Meet the Mentors

100 Doors to Success mentors invest their time, energy and expertise to nurture the growth of another person. Mentoring a student is a valuable way to stay connected with the Transylvania community and have a meaningful impact on the next generation of Transy graduates. Meet two of our alumni mentors.

Katie Hulsman ’16

Baseball application developer, Cincinnati Reds 

Katie Hulsman benefitted from informal mentoring when she was a Transylvania undergraduate, majoring in computer science. “I was lucky enough to have found an upperclassman, Ian Akers ’14, who was also a computer science major,” she remembered. “Ian was an amazing friend and mentor. He would often take the time to tutor me or help answer questions I had about what we were learning in class. Ian also provided me with some of the most invaluable advice and mentorship.”

Hulsman’s path to the Reds began with two summer internships at Duke Energy. Initially part of the company’s local IT technical support team in Cincinnati, she went to Charlotte, North Carolina, as a server administrator on a mobile development project for her second internship. These roles ultimately landed her a full-time position as an IT associate in Duke’s three-year rotational program post-grad. 

After four and a half years at Duke, Hulsman moved into her current role with the Cincinnati Reds, where she works as a full stack software engineer to help support, maintain and develop software solutions for the team’s advance scouting efforts at both the Major and Minor League levels.

Katie Hulsman, with the Cincinnati skyline as a backdrop, holds up a Reds Baseball t-shirt

When Hulsman opened the Transy Connects monthly newsletter and saw that the 100 Doors program was seeking alumni mentors, she decided that it would be a great way to give back to a university that has given her so much. 

“Throughout my life, I have always been lucky enough to have some of the best mentors,” she reflected. “I think fostering a mentorship relationship allows both the mentor and mentee to learn from each other, but it also allows the mentee to learn from someone who may already be in a field of work or in a similar career that they are aspiring for.”

With three mentees already, Hulsman is preparing students for their professional futures, helping them draft their first resumes and connecting them to potential internships through her LinkedIn professional network. She also plans to teach her mentees about the interview process and help them with interview preparation.

“When I was the mentee, I learned so much from my mentors,” she said. “I gained invaluable knowledge and have built many cherished relationships. I wanted to be able to provide mentorship to students so they could hopefully have a similar experience.”

Mark Sirianno ’19

General surgery resident, University of Alabama Birmingham

portrait of Mark Sirianno

Mark Sirianno is giving back to current Transylvania students what was once given to him as a Pioneer. A 2019 graduate with a double major in philosophy and molecular and cellular biology, Sirianno was mentored by Dr. Megan Graeter ’11 as part of the 100 Doors program. Graeter, a board-certified pediatrician, helped him walk through the medical school application process. After graduation, Sirianno went to medical school at the University of Kentucky before matching into general surgery at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

“It is difficult to find someone who can provide advice about getting into medical school who has recently done it,” Sirianno acknowledged. “Luckily, I found Megan, and she allowed me to ask questions and provided guidance that only someone who had recently done it could provide! I was so thankful.”

Sirianno is grateful for both the academic preparation he received from his Transylvania education and the interview preparation that came from his work with the pre-med committee, but he also gives credit for his success to Graeter as well, who “helped serve as a sounding board for ideas and even helped me to focus my career goals.”

With a mentee of his own now, in addition to his busy schedule as a resident, Sirianno finds meaning in helping others the way that Graeter helped him. 

“Medical school can seem like an impossible goal to achieve, but working with my mentee to help her achieve that goal has been so rewarding,” he said. “My goal is to help any and all Transylvania students who want to get into medicine to achieve that goal.”