Education will prepare you with the skills and knowledge to work a trade, but life skills and learning to navigate from a college environment into a post-collegiate career can be harder to develop. That’s where mentors with industry experience can become invaluable partners on your journey — mentors like Lynelle Callender, D.N.P., R.N., Adventist University of Health Sciences’ (ADU) associate professor and vice chair of online nursing, who was inducted into the Association of Black Seventh-day Adventist Nurses (ABAN) in March of 2018, although she has worked actively as a mentor for some time prior to that.
The 2018 ABAN meeting took place on the campus of Oakwood University (OU) in Huntsville, Ala., during its Alumni Weekend. Callender visited the campus to take part in the meeting, and was invited to speak about ADU’s online master of science in nursing (MSN) programs to a group of OU graduating nursing seniors. While speaking to the students at the nurse advisory meeting, Callender offered to mentor the students, and was later contacted by two of the students, Danielle Kemp and Christine Haye.
Callender explained, “It’s my way of giving back, witnessing, and sharing God’s love, grace, and blessings with young nursing professionals.” She’s excited for this opportunity to work with students from OU, and stated, “Many OU students had never heard of ADU, so beginning a new collaborative relationship between the two colleges was monumental.”
She communicates with her mentees via email, texts, phone calls, and face to face, as she addresses concerns and questions many graduating students are facing, such as interview preparation, time management, balancing work and life schedules, and decisions about post-graduate education. Through this contact, the two students became interested in ADU and Florida Hospital.
Danielle Kemp described how Callender met her in person at Florida Hospital’s Heritage Hire event, and led her on a tour of ADU’s campus: “I remember never being interested in pursuing my master’s … what made me reconsider was talking to Dr. Lynelle … discussing my goals about … working for Florida Hospital. If it wasn’t for her mentorship and kindness towards me, I would have never pursued this opportunity.”
Both graduates have now accepted positions at Florida Hospital, and both plan to enroll in ADU’s MSN program in the future with Callender guiding them. The mentorship work that Callender is doing is not only a great service to the nursing community, but builds a bridge between two sister Adventist schools, allowing students to pursue post-graduate education in nursing in a similarly mission-focused environment.
When asked about her experience as a mentee, Christine Haye said it has been a learning experience. She said, “Dr. Callender’s friendly personality and positive attitude allowed me to remain calm and relaxed, improve my confidence, and acquire the necessary skills for transition into the program. I am extremely grateful to have experienced this special time with her and to know that the seed she has planted will one day become a full fruit.”
ADU strives to develop skilled professionals who live the healing values of Christ, and Callender recognizes the importance of continuing to mentor students beyond the time they spend in their classrooms. She plans to mentor both students until they become mentors themselves. She concluded, “It’s the circle of life — reach one, teach one!”
Adventist University of Health Sciences | August 2018