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How to Mentor Graduate Students:

How to Mentor Graduate Students: 10
How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty Table of Contents 3 Letter from Dean Fierke 4 Acknowledgements 5 Chapter 1 What Is a Mentor? 6 Chapter 2 Why Be a Mentor? 8 Chapter 3 What Does a Mentor Do? 9 Chapter 4 General Guidelines for Mentors 11 Chapter 5 During the Initial Meetings 13 Chapter 6 Developing the Professional Relationship 15 Chapter 7 How Departments Can Encourage Mentoring 17 Chapter 8 Mentoring in a Diverse Community 19 Chapter 9 In Conclusion 20 Further Reading 22 Resources at the University of Michigan 28 Appendix © 2015 The Regents of the University of Michigan All Rights Reserved The University of Michigan grants permission to all educational institutions to copy any material contained in this guidebook with proper citation. A web version of this handbook can be obtained at: http://www.rackham.umich.edu/publications/. For further information about the handbook or other mentoring initiatives, contact gradstudentsuccess@umich.edu. Dear Colleagues: Faculty mentors play a crucial role in the success of graduate students; at the Graduate School we hear this message frequently from students. While styles of advising and mentoring vary across the disciplines, the fundamentals apply throughout graduate education. Our goal in creating this guide is to provide a resource for faculty members who seek to improve their effectiveness as mentors; we hope it is useful to those who are new to the role as well as for those who have enjoyed success but are looking to become more skillful with a wider range of students. Students and their mentors share responsibility for ensuring productive and rewarding mentoring relationships. Both parties have a role to play in the success of mentoring. This handbook is devoted to the role of faculty members; we also produce a companion volume for graduate students available at http://www.rackham.umich.edu/publications/. In the following pages, we’ve included suggestions for further reading, campus resources, and examples of practices that other faculty have found useful for cultivating a positive mentor-mentee relationship. I encourage you to send your promising practices, and suggestions for additional resources to gradstudentsuccess@umich.edu. I appreciate your interest in this guide, your commitment to the profession, and your engagement in the rewarding work of mentoring graduate students. With best regards, Carol Fierke Dean of the Rackham Graduate School Vice Provost for Academic Affairs 3Acknowledgements The Rackham Graduate School’s mentoring guide for faculty, How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty at a Diverse University, has proven to be popular item for more than a decade: it has been requested, adopted, and adapted by colleagues around the nation. This current edition is a thorough revision, with assistance from Jeff Mortimer, of the text first produced by staff at the Graduate School in 1999. The effort to bring this up to date is only one of the initiatives at the Graduate School to improve the quality of mentoring available to our students, and to provide resources for our dedicated faculty. The impetus to revise this guide was generated by two of the Associate Deans at the Graduate School, Alec Gallimore and David Engelke. They are members of the faculty committee dedicated to a Graduate School initiative, Mentoring Others Results in Excellence (MORE). I am grateful to the members of this committee, all of whom provided valuable critique and constructive suggestions: David Engelke, Alec Gallimore, Theodore Goodson, Lorraine Gutierrez, Bobbi Low, Pat McCune, Mahta Moghaddam, Laura Olsen, Brad Orr, and Jing Sun. This was facilitated by the support of Elaine Dowell and Ellen Meader. I am grateful, too, for the edits suggested by another of the Graduate School’s Associate Deans, Peggy McCracken. We also are indebted to the assistance of a number of Rackham colleagues. Ashley Reid, our Graduate Student Research Assistant, contributed the background research and suggestions for further reading. Amy Deitrickson collected and reviewed the campus resources. We are fortunate to have the contributions of Elyse Rubin who edits all Graduate School publications. The quotations included here are all taken from responses to the survey that is part of the Graduate School’s annual Program Review. Similarly, the promising practices were shared by faculty at the University of Michigan during the course of Program Review. Finally, but most significantly, it is because Dean Carol Fierke is so firmly committed to ensuring the success of graduate students that this guide possible. Mark Kamimura-Jimenez, Ph.D. Director, Graduate Student Success Rackham Graduate School 4Chapter 1: What Is a Mentor? In nineteenth-century graduate education, the student-professor relationship looked a lot like the worst kind of apprenticeship: the price of admission to the craft was to do the bidding of the master. Today, that model is as obsolete as writing a dissertation on a typewriter. The landscape of twentieth-century graduate education is much different, and so is its population. The quantity of knowledge has exploded, the boundaries between disciplines have blurred, and ad- vances in both the resources and methods available for study and research fuel both phenomena. Another key development has been the vastly larger pool from which the people engaged in graduate teaching, learning and research are increasingly drawn, which has helped drive a concomitant expan- sion of appropriate areas for scholarly investigation. Those people who were rarely included in higher education in the nineteenth century are in the majority now. They bring invigorating experiences and perspectives to the enterprise, but they also face challenges. All these factors have necessitated both a broader, more sophisticated notion of mentoring, and a heightened recognition of its vital role in the preparation of the next generation’s intellectual leaders, both within and beyond the academy. Consider this multi-faceted definition of mentors as people who: • take an interest in developing another person’s career and well-being. • have an interpersonal as well as a professional relationship with those whom they mentor. • advance the person’s academic and professional goals in directions most desired by the indi- vidual. • tailor mentoring styles and content to the individual, including adjustments due to differ - ences in culture, ethnicity, gender and so on. Some faculty limit the responsibilities of mentoring to simply discharging their role as advisor. While assigned advisors can certainly be mentors, and often are, effective mentoring requires playing a more expansive role in the development of a future colleague. The role of advisor usually is limited to guid- ing academic progress. The role of mentor is centered on a commitment to advancing the student’s career through an interpersonal engagement that facilitates sharing guidance, experience and exper- tise. Like any interpersonal relationship, the one between