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2 minutes with community champion, Catherine Mello

By Penny Schnarrs posted 12-21-2022 09:14:29 AM


Meet this month's amazing community champion, @Catherine Mello (she/her). Catherine is the Alumni Director at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and has been in her position for twelve years.

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Why do you think engaging in the AAMC Virtual Community is important?

For one, it is a great resource for connecting with peers on our most pressing challenges. Not only can you garner good ideas from the community, but it serves as a support network too. In addition to that, it helps me to stay up to date on major issues surrounding academic medicine, not just in my own area but in all areas. I find that really helpful.

Do you have a professional skill or area of expertise that might be of particular interest to your peers in this community? Are you the “go-to” person at your institution for advice or expertise in a particular subject?
While I'm not sure I'm the "go to" on this; but I oversee a governance model for our Alumni Association that brings together all our colleges. We streamline our alumni work for six colleges with a four-person team, and I live the phrase "lean and mean."

What should people in the virtual community contact you about? 
Building community in a digital area & bringing numerous stakeholders together to create a strategic plan you can be proud of.

What was the best book you most recently read?
"Educated" by Tara Westover. A thought-provoking memoir about overcoming obstacles to be the best you can, despite all odds.

Thinking about all conferences, workshops, webinars you have attended in the last few years, was there a speaker or session topic that stands out as your favorite? Who? Why?
One of the most impactful speakers I've heard was at GIA in either 2018 or 2019. A plenary speaker spoke about how he overcame his fear of rejection by setting himself up to intentionally be rejected over and over again in these ridiculous ways. He wove humor into his speech too, which is always appreciated. It just proved that whatever you're afraid of, it's always worse in your own mind that in reality.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
That we in Alumni Relations are just "party planners." In reality, we help advance the institution in ways that wouldn't otherwise be possible.


​Say “hello” to Catherine here in the community! Feel free to post any questions you have for her in this thread, or direct message via the community is also a great way to connect.

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09-28-2023 12:19:12 AM

Beautifully put, Catherine! Thanks for the leadership you bring to our community!

12-31-2022 09:48:26 AM

Thanks for your inspirational words, Catherine!

12-21-2022 11:19:00 AM

Hello, @Catherine Mello! I wanted to upvote "Educated" as a great read - such an interesting book and made even more impactful when you know it's her memoir.

Hope to "see" you around the community! ​