Jayhawk Career Network

Mentor Spotlight: Valerie White
We’re highlighting Jayhawks who serve as mentors to fellow alumni and students to celebrate National Mentoring Month.

Connect with Valerie on KU Mentoring+.

Valerie White is the Director of Community Advancement and Development at the Kansas Food Bank. Originally from Arkansas City, Kansas, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sport management in 2013 and now lives in Wichita, Kansas.

What do you do at your job? And how did you end up in your current career?

I engage donors to deepen their connection to the Kansas Food Bank and its mission to serve children, families and seniors experiencing food insecurity across 85 Kansas counties. After leaving the sports industry, I worked in medical development and earned my MBA in Health Care Administration. During my education, I grew passionate about social determinants of health and disparities in health outcomes. Nutrition and access to food plays a huge role in how healthy one can be.

Who is a mentor for you, and how did they help you?

If I had to highlight one mentor, it would be Paul Buskirk, g’88, who supervises the Student Athlete Support Services unit at Kansas Athletics. Mr. Buskirk taught me how to engage with executives to communicate through listening and learning.

What advice do you have for current college students or young alumni?

Know what you want. Plans usually never go 100% your way, but if you have a plan, people know how they can help you. Most people will help if they know how they can.

What is your favorite KU memory?

This is a hard one. There were so many! My favorite memory is working as a camp coach for Bill Self camps in the summer. The campers are excited to be there, and all of the coaching staff went the extra mile to make the camps enjoyable for the camp coaches.

Need a mentor? Want to serve as a mentor? KU Mentoring+ is open to students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the University of Kansas. Professionals who are looking for opportunities to connect with KU and provide assistance to Jayhawks are also welcome. Learn more about KU Mentoring+.

More Headlines

Copy the Leader: Crystal Fong

Crystal Fong, c’15, j’15, is a DEI and Talent Development Leader. We sat down with Crystal to learn what leadership means to her.

Driving with Jayhawks
Driving with Jayhawks: KU mascot coach Brian Carpenter

KU mascot coach Brian Carpenter, c’02 joins Driving with Jayhawks. Learn what it takes to fill the boots of Big and Baby Jay!

‘Hawks & Highways’ brings KU Alumni, KU Endowment across Kansas

The University of Kansas Alumni Association and KU Endowment are hosting “Hawks & Highways” gatherings in several Kansas communities this summer.

Copy the Leader: Stephanie Wittman

Stephanie Wittman, d’10 is a Health and Strength and Conditioning teacher at Tonganoxie High School. We sat down with Stephanie to learn what leadership means to her.

Copy the Leader: Jon Sabillón

Jon Sabillón, c’11, is an international DJ, entrepreneur, and music futurist. We sat down with Jon to learn what leadership means to him.

Jayhawks Give Back
Jayhawk helps communities grow through The Giving Grove

Tucked away in urban neighborhoods across the U.S. are little orchards making a big impact.

KU Alumni Association
KU Alumni receives Insight Into Diversity Magazine’s Inclusive Excellence Award

The KU Alumni Association will be featured, along with 31 other recipients, in the June 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Driving with Jayhawks
Driving with Jayhawks: Flying Jayhawks

In the monthly Driving with Jayhawks series, we’re taking the best of KU on a ride through campus as we talk about their Jayhawk experience.

Tradition of Excellence Award honors student leaders

Eleven University of Kansas students were honored for their leadership on the Lawrence.

Welcome to the University
of Kansas Alumni Association

Your membership in the KU Alumni Association is the single most powerful way to make all of KU stronger, including the value of your own degree. Through your membership, the Association: