The Well Mentors

We've heard from many women that mentors are essential to their flourishing, both personally and professionally. We've assembled a team of mentors to answer your questions about life, work, and relationships as a woman in the academy and professions. Read their perspectives in our Dear Mentor column.

Kelly Aukema is a biochemist doing postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota’s Biotechnology Institute. Her research involves efficiently harnessing the energy of the sun by using light-harvesting cyanobacteria to symbiotically feed a second species of genetically enhanced bacteria, which in turn produce hydrocarbons, a potential biofuel. She enjoys teaching research methods, providing informal career counseling, and mentoring students. Kelly is married to Brian Aukema, McKnight Land Grant Professor at the University of Minnesota. They are the parents of two young boys.

Anne C. Bailey, a social historian in the departments of History and Africana Studies at SUNY Binghamton, is dedicated to the study of African American history and African Diaspora Studies. Her research has centered on the history of the Atlantic slave trade and its impact on Africa and its worldwide diaspora.

Dorothy Boorse received her doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and joined the Gordon College Biology Faculty in January of 1999. Her primary research and teaching interests are in aquatic community ecology and invasive species. She spends a great deal of time connecting science to non-scientists and looking at ways science and faith integrate, particularly in the area of environmental ethics. Dorothy is the co-author on an environmental science textbook. She also was lead author on  "Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment,” a report on poverty and climate change published by  the National Association of Evangelicals (2011). Dorothy is married to Gary Wernsing, and they have two sons.

Sylvia Chen is a senior patent operations counsel at Motorola. Prior to joining Motorola, Sylvia was an associate attorney in Washington, D.C., and a patent examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Sylvia earned her JD from the University of Michigan in 1994 and has a BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois-Urbana. Sylvia is interested in leadership issues in the law profession, particularly related to minority and gender factors. She is married with three children and her biblical hero is Daniel, though she says she is much more like Gideon.

Kelly Monroe Kullberg joined the Women in the Academy & Professions initiative while also serving as the director of project development for The Veritas Forum, which she and friends first organized at Harvard in 1992. She is editor and co-author of Finding God at Harvard: Spiritual Journeys of Christian Thinkers and author of Finding God Beyond Harvard. Kelly enjoys star-gazing and playing guitars around a fire with friends. Kelly lives with her husband David and five fun children in Columbus, Ohio.

Hillary Lum is currently a geriatric and palliative medicine fellow in Denver, CO. She received a BA in Biology from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and her MD/PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With her husband, Ryan, she volunteered at a faith-based HIV/AIDS hospital in Jos, Nigeria in 2006. She completed her Internal Medicine residency in Pittsburgh, PA. Her interests are in understanding the health care needs that affect older adults at the end of life. She plans to be involved in community-oriented health services research to understand health disparities for this vulnerable population. She loves living simply, in community, and in the city (near mountains).

Leslie Walker, MD, graduated from Wheaton College and the University of Michigan, where she received her MS in Neuroscience and her medical degree. She did her psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has been in solo practice since 2000, with particular interests in treating mood and anxiety disorders in women, work/family balance issues, and life transitions. Leslie also teaches psychiatry residents at Case Western Reserve University Hospital. She chairs the Women in Medicine and Dentistry Commission of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. She and her husband, an academic physician, live near Cleveland and have two children.