Tag Archives: Rotary Mentors

Mentor Scholar Mixer Highlights

–submitted by Mary Rouse; Photos by John Bonsett-Veal and Stacy Nemeth

IMG_0207All Rotary Scholars and their mentors were invited to get together prior to the January 8, 2014, Rotary meeting. It is an annual event sponsored by our Club. Mentor Leader Ellie Schatz convened the 11AM meeting.  Twenty-five Scholars and 20 mentors attended this event which opened with a mixer bingo quiz for both groups to provide more opportunities for the students and Rotarians to meet and get to know each other.  Prizes were awarded to the top finishers.

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Photo 1: Lynn Phelps and Juan Becerra; Photo 2: Cristian Claudio Teutli; Photo 3: Wes Sparkman and Melanie Ramey; Photo 4: Karen Bauer and Mike Wilson

Ellie continued the discussion by posing several questions to the entire group for reflections and anecdotes about their experiences, talents and interests. Here are two examples: Scholar Cristian Claudio Teutli  plays the drums and sings.  At the request of group members, he provided spontaneous entertainment by drumming on the table and by singing a song a capella in Spanish.  Another student, Karen Bauer attends UW-Eau Claire and has recently assumed the presidency of an interfaith student organization. 

IMG_0208Dick Lovell  (pictured at left with scholar Karen Bauer) outlined the Rotary Internship Matching Program and encouraged the students to register by January 31, 2014, if they are seeking internships for the summer of 2014.   He also encouraged them to sign up on the Rotary Scholar Mentor Facebook page.

Bob Shumaker, current chair of the Scholarship Committee, presented and narrated a video which was just made about the Mentor Program in 2013.

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Photo 1: Marcy Martinez and Leslie Grendahl; Photo 2: Karl Gutknecht, Nate Brand and Juan Becerra; Photo 3: (back row, from left) Cristian Claudio Teuli, Alex Carrera and Lynn Phelps, (front row, from left): Mike Wilson, Cristian Claudio Teutli, Jordan Johnson and Patty Wilson

The recurring theme of the meeting was how much the Rotary Scholars are valued by our Club members with a focus of making sure they have all the support they need to ensure their graduation.  The meeting adjourned to the weekly Rotary Club luncheon where, once again, the Scholars were welcomed and their graduation from college expected.

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Photo 1: Kody Parman and Dean Nelson; Photo 2: Jordan Johnson and Patty Wilson; Photo 3: Roth Judd and Carlos Solano

Mixer Magic – Rotary Scholars Came Together with Mentors on January 9

–submitted by Ellie Schatz, Rotary Scholar Mentor Committee Chair

Most members of the club are well aware that we have 80 scholarship recipients attending college with our support. But where are they; what are they doing? On January 9, we found out. About 40 scholars and mentors spent an hour learning about each other and sharing their stories. Kyle Gallagher Schmitz graduated in December and has new wheels to show for it, according to mentor Bob Shumaker. From our mixer questionnaires we learned that only Kyle has a motorcycle, only Dick Lovell eats oatmeal for breakfast and Brian Basken eggs!

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Dick Lovell, Danielle Greenfield, Leslie Villarreal, Sharyl Kato, Lin Rohr and Ana Selenske)

The question of how mentors might better help their scholars resulted in the only moment of silence during the whole hour. But when reworded to ask what has a mentor done that you consider awesome, the scholars all seemed anxious to share: Sharyl Kato has been there for Leslie Villarreal day and night. Being that they are neighbors (how did that happen?) Ismat Bhuiyan and Deb Raupp take walks together regularly. Khadim Niang is proud of Tom Popp’s work in Malawi, and Sharyn Alden is proud of Emma Crawford’s trip to help provide dental care in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Raven Wood likes shopping with Melanie Ramey and Jazzmin Franks thanks Mike and Pat Wilson for finding her a job in the administration office at Madison College.

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Patrick Mather, Ana Selenske, Sergio Becerra-Ramirez, Lily Gonzalez, Jazzmin Franks, Khadim Niang and Kyle Gallagher Schmitz)

We had fun trying to figure out who had traveled the furthest in 2012 and who was born the furthest away from Madison. Ismat thought she might have the record with both her birth and her recent trip back to Bangladesh. Several people thought Mike Wilson, our kiwi, might have it. With no geography expert in the room, neither could claim the prize. Pa Done Yang, born in Thailand, kept her claims for distance silent. She told me she hasn’t been back and instead is seeking scholarships to go to China to find her Hmong people’s roots. Internet research shows Christchurch is about 600 miles further than Dhaka, and although Christchurch has it over Bangkok by a hair, it had to be some distance to the refugee camp. Hats off to all three!

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(Pictured in 3 photos above from left: Juan Becerra, Karl Gutknecht, Kalia Winkle, Pa Done Yang, Julius Starlin and Mike Wilson)

Sergio Becerra-Ramirez thought it unusual that he and Juan Becerra were unrelated and shared a last name. Pa Done Yang and Chie Yang, also unrelated, said that’s not unusual — Yang is a common name in their culture. What they do share is a mentor — me, and I share the common-name syndrome with them, given my maiden name — Smith!   The bottom line: our Foundation scholarship money is being well invested in supporting these scholars. And, the mentors agree that their time is just as well invested. It was indeed Mixer Magic to spend time together with all these scholars and mentors.

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(Pictured in 4 photos above from left: Ismat Bhuiyan, Deb Raupp, Ellie Schatz, Chie Yang, Mary Rouse, Lily Gonzalez, Jazzmin Franks, Club President Wes Sparkman with Ellie Schatz)

Highlights from 6th Annual Rotary Mentor-Scholar Picnic

–submitted by Stu Levitan

About 25 Rotary scholars and their respective club mentors enjoyed themselves at the now-traditional summer picnic at Nate Brand and Regina Millner’s beautiful Fuller’s Woods home on July 15. The kitchen crew of Kevin Hoffman, Mike Hoesly and Jim Ruhly, led by co-chair Gary Peterson braved the sweltering heat to staff the grill, as members supplemented the menu with salads, sides and desserts. Admiral Dick Pearson, who with Noel, hosted the first two Mentor-Scholar picnics, took several groups on tours of mighty Lake Mendota in his deck boat.  A fine time was had by all.


 Following are quotes from those attending the picnic:

“Ismat and I had a great time seeing scholars from last year and welcoming new scholars. The food, fellowship, boat ride and hospitality (thanks Nate and Regina) were wonderful! It was good to connect with a couple scholars who were having challenges during their freshman year away from the Midwest. This event allows for both celebration and problem solving.”  —Deb Raupp 

“The beauty of the lake and the gracious hospitality of Regina and Nate provided the perfect setting to celebrate and share with some absolutely amazing young adults! As I left I told my husband, this is another reason why I am grateful to be a Rotarian!”  —Lin Grace Rohr 

“We had a super GREAT time at the picnic and we felt it was the best ever. Leslie loved the opportunity to get to know the other students and she loved the food, the BOAT RIDE and the beautiful home of Regina and Nate!!!! Sharyl loved the opportunity to connect with the other students and other Rotarians as we don’t often have a chance to relax and chat at Wed lunch meetings. Sharyl REALLY loved the food, it all seemed extra yummy this year and special thanks to the “grill guys” who grilled to perfection on such a hot day!! Best, Sharyl Kato