Monthly Archives: January 2010

‘Burgh Living Blog Features Smart Futures Own Jennifer Lundy!

The following is a post from ‘Burgh Living Blog featuring Smart Futures’ very own Jennifer Lundy!
“A Day in the Life”
Welcome to the next installation of “A Day in the Life”. Meet Jennifer Lundy, who works for a fantastic organization called Smart Futures. Becoming an e-mentor is a great and simple way to give back to our community. You can follow Jen on twitter at and you can learn more about Smart Futures and the e-mentoring program here.

What area of Pittsburgh do you live?
The Southside

What day is it?

Talk to me about your morning routine.
My Day begins around 7:00am. My Alarm goes off and the television goes on! I love to hear the traffic and weather report from the news team on WPXI! I am out the door by 8:30.

Do you commute to work? Do you drive or use public transportation. If this isn’t a work day – what are your plans for the day?
I work downtown so I usually take the bus to work, unless I have a meeting somewhere outside the city.

If you would like to disclose – where do you work? What do you like about your workplace? Is it close to where you live?
I work for an organization called Smart Futures. Our mission is to provide Career Education programs for High School Students across the state of Pennsylvania. We are home of the PA eMentoring program. PA eMentoring provides a rewarding experience for mentors to help high school kids get real about their future: who they are, where they want go, and how they can get there. From stay at home parents, mature college students to corporate workers, mentors volunteer less than 20 minutes a week with a high school student, using a 10 week curriculum that is structured, convenient, easy to use and done completely online. It’s the perfect way for someone with very little time to give back to our community — and its fun! Check us out!

Now let’s break things down by hour – give a brief update on what you are doing and where you are at the following times:
I am hosting webinars, scheduling school trainings and catching up on email. I am enjoying a cup of coffee from Mocha Marianne’s (412 Wood St.) Great Coffee, Tea and pastries!
I am thinking about where to eat lunch! So many great place to eat downtown. You can usually find me eating lunch at Madonna’s, Mexico City, Landmark Tavern (1902), Easy Street, Six Penn Kitchen, The Lemon Grass Café or Mandarin Gourmet. If there is time, a stop at Macy’s to check out the shoes!
My afternoon is filled with staff meetings, strategic planning, school outreach and maybe a walk to Prantl’s Bakery for a cookie or two!
Wrapping up the day and catching the bus home to the Southside (10 minute commute!)

Talk to me about your plans. Anything exciting planned for this evening? Where are your favorite places in your area to spend a night out?
One of my favorite things to do in Pittsburgh is try new Restaurants and explore the city. My favorite places to eat are 17th Street Café, Café Dujor, La Tavola, Mojo Bistro, Dish Osteria Bar, Mallorca, Little Toyko, Milkshake Factory and Dozen. My favorite places to grab a drink are The Library, The Bar, The Doublewide Grill and Fat Heads.
As for Entertainment, I love the Steelers, the Penguins, the Pirates and the Pitt Panthers. It is fun to check out a game or two each season. I love to go to the movie, I love to shop! My favorite malls are Ross Park and the South Hills Village. I am a member of Phipps , I love the Carnegie Museums, and I enjoy catching a show at the CLO or the Benedum.
During the summer, I love to sit on my deck, BBQ with friends and enjoy the city skyline!

Are you a night owl, or are you early to bed early to rise?
I am an early riser! I love to get up, complete my ‘To Do’ list, and have the rest of the day to explore my city!

What does tomorrow bring?
Friday! A weekend to myself! Maybe a movie, Happy hour, shopping, a new restaurant! Oh the possibilities!

Why Pittsburgh for you?
Pittsburgh is a great city! I moved here from a small rural town about 7 years ago. It finally feels like home. Pittsburgh has so much to offer to a young professional! Cost of living allows you to explore the city and live in great neighborhoods.

PA eMentoring “Thank Your Mentor Day” Happy Hour!

Friends of PA eMentoring:

 January is National Mentoring Month and the 21st is Thank Your Mentor Day. We want to thank all of the eMentors! We are hosting our first ever eMentor Happy Hour and hope that you will be able to attend. The details are below.

 Date: January 21st

Time: 5:00- 7:00 p.m.

Location: Engineer’s Society of Western Pennsylvania

Address: 337 Fourth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222

 There will be appetizers and the first drink is on us! Feel free to bring a friend, one you think might make a good mentor. If you are not an eMentor, and are interested in the program, stop by to check it out!

 Please RSVP no later than January 18th, by emailing Romy Banks at or call at 412-288-3900 ext: 228. Hope to see you there!

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article on PA eMentoring

UPMC employees partner with online mentoring program

Tuesday January 19, 2010

By Joe Symdo

Gina Monaco long had thought about becoming a mentor, but doubted she had the time and energy to do it.

When University of Pittsburgh Medical Center encouraged employees to begin mentoring high school students by e-mail, she jumped at the chance and quickly was paired with a local high school student interested in psychology.

“I signed up and didn’t give it a second thought,” said Ms. Monaco, who handles insurance reviews at UPMC’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

UPMC’s endorsement of PA eMentoring is a big boost to Smart Futures, the Downtown nonprofit group that launched the program last school year. The partnership with UPMC was announced last week.

UPMC has 50,000 employees, giving the mentoring the program the potential to reach thousands of additional students across the state, Smart Futures executive director David Mosey said. Also, because the UPMC work force is so varied, it can offer students guidance on numerous career choices, including the skilled trades and technical fields.

Already, at least 100 UPMC employees have signed up. Ms. Monaco, who has a bachelor’s degree in child development and a master’s in psychology, said the goal with her student will be to “just open her eyes to the possibilities” of a psychology career.

Each week, the student and adult complete an online exercise designed to set the stage for a career-related discussion. Students participate for 10 weeks and finish the program with a personalized college and career plan.

By the end of the school year, Mr. Mosey said, he hopes to have reached more than 1,000 students in dozens of schools across the region. He said he hopes to have about 150 employers in his network by then.

Mr. Mosey said the program helps students understand “who they are, where they’re going and how to get there.” Partly because online mentoring is convenient, many of the mentors stay on for another 10-week cycle with another student.

“You’re talking about two e-mails a week,” Mr. Mosey said.

Smart Futures still is seeking college students, workers and retirees to serve as mentors. Prospective mentors can sign up at

Read more:

PA eMentoring and UPMC Day of Service

Day of Service

At CCAC. Left: Romy Banks of Smart Futures, Sumana Misra-Zets of CCAC, Jennifer Lundy of Smart Futures. Back: Rick Adams of CCAC


Wednesday, January 13, UPMC and PA eMentoring teamed up for a Day of Service. UPMC volunteers and Smart Futures staff spent the day recruiting PA eMentors at UPMC Shadyside Hospital, Bidwell Training Center, and Community College of Allegheny County.

We would like to thank everyone at the UPMC Center for Inclusion, Shdayside Hospital, Bidwell Training Center, and Community College of Allegheny County for making this day a success.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review Spotlights UPMC and PA eMentoring


By Rick Wills


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dave Mosey said he thinks there are more teens in need of mentors than mentors with time.

“Being a face-to-face mentor is often complicated. There are even legal and security issues involved when you are dealing with underage kids,” said Mosey, executive director of SmartFutures, a Downtown nonprofit that runs an online mentoring program.

SmartFutures got a big boost Wednesday, when UPMC — the state’s second largest employer after Wal-Mart — volunteered to promote e-mentoring among its 50,000 employees.

“They have a wonderful program. It’s a great opportunity to engage our professional people with students in the area,” said Dawnita Wilson, chief of staff for UPMC’s Center of Inclusion in Health Care.

The program aims to match thousands of high school students with UPMC employees over the Internet and to help them plan for their future.

