Alumnus encourages others to mentor during kickoff event

Kevin Frick establishes endowment in honor of his first professional mentor Charles Yesalis III

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A mentor can be many things to students: a professor or adviser who made an impact on their academic career, a graduate student who helps them navigate the first few years of undergraduate education when unsure of a career path, or an alumni who helps guide them through academic and career choices.

For students in the College of Health and Human Development, the Alumni Mentoring Program connects juniors in academic departments with professionals in their field(s) of interest who can offer advice and information about career options or other issues relevant to particular fields. The program first began in 2002.

Kevin Frick, who graduated from Penn State in 1991 with a degree in health policy and administration, served as the keynote speaker for the master of health administration alumni mentoring kickoff event on Sept. 27. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

On Sept. 27, alumnus Kevin Frick, who graduated with a degree in health policy and administration in 1991 and was also a Schreyer Honors Scholar, served as keynote speaker for the master of health administration mentoring kickoff event.

Currently, Frick is vice dean for education and professor at Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. He has served as a mentor with the Health and Human Development Alumni Mentoring Program since 2003.

At the event, Frick discussed his experience as a mentee, his approach to mentoring others, and the journey of success.

“For me, mentoring is not about fixing issues but being present, accepting when those I mentor have issues, and offering reassurance such as, I am here to listen—if and when you’re ready—I’ll offer some thoughts on how I might approach the situation,” he said.

Recently, Frick established the Kevin Frick Alumni Mentoring Program Endowment in Honor of Charles Yesalis III. Yesalis is a professor emeritus of health policy and administration, and the first person who served as a professional mentor to Frick.

The endowment is established in honor of Yesalis’ impact on Frick’s professional journey. It will support the costs related to running an outstanding program like the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Mentoring Program.

Frick truly believes in the power of mentoring. It is his hope that this endowment will enhance all aspects of the college’s existing mentoring programs. 

“I mentor because I had amazing mentors, one of whom was Dr. Yesalis who believed in me. I judge my mentorship not by the amazing journeys of those I mentor, but by the willingness of those I mentor to carry on mentoring,” Frick added.

More than 1,700 alumni have volunteered their time in serving as a mentor to more than 1,900 students in the alumni mentoring program. Many students have returned to be mentors, reflecting the value of the program to both students and alumni, alike.

To learn more on how to get involved with the College of Health and Human Alumni Mentoring Program, visit

Last Updated November 11, 2019