mentor and student will evolve over time, with its attendant share of adjustments. The fact that today’s students come from an increasingly diverse backgrounds may add a layer of complexity, but it’s more likely to enrich than confound the relation- ship. New graduate students, in particular, may express the desire for a mentor with whom they can per- sonally identify, but their eventual level of satisfaction with their mentors seems to have little to do with this aspect of the relationship. This confirms the important point that you can be a successful 5mentor even if you and your student don’t share similar backgrounds. Of course, each mentoring Promising Practices: relationship should be tailored to the student’s Applied Physics goals, needs and learning style, but the core prin- ciples apply across the board. What you and the This program has a structured ap- student share – a commitment to the goals of the proach to pairing new students with scholarly enterprise and a desire to succeed – is far faculty mentors that match student more powerful and relevant than whatever might interests and needs. The students have seem to divide you. a directed study or lab rotation dur- ing the winter term of the first year, Just as students have different learning styles, the the summer term, and then in the fall skill sets and aptitudes of mentors are as varied as term of the second year. This gives mentors themselves. There is no foolproof recipe. the student exposure to working with This guide surveys practices and approaches that a number of faculty in their areas of have demonstrated their value. Our intent is to likely research. The program chair help you become a successful mentor in your own then provides the students with guid- way. ance regarding the faculty member who may be the best match for the student. Student Perspective My current advisor is very down to earth and places everything into perspective. Be it research, classes or professional growth. He doesn’t force his opinion of these things on me, but allows me to make my own priorities and live with the consequences. I value my advisor’s devotion to his graduate students--he wants us to succeed, learn to do research well, reach lofty goals, and graduate in a reasonable amount of time. ...I value the faculty’s commitment to graduate students’ work and quality of life. Chapter 2: Why Be a Mentor? Far from being an optional extra, or a task to be attended as time permits, mentoring is as essential to a faculty member’s success as teaching, research and publication are, and for the same reasons: it benefits both students and mentors as it advances the discipline, ensuring the quality and commit- ment of the next generation of scholars. 6Mentoring benefits students because: • It supports their advancement in research activity, conference presentations, publication, pedagogical skill, and grant-writing. • Students are less likely to feel ambushed by potential bumps in the road, having been alerted to them, and provided resources for dealing with stressful or difficult periods in their gradu- ate careers. • The experiences and networks their mentors help them to accrue may improve the students’ prospects of securing professional placement. • The knowledge that someone is committed to their progress, someone who can give them solid advice and be their advocate, can help to lower stress and build confidence. • Constructive interaction with a mentor and participation in collective activities he or she arranges promote engagement in the field. And it rewards mentors in an abundance of ways: • Your students will keep you abreast of new knowledge and techniques and apprise you of promising avenues for research. • A faculty member’s reputation rests in part on the work of his or her former students; sending successful new scholars into the field increases your professional stature. • Your networks are enriched. Helping students make the professional and personal connections they need to succeed will greatly extend your own circle of colleagues. • Good students will be attracted to you. Word gets around about who the best mentors are, so they are usually the most likely to recruit – and retain –outstanding students. • It’s personally satisfying. Seeing your students succeed can be as rewarding as a major publication or significant grant. Effective mentoring advances the discipline because these students often begin making significant contributions long before they complete their graduate degrees. Such students are more likely to have productive, distinguished, and ethical careers that reflect credit on their mentors and enrich the discipline. Effective mentoring helps to ensure the quality of research, scholarship and teaching well into the future. Student Perspective My mentor is my strongest advocate and goes to bat for me when my program throws road blocks in my path. The two things I like best about my relationship with my mentor is one, he thinks outside of the box when looking for funding for the lab and two, he is very good at keeping his mentees abreast of what is going on as well as encourages us to keep him informed. 7Chapter 3: What Does the Mentor Do? The mentor’s responsibilities extend well beyond helping students learn what’s entailed in the re- search and writing components of graduate school. First and foremost, mentors socialize students into the culture of the discipline, clarifying and reinforcing – principally by example – what’s expect- ed of a professional scholar. Let’s start with the basic responsibilities mentors have to those graduate students who seek their guidance. Model professional responsibility. It is crucial that the mentor consciously act with integrity in every aspect of his or her work as teacher, researcher and author. Students must see that their mentors rec- ognize and avoid conflicts of interest, collect and use data responsibly, fairly award authorship credit, cite source materials appropriately, use research funds ethically, and treat animal or human research subjects properly. This list is not meant to be exhaustive: never compromising the standards that bestow validity on the discipline is not a suggested guideline but essential to the profession. Demystify graduate school. Many aspects of graduate education are unwritten or vague, and the ability of new students to understand them is hampered by the fact that they frequently do not know what questions to ask or what certain terminology means. You can help by adjusting your conversa- tions accordingly and clarifying your program’s expectations for lab work, coursework, comprehen- sive exams, research topics, and teaching. For each stage of the student’s program, discuss the prevail- ing norms and criteria used to define quality performance. Encourage the effective use of time. Work with the student on developing schedules and meeting benchmarks. Share techniques and practices that have been useful for others but don’t insist there is only one way. Rather, help them blaze their own trail and devise a plan that keeps them on it. For many students, the shift from the highly structured nature of undergraduate education to the self-direction that is expected in graduate school presents a significant challenge. Oversee professional development. Activities that have become second nature to you need to be made explicit to students, such as faculty governance and service, directing a lab, procuring grants, managing budgets, and being able to explain your research to anyone outside your discipline. Men- tors help their students become full-fledged members of a profession and not just researchers. Assist with finding other mentors. One size doesn’t fit all, and one mentor can’t provide all the guid- ance and support that every student needs. Introduce students to faculty, emeriti, alumni, staff and other graduate students who have complementary interests. Effective mentoring is a community effort. 8Student Perspective I value my mentor’s dedication and enthusiasm about science; also, his openness to discuss and aid in the development of my projects. He was able to establish clear project goals, in the beginning of my Ph.D., that reflected my preferences and listened to my ideas. Reassurance... it’s great to know that other people had to go through many experiences very similar to mine. Chapter 4: General Guidelines for Mentors The fundamental rubric for mentors is to be partial to the student but impartial about the student’s work. Clarity is the foundation upon which such a relationship is built. Be transparent about your expec- tations concerning the form and function of the relationship, and about what’s reasonable to expect of you and what isn’t. Pay particular attention to boundaries, both personal and professional, and respect theirs just as you expect them to respect yours. Within mutually agreeable limits, mentors have an open door. Because your time is so valuable, it is often the most precious thing you can give. What lies behind that door, literally and figuratively, should be a haven of sorts. Give students your full attention when they are talking with you, and the time and encouragement to open up. Try to minimize interruptions. Consider scheduling an occa- sional meeting away from the office or department to help create more personalized time. Use concrete language to critique students’ work. What the mentor communicates with the students must be timely, clear and, above all, constructive. Critical feedback is essential, but it’s more likely to be effective if tempered with praise when deserved. Remind students that you are holding them to high standards in order to help them improve. Mentors keep track of their students’ progress and achievements, setting milestones and acknowledg- ing accomplishments. Let your students know from the start that you want them to succeed, and cre- ate opportunities for them to demonstrate their competencies. When you feel a student is prepared, suggest or nominate him or her for fellowships, projects, and teaching opportunities. Encourage students to try new techniques, expand their skills, and discuss their ideas, even those they fear might seem naive or unworkable. Let students know that mistakes are productive because we learn from our failures. These practices nurture self-sufficiency. As tempting as it can be to dictate paths, the person in front of you has different strengths and aspirations. 9Provide support in times of discouragement Promising Practices: as well as success, and be mindful of signs of emotional and physical distress. Don’t Linguistics assume that the only students who need help are those who ask for it. If a student is falling Students are reviewed annually by the behind in his or her work, resist conclud- faculty. Prior to the meeting students pre- ing that this shows a lack of commitment. pare a progress report with the assistance Perhaps the student is exhausted, or unclear of their advisors. Following the review the about what to do next, or is uncomfortable student receives feedback on progress in with some aspect of the project or research a letter explicitly intended to serve as a team. Although it is ultimately the respon- mentoring document. sibility of students to initiate contact with you, it may make a difference if you get in touch with those students who are becoming Chemical Engineering remote. Let them know they are welcome to Mentor matching: During and after talk with you during your office hours, and admission, faculty are encouraged to make that the conversation can include nonaca- contact with students who are interested demic as well as academic issues. in their areas, although no formal match is made at this time. The match is done Being open and approachable is particularly in the first two months of the fall semes- important when a student is shy or comes ter. During the first few weeks of our from a different cultural background. Many orientation course students hear twenty- new students suffer from the impostor syn- minute presentations by all the faculty, drome – anxiety about whether they belong including faculty from other departments in graduate school – so it’s important to who have some appointment in Chemi- reassure them of their skills and abilities to cal Engineering also. Students also have succeed. The enthusiasm and optimism you other opportunities to meet with the show can be inspirational. Make sure that faculty, such as a picnic held in the first students understand not only the personal few weeks. The students then must make consequences of their commitment to their appointments with and talk to at least work, but also its value to the professional five faculty. Some faculty might ask the community and to the general public. students to read a paper, attend group meetings, meet with the graduate students Share what you’ve learned as both a scholar of the group, etc. In early October, the and a member of a profession. You might students submit a list of preferences for think things are obvious to students that advisors. aren’t. At the same time, tell your students what you learn from them. This will make We then match students with advisors, them realize they are potential colleagues. trying to give most students one of their Identify professional workshops and net- top choices. When this is not possible, working opportunities for students. Involve we discuss other possible options with students in editing, journal activities, confer- the students and also faculty and work to ence presentations, and grant writing. make an acceptable arrangement for all involved. 