and I shadowed her seeing patients,” Martin said. “It’s interesting to see in practice what I’d get to do rather than just reading it online.”

Bruce Beans

Siobhan Redding
Posted In: Student Success