When Carly Marino ’06 (Kinesiology), M.S. ’08 (Kinesiology) was a student at California State University, Northridge, she appreciated the importance of mentors and professionals in guiding her career. She said the faculty provided great education and insight but she had questions for professionals working in her field of interest.
That’s why Marino, now a regional physical activity specialist with the state’s Department of Public Health Network for a Healthy California, participated in the College of Health and Human Development’s annual Professor for a Day program. She was one of 15 guest lecturers to participate in the event on Thursday, March 14.
“When I was in your shoes,” she told the students in her class. “I was always trying to figure it all out, and I just wanted someone to answer my questions.”
The guest lecturers were a mix of alumni and community leaders who donned the title of “professor” and shared useful advice and personal stories about how they have achieved success in their profession. They represented a cross-section of the college’s nine departments and lectured on a range of topics, including child and adolescent development; radiography; nursing; speech and language development; women’s health; organizational health services; nutrition; kinesiology; leadership in recreation; meetings and conventions; the fashion industry; and health administration.
“Programs like this (Professor for a Day) offer an opportunity for students to have candid conversations with professionals about real life experiences in careers,” said Marino about the program.
Sylvia Alva, dean of the College of Health and Human Development, said the Professor for A Day program is a “great example of how CSUN shines.”
“The guest professors were impressed by our students and the quality of their questions, and our students were able to benefit from the knowledge and experience of many of our alumni and supporters,” Alva said. “As leaders and mentors in their fields, our alumni bring a wealth of professional knowledge and career advice to the classroom.”
Karen Embrey ’04 (Nursing), clinical director of the USC Keck School of Medicine nurse anesthesia program, recommended that students commit to being “lifelong learners.”
“Have a vision for yourself,” Embrey said. “The secret to success is making little steps everyday towards your goal.”
Houman Salem ’94 (History), founder of Argyle Partners, a global management consulting firm to the fashion, apparel and retail industry, told students in a apparel design and merchandising class to stay “flexible and nimble” with their careers.
“The successful ones (students) will be able to adapt to different environments,” Salem said.
Edward Daco, a student in the college’s nursing program, said the Professor for a Day program is “extremely helpful.”
“It has really helped me see nursing from different perspectives and specialties,” he said.