NAAAP Wichita Mentorship Program


  • Establish relationships between professionals and experienced professionals locally. 
  • Mentors work with mentees to evaluate the impact of Asian/Asian American identities within historical, social, and personal contexts
  • Highlight the Asian American experience by exploring personal backgrounds, interests, personality traits, and social realities
  • The mentor functions as a source of guidance, insight, and support as mentee navigates both their personal and professional development while identifying how their Asian identities influence mentees and their futures.

Pairing Process

We will open the mentorship application in early/mid June to interested mentees. The NAAAP Wichita committee responsible for program development and engagement will review applications, finalize selections, and pair mentors with mentees based off of the provided information. Selections and pairing results will be announced in the beginning of August. We will host a Mentoring Program Kickoff for everyone accepted in the program. Please note that attendance to this event is expected. Details regarding time, date, and venue will be provided well in advance.


Depending on the program start date, the initial mentorship program will last from August – November 2021.


Eligibility Criteria

  • NAAAP Wichita members with standing paid membership status*
  • Willingness to adhere to mentee requirements as specified below
  • Completion of mentee application (Acceptance is contingent upon review of application)
  • Please note that the definition of Asian American for our purposes is self-identified. We welcome all who resonate with the objectives of this program to apply. 

*Fee assistance for our memberships may be available for individuals with financial limitations. Please contact NAAAP Wichita for further information.


  • Please strive to take the initiative in the relationship. Invite your mentor to meet, suggest topics to discuss, and seek guidance. Help your mentor be someone who can help you be you!
  • Meet with your mentor as per program requirements.
  • Be receptive to discussions with your mentor regarding provided topics.
  • Elicit a mentor’s help in developing other supportive relationships.
  • Please remember to be mindful of your mentor’s time and other commitments. Avoid last minute requests, and check with your mentor early on when you need help

Commitment Requirement

  • Be available to a one-on-one or two-on-one (one mentor may have two mentees) mentorship for a four month program with the intention of developing a long-term relationship with a professional mentor.
  • Meet in person for a total of six sessions, not including the initial match meeting.
  • Communicate regularly every month.
  • Take independent initiative to make the most of mentorship opportunity.



  • Improve leadership skills – Become a proactive role model and help motivate and inspire others for the achievement of their success. 
  • Refine communication abilities – A mentor will navigate communication dynamics that are optimal for each mentee as they explore each unique mentoring relationship and deliver guidance.
  • Diversify Perspectives – Mentees will have diverse life experiences, backgrounds, and stories. Mentors have the opportunity to diversify their perspectives, develop new trajectories of thought, and understand how to provide insight and wisdom in different capacities.
  • Community Engagement – Directly contribute to the growth and success of the mentees and enable them to deeply reflect and and celebrate their Asian heritage.


  • Partner with mentees to foster development of personal and professional skills to successfully navigate the transition into professional spaces/workforce
  • Empower mentees to celebrate Asian heritage and explore its effects on professional development and advancement
  • Share personal stories of growth, the Asian/Asian-American experience, and community involvement
  • Provide personal, academic (if applicable), and career-related insights
  • Expand the mentee’s professional network 
  • Enhance their mentee’s belief in his or her own potential   

Commitment Requirement

  • Be available to a one-on-one or two-on-one mentorship for a four month program with the intention of developing a long-term mentee relationship.
  • Meet for a total of six sessions, not including the initial match meeting.
  • Communicate regularly every month.
  • Support mentees in developing and making progress towards vision statement/established goals.

We welcome and appreciate all mentors expressing their interest to participate! As this is the first year of the program, opportunities for serving as a mentor are unfortunately limited. However, we will follow up with you next year as the program continues to expand!

Please reach out to Kavya Natesan ([email protected]) and Tram Ngo ([email protected]) with any questions you may have. Thank you!


Suparna Tirukonda

Suparna Tirukonda

I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) practitioner with Cordell Wealth Management. I work with individuals and small businesses to provide guidance in the areas of goal planning, investments, tax planning, insurance and estate planning. I have been in financial services for almost 12 years. My background is in insurance and employee benefits. I took time off to be a stay at home mom. I have held leadership positions in the Hindu Temple of Greater Wichita, East High IB Parents Association, Financial Planning Association, Wichita Estate Planning Council, and the Rotary Club of Wichita. I also serve on the boards of WIBA and HumanKind Ministries.

Khanh Pham

Khanh Pham

Hi I’m Khanh Pham and I am Vietnamese. I was born and raised in Wichita, KS. I graduated from WSU with a Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance. Then I graduated from Newman University with an MBA and an emphasis in Finance. I currently work for INTRUST Bank and my official job title is a “Senior Business Intelligence Analyst” Outside of work, I like to golf and spend time with family and friends.

Kate Kung-McIntyre

Kate Kung-McIntyre

Kate Kung-McIntyre is a business school faculty at Wichita State University. As such, she is constantly pushing the boundary of existing teaching methods to meet the challenges of ever- evolving technology, business practices and skill requirements. She is also the founder and director of the Barton International Group (BIG), a student run consulting organization. BIG is composed of elite undergraduate students working in partnership with the W. Frank Barton School of Business. In addition to her role as an educator, Kate is involved in industry as a serial entrepreneur, business consultant and independent board of director. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Amazon AWS Cloud Practitioner and Amazon AWS Academy Accredited Educator. She is a native Chinese and Taiwanese speaker and well versed in information technology and analyzing big data. When asked what will be her biggest career accomplishment – “To be remembered as someone who helps shape the future workforce, build entrepreneurs and the world citizen”. Her values are reflected in the Confucius quote, “To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.”

Bobby Gandu

Bobby Gandu

Bobby Gandu has served as Assistant VP & Director of Admissions for Wichita State University with oversight of the Office of Admissions and shared leadership of the Shocker Career Accelerator. He has direct oversight and accountability for the recruitment and admission of thousands of undergraduate students each year. His supervision area includes 50+ full-time professionals and 50+ part-time employees. His leadership in marketing, enrollment management and collaborative initiatives has contributed to the seven largest freshmen enrollment classes in the 125 year history of Wichita State. The university has experienced additional growth in transfer students, underrepresented students and academic profile enhancements during this time frame. He has led or been involved in the launching of multiple information systems, customer relationship management systems and other similar third-party applications. His marketing background has helped to revitalize print, electronic and social media marketing efforts, that have yielded best-practice approaches and a Wichita American Marketing Association award for social media/mobile campaigns. Bobby”s involvement in the Wichita community has included board appointments for the Wichita Chamber of Commerce as a Leadership Wichita Trustee, Shocker Athlete Scholarship Organization, American Heart Association, Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, United Way of the Plains and Young Professionals of Wichita. During his career, he was chosen by YPW as the Young Professional of the Year and was named to the Wichita Business Journal 40 Under 40.

Alan Mah

Alan Mah

I’ve got 35 years of working in finance. My first job was on Wall Street developing the mathematical models and writing the computer programs to price and hedge exotic derivatives for Salomon Brothers. I then helped start Barclays’ energy derivatives trading desk after having learned to trade on their interest rate derivatives desk. I joined Koch Industries in 1994 to help them start their capital markets operation before managing it in 1996 until 1999. I helped the Royal Bank of Canada get their municipal derivatives operations up and running. I helped Stern Agee get their corporate bond sales operations running, started a middle market bank sales business for Arbor Research, and am now at INTRUST managing risk, compliance, BSA, and audit.

Sheelu Surender

Sheelu Surender

Sheelu Surender is the Executive Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships at Wichita State University, where she leads a team of 21 staff members and an operation that administers over $105 million dollars annually in financial aid and scholarships. She has been in the Office of Financial Aid in multiple roles for 21 years. Her leadership on the Wichita State campus involves contribution in Strategic Enrollment Management, the President’s Diversity Council, the WSU Women’s Association and various academic committees. She loves mentoring students and assists as an advisor to the WSU Student Ambassador Society and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Passage Scholars. She considers her direct engagement with students to be the greatest reward of her work. Sheelu is a first generation college graduate, who earned a BA in International Business and Business Administration from Friends University and an MBA from Wichita State University.

FAQ’s for Mentees

  • Question 1: I am interested in joining the program as a mentee, but I don’t have a NAAAP Wichita membership. What should I do? 
    • Answer: This program is for members with standing membership status only. We will consider opening this program to more people in the future.
  • Question 2: This program sounds interesting. What do I gain out of this mentorship program? 
    • Answer: What you reap from the program depends on the degree of your investment in the program and the relationship you build with your mentor! We will provide discussion topics to aid your professional relationship. Please provide as much information as possible when you sign up for the program. Your information will help us find you a more suited mentor. 
  • Question 3: How do I figure out the meeting date and time with my mentor?
    • Answer: After the initial pairing result, the NAAAP Wichita Mentorship Program will kick off an introductory meeting with all the mentors and mentees. From there, we recommend that you proactively reach out to your mentor to set up time.
  • Question 4: What tools can I use to set up meetings with my mentor?

Answer: For scheduling, you can email your mentor a few available times. Contact information will be provided.  For virtual meetings, there are lots of free tools available: Skype, Google Hangout, or Zoom. Please communicate with your mentor to discuss what is optimal for you both!

FAQ’s for Mentors

  • Question 1: I am interested in joining the program as a mentor. What should I do?
  • Answer: We welcome and appreciate all mentors expressing their interest to participate! As this is the first year of the program, opportunities for serving as a mentor are unfortunately limited. However, we will follow up with you next year as the program continues to expand! Please reach out to Kavya Natesan ([email protected]) and Tram Ngo ([email protected]) with any questions you may have. Thank you! 
  • Question 2: I am concerned about my time. What is the time commitment for this program
  • Answer: Please see commitment expectations above .

Question 3: I just signed up! What’s next?
Answer: Thank you! The NAAAP Wichita  team will review all applications and pair mentors and mentees based on their interest. We will email you and your mentee via email. We will also have an initial kickoff event for all mentors and mentees! Please see the pairing process section above for more information.

Non Disclosure/ Confidentiality Agreement

Before applying for the mentorship program, both mentors and mentees have to assume positive intent and agree to protect participants’ personal and professional information shared in the mentorship sessions. Discussions during the mentorship session should not be shared without the other party’s consent and agreement. NAAAP Wichita mandates acknowledgement and agreement from both mentors and mentees in order to create a safe space for all participating parties. Please utilize the provided contact information to let us know if you have any questions or concerns!