Paula Balogh, a nurse practitioner at UPMC’s Hillman Cancer Center, said she finds mentoring rewarding on several levels.

“I can talk to kids through the computer in a very non-threatening way. I feel like I can help students navigate the system and set goals. And I can tell them about how I started out with nothing,” she said.

UPMC also has enlisted the support of partner organizations, including Community College of Allegheny County and Bidwell Training Center to expand the mentor pool.

The effort targets 10th graders, Mosey said.

“That seems like a good age. Senior year is too late to start planning what to do after high school,” he said.

Each student will receive a personalized college and career plan, created with his or her mentor.

SmartFutures, which was founded in 2005, offers several educational and career-related online programs including Keys2Work, PA eMentoring, My Career Journey and Financial Literacy 101.

Proof That Mentoring Matters

Inside Higher Education                 

 January 4, 2010   

Many discussions of efforts to diversify the faculty ranks include concerns about whether female and minority academics need mentors. Advocates for female and minority professors say that white men are more likely to learn informally from senior (male) colleagues about how to get ahead. Some skeptics dismiss these ideas, and suggest that the best scholarship gets published and the best academics rise through the ranks.

Academics who have had good mentors have over the years praised their impact, and those without them have talked about falling behind. But is there proof that mentoring matters in launching faculty careers — and that it could make a difference for faculty diversity?

A study presented in Atlanta Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association may be the first truly random sample to try to test the mentor impact — and the study may demonstrate that mentoring truly does matter.

The research tracks the careers of women who participated (and some who were turned away from participating) in a mentoring program sponsored by the AEA’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economic Profession. The mentoring program connects junior female economists with senior faculty mentors for a two-day workshop held in conjunction with the economics association’s annual meeting. The workshops feature discussions about publishing and grant writing and offer critiques of a draft article or grant proposal. In the study, applicants to the program were randomly selected for participation or to be in the control group, and were told that there was not enough room in the program for all applicants.

Cohorts from 2004 and 2006 have now been tracked for five years and three years, respectively, and the study compares the female economists who received the mentoring and those who didn’t — women who were seen as otherwise having a similar range of abilities. Before participating (or not participating) in the study, those in the group receiving mentoring and in the control group showed no differences in the numbers of grants received or publications.

Comparing the participants and non-participants in the years since the mentoring took place, the study found significant gains for those who received mentoring in three key factors: total number of publications, total number of publications in “top tier” journals, and total number of federal grants won.

The study says that not enough time has passed to see if these achievements translate into higher rates of tenure and promotion. But the paper notes that, historically, the tenure rates for female economists have lagged those of men, and that publication and grants are key to receiving tenure. Some research, the paper says, suggests that mentoring may be particularly important in closing the gender gap in tenure rates. This research suggests that female economists lack the “research networks” of their male counterparts, and notes that even though co-authorship is common in the discipline, female economists are less likely to write pieces with colleagues than are men (even after controlling for publication rates).

While the paper says that more work will need to be done to see if the type of mentoring provided in the study will help more women gain tenure and stay in academe, the results are “encouraging” that such efforts can have a real impact.

The authors of the paper are: Francine D. Blau, the Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Labor Economics at Cornell University; Janet M. Currie, the Sami Mnaymneh Professor of Economics at Columbia University; Rachel T.A. Croson, professor of economics at the University of Texas at Dallas; and Donna K. Ginther, professor of economics at the University of Kansas,

Scott Jaschik

January: “National Mentoring Month”



January is “National Mentoring Month” and Smart Futures will be fully supporting and promoting the importance of mentoring as well as our own PA eMentoring program.

According to the National Mentoring Month Web site:

     “National Mentoring Month is the time each year when our nation spotlights     the importance of mentors and the need for every child to have a caring adult in his or her life. When you serve as a mentor, you enrich your own life as much as you do the life of a child. Become a mentor today!”

For more information about National Mentoring Month, go to: