Loyola University Chicago

Department of Biology

Sally D. Fell, MS, LPC, CADC, NCC

MAMS Advisor

MAMS Advising Philosophy:  A Person-Centered, Holistic, Skills-Based Approach

It is a joy and great privilege to be able to support your journey during an important time in your life. Whether for a needed hug, guidance, academic or personal concerns, review of an essay, interview preparation, or just to talk, when you come into my office you’ll be welcomed by someone who cares deeply and will always be glad to help. My belief in you is unconditional, and is based on who you are. I view life as an amazing learning experience, God-given, that is all about our growth and contribution. If things happen for a reason, the goal then becomes to look for the gain, to learn, and develop our strengths. I strive to establish a trusting relationship with each student knowing that is through this relationship that I am able to benefit you the most, fostering a climate of personal and professional growth. In short, I am here for you. 

Since the inception of MAMS in fall 2004, I have served as the pre-health advisor for our students. Because I so love working with students, and have a good sense of the pressure you place on yourselves, my approach in shaping my own position has been to create as positive and supportive an experience for you as I can. During the first two weeks of fall semester, my calendar is booked because I want to meet with all of you. I come equipped with a counseling background, and 10 years of supporting over 550 MAMS students on their journey to become physicians. While you are in MAMS, you’ll discover I will constantly be “taking your pulse,” to see how you are doing, and if there is any way I can help.

What are ways I help? I meet with students individually to discuss your background and aspirations. In getting to know you, I try to shine a mirror on who you are and your strengths, to enable your own self-insight. The better you know yourself, the more you’ll be in touch with strengths you already have, along with ones you may want to hone. Knowing who you are and how you have developed so far, will not only help you with medical school essays and interviews, it is the starting point for growth. Working collaboratively on aspects of your application deepens my understanding of who you are and allows me to support you with insights gleaned. I review personal statements, work/activities sections, secondary essays, update and thank-you letters; discuss when to retake the MCAT, celebrating/strategizing after the score comes in. I also give workshops almost weekly on virtually every aspect of applying to medical school, as well as ones designed to foster your personal growth. To me, nothing is more important than you. That is where I start. A number is a number (or maybe it is a numeral!); you are the genius of life, and what you want to do with yours says something awesome about you!

MAMS is a transformative experience. Challenged by rigorous courses, throughout the year you will be strengthening inner resources along with study, stress and time management skills that will support you in our program, in medical school, and in life. My goal is to help you achieve yours. It is an approach founded on my belief that your worth as a human being is immeasurable and intrinsic; and that we realize our purpose in life by striving to develop into the best person we can be, and contributing our gifts to others. I will kindle hope when it is low; be warmed by your inner fire, feed it if I can, and take great pride in your successes, helping at every turn however I can. An accomplishment is only great because you are doing it; your life gives it value (not the other way around). I bring that kind of perspective into every meeting. Simply put, my focus is less on addressing an application’s merits than on yours.