10Of course, it isn’t necessary to embody all of these attributes in order to be a successful mentor. Individuals have relative strengths in their capacity for mentoring, and mentors should be clear about what they can and cannot offer. Part of effective mentoring is knowing when to refer someone to another resource that might be more helpful. Most important, and more than any particular piece of advice or supportive act, your students will remember how they were treated. The example you set as a person will have a profound effect on how they conduct themselves as professionals. Student Perspective In meetings, I show results and indicate where I would like to take experiments. She serves as a sounding board to improve and refine the ideas along with making additional suggestions. It allows me to take ownership of my project and not just be a technician. What I like about my thesis advisor is how he balances both roles of listening to my ideas and giving them reasonable consideration, and guiding the direction of study from his own research experience. I don’t think this is an easy task. Chapter 5: During the Initial Meetings You were mentored in some fashion as a graduate student, so you may find it a useful starting point to think about those days and how you felt about your mentoring. Consider these questions: • What kind of mentoring did you have? • What did you like and dislike about the mentoring you received? • How well did your mentor(s) help you progress through your graduate program? • How well did your mentor(s) prepare you for your academic career? • What did you not receive in the way of mentoring that would have been helpful to you? Thinking about these points can help you develop a vision of the kind of mentor you want to be, and the most effective ways you can mentor students inside and outside your discipline. In the companion mentoring guide for graduate students, we suggest that they undertake a critical self-appraisal before they meet with faculty. Below are some points we recommend they consider. We share a modified version of this listing as possible topics for your first meeting. • Find out about the student’s previous educational experiences and why s/he decided to go to graduate school. What does the student hope to achieve in pursuing a graduate degree? • Discuss your research projects and how they complement or diverge from the student’s inter- ests. 11 • Offer suggestions about courses the student should take, labs that might be appropriate, and other training experiences s/he should seek. • Refer the student to other people inside or outside the University whom s/he should meet in order to begin developing professional networks. You and your student need to communicate clearly from the start about your respective roles and responsibilities. Some people find it helpful to put such arrangements in writing, while recognizing that circumstances and needs can change. (See samples in appendix). Here are a few areas you may want to discuss. • Goals: Ask students to develop and share with you a work plan that includes short-term and long-term goals as well as the timeframe for reaching those goals. Make sure the student’s work plan meets the program’s requirements and is feasible. • Meetings: Tell students how frequently you will be able to meet with them, and that it is their responsibility to arrange and take the lead in these meetings. Let them know if you have a busy travel schedule, are about to take a sabbatical, or will be assuming an administrative position. • Thresholds: Be explicit about the kinds of issues you feel require a face-to-face meeting. Also let students know if they may contact you at home, and under what circumstances, and ask them their preferences as well. • Assessments: Discuss how often you will give them an assessment of their general progress, and let them know what type of feedback they can expect from you. Tell them how long it generally takes you to provide a response to their work, and how they can best remind you if they do not hear from you within the specified time. • Drafts: Discuss your expectations of what first drafts should look like before they are submit- ted to you. If you do not want students to hand in rough drafts, suggest they share their work first with a trusted peer or writing group. • Publishing and Presenting: Share your expectations regarding when and where you would like to see the student give research presentations. Explain the standards and norms for authorship credit in your field, and the extent to which you can assist them with preparing work for submission to journals and conferences. • Intellectual Property: Before beginning work with students on a project, clarify who owns the data that is being collected, and whether others will have access to it. Also discuss issues of copyright and patent agreements that might occur as a result of a project. The hallmark of a successful mentoring relationship is a shared understanding of expectations and responsibilities. These create the framework for the relationship, and they are largely established in the early meetings with a student. A relatively modest investment in those meetings can yield great dividends. 12Promising Practices: Student Perspective Asian Languages and Cultures I am able to approach them and express my Students have a mentoring committee concerns comfortably, they expect hard work assigned in their first year, and in sec- from me and I expect patience and consider- ond and subsequent years they form ation from them. their own committee based on inter- ests and specialization. The mentoring I value that my mentor is very honest and committee meets with the student that I always end a meeting with my mentor twice each year for the purpose of ad- feeling as though I can tackle my problems. vising on course selection and discuss- ing the student’s funding. The mentor- ing committee makes an end-of-year report to the graduate committee, and Chapter 6: Developing the all faculty meet to discuss each student every year. The student receives a form Professional Relationship letter if s/he is on track, but if there are concerns, these are addressed in the While graduate students deserve your support and annual letter. attention, the specific needs of a first-year student just learning the ropes and fretting about the long and challenging road ahead are different from those of a student who is nearing completion of the dissertation and has refocused on career decisions. Here again, the apprenticeship model of nineteenth-century graduate education is insufficient. The responsibility of the twenty-first-century mentor is to assist in the development of the next genera- tion of scholars and researchers, and that requires a relationship of ever-growing collegiality. The greatest challenge that faculty face with incoming graduate students is helping them make the transition from the format of undergraduate education – the short-term goals, predictable closure and tight structure of course work – to the unfamiliar, loosely structured, and relatively open-ended world of lab, research and dissertation. Mentors sometimes need to be directive, maintain a short- term focus, and assign concrete tasks and deadlines. As students become more proficient with the basics, good mentors pay increasing attention to their progress both as researchers, by acting as a consultant or sounding board, and as professionals, by socializing them into the culture of their disciplines. The former means suggesting lines of inquiry and options for solving problems and discussing potential outcomes. The latter means encouraging the development of communication and networking skills by providing opportunities for teaching, writing, and presenting. 13Good mentors help students gradually under- Promising Practices: stand how their objectives fit into the particular graduate degree program, departmental life, and English Language and postgraduate options. As the relationship evolves, Literature mentors expect and encourage their students to accept increasing responsibility and more complex The department sponsors a group challenges. It’s essential to keep in mind that the known as Jobseekers. This group meets doctoral program is the beginning rather than the once a month to prepare students for sum of the student’s career. The mentor’s “end interviews at the Modern Language game” requires assisting the student in successfully Association’s annual conference. They launching that career. offer students reimbursement for up to $400 spent for dossier postage. They In particular, mentors need to understand that it also provide up to $600 in travel funds is much harder today to find a tenure-track posi- for students who have interviews at tion or even, in many fields, any full-time fac- the MLA conference. In addition, ulty position. This makes the mentor’s guidance, there are mock interviews with the encouragement, networking and promotion of the two faculty members who serve as di- student more critical than ever. If the relationship rectors of the group. The directors vet is, indeed, lifelong, then opportunities to provide their cover letters and resumes. After such assistance don’t end with the completion of the MLA, they do mock job talks for the degree. students who were invited for second stage interviews during the winter In some fields the primary career objective is the term. The directors keep a report on professoriate. In other fields the majority of gradu- the students’ interview progress. ate students will pursue non-academic positions. In working with them the mentor’s function goes beyond the promotion of academic success, and so the mentor must be open minded about the students’ career interests and paths, and help them to explore those options outside the academic world if that is where their interests lie. The influence that research supervisors wield over their students is enormous; they are truly the gatekeepers of the student’s professional future. How this power is used is at the heart of the differ- ence between graduate education in the nineteenth- and twenty-first centuries. The effective mentor serves as advocate and guide, empowering the student to move from novice to professional. 14Student Perspective They give me close personal attention (it’s a small lab), therefore they are able to correct weak- nesses and prevent me from wasting time. They care about me as a person, and not just as a scientist. His enthusiasm. Not just for my research, but for my post graduate school aspirations. My mentor definitely provides useful insight to both my current problems and any that he might foresee outside of school. Chapter 7: How Graduate Programs Can Encourage Mentoring Effective mentoring cannot be done in a vacuum. A successful relationship between a graduate student and mentor is built upon a foundation of commitment at the institutional as well as at the program level. The institution must be committed to ensuring that its programs are of the highest quality, producing professionals who are both ethical and accomplished. The department in turn is responsible for setting clear expectations and supervising progress. Each department should be responsible for creating an environment in which mentoring is valued and both students and faculty have access to resources that promote graduate student success. The following are examples of prac- tices known to reinforce the efforts of faculty as they work with their students. Provide an orientation session. This helps faculty get a head start with new graduate students by in- troducing them to program policies, practices, and resources, preferably at the beginning of the aca- demic year. This should be followed up with a refresher session in the second term. Students should also be furnished with a departmental guide that acquaints them with its expectations, benchmarks and milestones. Assign a first year temporary advisor. To facilitate graduate student engagement with faculty im- mediately upon entry into graduate school, assign incoming students a temporary faculty advisor. Students and faculty can be paired based upon stated interests. Each advisor should be required to meet with their advisees at least twice during the academic year to review course selections and de- partmental requirements, and to answer questions that arise. After this first year, it should be viewed positively if graduate students want to change advisors. Encourage the recognition that developing relationships with other faculty is a signal of a student’s growth and progress. Develop a set of core expectations for faculty to discuss with their advisees. Departments can affirm that mentoring is a core component of the educational experience for graduate students by develop- 15ing a compact or agreement, relevant to the disci- pline or field of study, for use by faculty and the Promising Practices: students with whom they work. Such a document Political Science would list the essential commitments and respon- sibilities of both parties, set within the context of The department has developed a the department’s fundamental values. This could number of practices to build and be included in the departmental handbook and maintain community. Each fall and reviewed—or even signed—by both parties to winter semester the department spon- acknowledge the mentoring relationship. sors a “professional development day” when faculty and graduate students Provide an annual review of student progress. from each field gather for lunch to The objective of a periodic review—annual, at discuss new developments in the field least—is to identify ways in which faculty can and anything else that comes up. Then more effectively help students make progress in graduate students take part in a variety their graduate studies by routinely document- of professional workshops planned by ing and sharing with each student a constructive the student members of the Depart- critique of that individual’s efforts across the entire ment’s Graduate Affairs Committee. spectrum of mastery that the student is expected These workshops have focused on a to achieve. This extends beyond course grades wide variety of issues from nonaca- to offer feedback on whether the student is ac- demic employment to managing stress quiring the full set of experiences, methods, and to applying for outside fellowships. professional experiences that the faculty think are critical to success in the field of study. While a wide range of formats can be used, the one com- mon feature is that faculty share the results of the review with each student in writing, and include a copy in the student’s file. The intention is to pro- vide a framework for constructive discussion of student progress toward the degree and to document suggestions, guidelines, and benchmarks provided to the student. Create structured activity for faculty and students. These events could be academic in nature, such as brown bags, colloquia, and workshops, or more socially oriented events like pot lucks, movie nights, and picnics. To establish a collegial atmosphere it is helpful to designate a space, such as a lounge. Many departments also use this space to host social events to which graduate students, faculty, staff, and families are invited. Provide peer mentoring opportunities. In order to ease the transition to graduate student life, pair first-year graduate students with more advanced students who share similar interests. Peer mentors can familiarize incoming students with departmental culture, strategies for success in the first year, and resources at the University and in the local community. Support professional socialization. Departments can make it easier for mentors to nurture the pro- fessional development of their graduate students by instituting certain policies and programs. For instance, a number of departments invite student participation on departmental committees, includ- ing those focusing on hiring and/or admissions. Some departments offer a special course for their graduate students who are working as graduate student instructors (GSI). Departments can require 16each student to make a presentation at a seminar or brown bag, with one or two faculty assigned to provide a critique. Graduate programs can encourage students to present their work at professional meetings. Promote successful mentoring practices. Some departments have found it useful to hold annual seminars that update faculty on the latest employment trends and internship opportunities, as well as issues such as appropriate faculty-student relations, professional standards, research responsibility, and balancing career and personal life. New faculty often benefit from formal guidance in mentor- ing, which can include briefings, workshops, the assignment of senior mentors, and information about campus resources. Reward effective mentoring. Mentoring performance and outcomes are worthy of inclusion in fac- ulty evaluation for salary and promotion. An additional means for rewarding mentoring is to factor in teaching credits for faculty who assume heavy mentoring responsibilities. Another way of honor- ing good mentors is through public recognition. Remember to nominate your faculty for school and college awards, and for Rackham’s Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award. Chapter 8: Mentoring in a Diverse Community The conventional categorization of students as traditional and non-traditional has outlived its use- fulness. Graduate education is continually evolving: content and practices have changed over the decades and so have the students. If we put women, students from historically underrepresented groups, international students, LGBT students, students with disabilities, and students with children all in one category, it would constitute the majority of graduate students in the U.S. The diversity of those in graduate education has forced us to consider what is worth preserving and transmitting, and what is rooted in assumptions about homogeneity and should be adapted or discarded. Research on the role that social identity plays in an individual’s ability to succeed in graduate school indicates that there are issues that call for attention and thoughtfulness on the part of their mentors. Consider how the following might pertain to your mentoring of current and future students. Need for Role Models. Students from historically underrepresented or marginalized groups have a harder time finding faculty role models who might have had experiences similar to their own. If the faculty and graduate students in your department are ostensibly homogenous, become more involved in efforts to identify and recruit new faculty and graduate students who represent diverse back- grounds. At the same time, never forget that you can provide excellent mentoring to students whose backgrounds are different from your own. Questioning the Canons. Students from underrepresented or marginalized groups, particularly those in the social sciences and humanities, sometimes find that their research interests do not fit into the current academic canons. Some fear that when they select research questions focusing on 17race, gender or sexual orientation, faculty will deem their work irrelevant, and others will see Promising Practices: them as being only interested in these topics for Ecology and the rest of their professional careers. More com- monly, they find that their experiences are miss- Evolutionary Biology ing from current theory and research. Be open to hearing students’ experiences and perspectives. Ask where a student’s research interests lie rather than The Big Sibs Mentoring Program is making assumptions about them based on the stu- meant to provide a comfortable, in- dent’s personal characteristics or past work. Think formal way for first year students (aka about the ways that race, gender, sexual orienta- Little Sibs) to learn about the culture tion, ethnicity, and other characteristics help to ex- of graduate school, our department, pand the types of questions that are asked in your and how to excel at the University discipline and the approaches used for answering of Michigan. A panel of older grad them. Direct them to the many interdisciplinary students (typically 3rd and 4th year programs and research centers across campus that students) meets regularly with the may provide them with a community of scholars new cohort to answer questions and whose interests intersect with their own. help ease the transition into graduate school. In the past we found that few Feelings of Isolation. Students from historically Big Sib-Little Sib pairs worked out; underrepresented groups and international stu- the pairings were arbitrary, rather than dents can feel particularly isolated or alienated natural pairings based on mutual com- from other students in their departments, espe- patibility. By moving to group discus- cially if the composition of the current program sion between the incoming students is homogenous. Be aware of students who seem and a panel of more seasoned students, to be finding it particularly difficult to take active new students are introduced to a roles in academic or social settings and take the broad cross-section of the department; initiative to include them. Ask them about their hopefully among these students is research interests, hobbies and activities outside someone each new student would feel of their program. Introduce your student to other comfortable talking to one-on-one. students and faculty with complementary inter- ests. Remind students of the wealth of organiza- tions within or outside the University that might provide them with a sense of community. Burden of Being a Spokesperson. Students from underrepresented groups often expend a lot of time and energy speaking up when issues such as race, class, gender, ability status or sexual orientation arise – or are being ignored. Instead of assuming that certain experiences are the norm, question whether race, gender, or other characteristics provide different perspectives from those being expressed. Avoid calling on male or female, black or white, old or young graduate students to be spokespersons for their gender or race or age group. While their perspective is wanted, allow them to offer it freely and remember that it is the individual’s view. Concern about speaking up in class. Certain conditions may be greater obstacles for some students than for others. For example, research has shown that an overly competitive and critical atmosphere 18in graduate programs can alienate women and minority students, who lament that the system does not reward praising the contributions of other scholars. Stay attuned to what’s happening in class. Try to change the tenor of discussions when they become overly critical. Set ground rules with your students for group discussions in your courses or labs, and explain how your expectations for partici- pation will advance students’ learning goals. Experiment with ways of preventing a few students from dominating your seminars. Suffering from stereotypes. Few of us go through life without suffering the experience of others’ assumptions and it still is challenging to displace that nineteenth-century gentleman scholar as the typical graduate student. While each identity group may face different issues and experiences, all students from that group will not share the same thoughts and perspectives. Social class, geographic origin, economic status, health and a wealth of other factors also play an important role in shaping behaviors and attitudes. Recognizing each student’s unique strengths and scholarly promise will go far to eliminate stereotypes. Student Perspective He understands family and a 7-4 schedule. He understands and is willing to talk about female issues and is completely supportive... advising me of who to be careful of because they are judg- mental towards women, etc. I value that my mentors recognize that this is my graduate school experience. My mentors provide me with guidance and also allow me to make my own decisions. I also value that my mentors see me as a whole person. My personal and professional lives are interconnected and my mentors respect me beyond the work I do on a Friday afternoon. Chapter 9: In Conclusion Effective mentoring is good for mentors, good for students, and good for the discipline. You’re prob- ably already doing much of what’s been discussed in the preceding sections: supporting your students in their challenges as well as their successes, assisting their navigation of the unfamiliar waters of a doctoral program, and providing a model of commitment, productivity and professional responsibil- ity. In most cases, the system works well: students make informed choices regarding faculty with whom they work; faculty serve as effective mentors and foster the learning and professional development of graduate students. During the graduate experience, students are then guided toward becoming independent creators of knowledge or users of research, prepared to be colleagues with their mentors as they complete the degree program and move on to the next phase of professional life. 19In order to learn more about mentoring resources at the University of Michigan, and in particular about the Graduate School initiative, Mentoring Others Results in Excellence (MORE), contact gradstudentsuccess@umich.edu. We’ve also included a few suggestions for further reading if you’d like to explore some of the topics raised in this guide, sample forms in the appendix, and a list of related resources at the University of Michigan useful for those who work with graduate students in any capacity. Student Perspective They treat me with respect. I understand my position as a graduate student working for accomplished individuals, yet they treat me with the respect I deserve as well. That is invaluable. Further Reading Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Graduate, Research, Education, and Teaching. (2006). Compact between postdoctoral appointees and their mentors. Retrieved January 7, 2009, from www.aamc.org/postdoccompact Council of Graduate Schools. (1990). Research student and supervisor: An approach to good supervisory practice. Washington, DC: Author. Crutcher, B. N. (2007). Mentoring across cultures. Academe Online. Retrieved September 5, 2008 from www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2007/JA/Feat/crut.htm Hesli, V., Fink, E., Duffy, D. (2003, July). Mentoring in a positive graduate student experience: Sur- vey results from the Midwest region, Part I. PS: Political Science and Politics, 36(3), 457-460. King, M. F. (2003). On the right track : A manual for research mentors. Washington, DC: Council of Graduate Schools. Lee, A., Dennis, C., & Campbell, P. (2007). Nature’s guide for mentors. Nature, 447, 791-797. Murrell, A. J., Crosby, F. J., & Ely, R. (Eds.). (1999). Mentoring dilemmas: Developmental relation- ships within multicultural organizations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. (1997). Adviser, teacher, role model, friend: On being a mentor to students in science and engineering. Washing- ton, DC: National Academy Press. 20Nettles, M. T., & Millett, C. M. (2006). Three magic letters: Getting to Ph.D. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Paglis, L. L., Green, S. G. & Bauer, T. N. (2006, June). Does adviser mentoring add value? A lon- gitudinal study of mentoring and doctoral student outcomes. Research in Higher Education, 47(4), 451-476. Rose, G. L. (2005, February). Group differences in graduate students’ concepts of the ideal mentor. Research in Higher Education, 46(1), 53 -80. Tenenbaum, H. R., Crosby, F. J., & Gliner, M. D. (2001). Mentoring relationships in graduate school. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 59, 326-341. 21Resources at the University of Michigan Research, Writing, And Teaching GroundWorks Media Conversion Lab GroundWorks is a facility supporting the The Center for Research on Learning and production, conversion, and editing of digital Teaching (CRLT) and analog media using high-end Macintosh CRLT works with U-M faculty, graduate and Windows computers equipped with CD-R students, and administrators to support differ- drives, flatbed scanners, slide scanners, slide film ent types of teaching, learning, and evaluation; exposers, and video & audio equipment. including multicultural teaching, technology in Room 1315 Duderstadt Center teaching, evaluation, and workshops, and teach- 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard ing grants. Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2094 1071 Palmer Commons Phone: (734) 647-5739 100 Washtenaw Avenue E-mail: groundworks@umich.edu Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2218 http://www.lib.umich.edu/groundworks Phone: (734) 764-0505 E-mail: crlt@umich.edu Duderstadt Center http://www.crlt.umich.edu The Duderstadt Center is the library and media center on North Campus. The center houses Sweetland Writing Center computer labs, meeting space, the Art, Archi- Sweetland offers writing assistance with course tecture, and Engineering Library, the College papers and dissertations to undergraduate and of Engineering Computer Aided Engineering graduate students in the form of peer tutoring, Network (CAEN), the Digital Media Commons appointments with Sweetland faculty, work- (GroundWorks), the Millennium Project, and shops, and additional resources. Mujo Café. 1310 North Quad 2281 Bonisteel Boulevard 105 South State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2094 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285 Phone: (734) 763-3266 Phone: (734) 764-0429 http://www.dc.umich.edu/ E-mail: swcinfo@umich.edu http://www.lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/ Center for Statistical Consultation and Research (CSCAR) Knowledge Navigation Center (KNC) CSCAR is a research unit that provides statisti- The KNC provides workshops as well as one-on- cal assistance to faculty, primary researchers, one consultation over the phone, in person, or graduate students and staff of the University. over e-mail, on technology use related to re- 3550 Rackham Building (3rd Floor) search and writing (i.e. managing bibliographies 915 East Washington Street with RefWorks and EndNote, using Microsoft Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070 Word for your dissertation, etc.). Phone: (734) 764-STAT (7828) 2nd Floor Hatcher Graduate Library E-mail: cscar@umich.edu 920 North University Avenue http://cscar.research.umich.edu Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1205 Phone: (734) 647-5836 E-mail: knc-info@umich.edu http://www.lib.umich.edu/knowledge- navigation-center 22English Language Institute (ELI) science, technology, engineering and mathemat- The English Language Institute offers courses ics (STEM) as they pursue their degrees, and for nonnative speakers of English enrolled at, to enhance their preparation for faculty posi- and visiting, the University of Michigan. ELI tions in academia. Participating students receive also features instructional programs, courses, professional development opportunities and workshops for graduate student instructors mentoring. (GSIs), ESL clinics, and intensive English sum- Office of Graduate Student Success mer programs. Rackham Graduate School 555 S. Forest Avenue 915 East Washington Street Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2584 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070 Phone: (734) 764-2413 Phone: (734) 647-5767 E-mail: eli-information@umich.edu E-mail: mich-agep@umich.edu http://www.lsa.umich.edu/eli http://www.rackham.umich.edu/current-stu- dents/graduate-student-success/um-agep The Career Center The Career Center supports students and faculty Support Organizations and Services with exploring and pursuing their career and educational goals by assisting with internship Center for the Education of Women (CEW) searches, applying to graduate school, looking Available to men and women, CEW has profes- for a full time job, providing career counseling, sional counselors who help individuals explore and leading workshops. their educational and career goals. CEW offers 515 East Jefferson Street grants, free and low cost workshops, post-docs, 3200 Student Activities Building and other services to students, faculty, staff and Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316 community members whereby they advocate for Phone: (734) 764-7460 women in higher education and in the work- E-mail: careercenter@umich.edu place. http://www.careercenter.umich.edu/ 330 East Liberty Street Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Rackham’s Dissertation Resources Phone: (734) 764-6005 This website provides a list of resources at the E-mail: contactcew@umich.edu University of Michigan that can be helpful as http://www.cew.umich.edu/ students navigate their dissertation process. http://www.rackham.umich.edu/current- Institute for Research on Women and Gender students/dissertation/the-dissertation (IRWG) The Institute for Research on Women and Rackham Workshops Gender coordinates existing research activities This site lists the workshops the Rackham by bringing together scholars across campus Graduate School offers throughout the year. who have related interests in women and gender http://www.rackham.umich.edu/events studies. IRWG also provides seed money for new research projects, sponsors public events, Alliance for Graduate Education and the and supports research by graduate students. Professoriate (AGEP) AGEP is a program funded by the National Sci- ence Foundation to advance underrepresented minority graduate students in the fields of 23The Institute for Research on Women James Edward Knox Center Adaptive and Gender Technology Computing Site 1136 Lane Hall Shapiro Undergraduate Library, Room 1128 204 South State Street 919 South University Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1290 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1185 Phone: (734) 764-9537 Phone: (734) 647-6437 E-mail: irwg@umich.edu E-mail: sites.atcs@umich.edu http://irwg.research.umich.edu/ http://www.itcs.umich.edu/atcs/ International Center Spectrum Center The U-M International Center provides a vari- The Spectrum Center provides a comprehensive ety of services to assist international students, range of education, information and advocacy scholars, faculty and staff at the University of services working to create and maintain an Michigan, as well as U-M American students open, safe and inclusive environment for les- seeking opportunities to study, work, or travel bian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and similarly- abroad. identified students, faculty, and staff, their 1500 Student Activities Building families and friends, and the campus commu- 515 E. Jefferson Street nity at large. Ann Arbor MI 48109-1316 3200 Michigan Union Phone: (734) 764-9310 530 South State Street E-mail: icenter@umich.edu Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1308 http://www.internationalcenter.umich.edu/ Phone: (734) 763-4186 E-mail: spectrumcenter@umich.edu Services for Students with Disabilities Office http://spectrumcenter.umich.edu/ (SSD) SSD Office provides campus and external LambdaGrads resources as well as assistance for students with LambdaGrads is the organization for Lesbian, physical and mental health conditions in a pri- Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) gradu- vate and confidential manner. ate and professional students at the University G-664 Haven Hall of Michigan that provides a safe, fun and open 505 South State Street environment for queer grad students to socialize Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1045 and build community across academic disci- Phone: (734) 763-3000 plines. E-mail: sswdoffice@umich.edu E-mail: lambdagrads@umich.edu. http://ssd.umich.edu/ The OUTlist The Adaptive Technology Computer Site The OUTlist seeks to foster professional rela- (ATCS) tionships and mentoring opportunities through ATCS is an ergo-assistive work-study comput- engaging LGBTQ faculty, staff, students, and ing environment open to U-M students, faculty alumni in the creation on online searchable and staff. The site is designed to accommodate profiles. It is a database where University com- the information technology needs of physically, munity members can connect with one another visually, learning, and ergonomically impaired and where individuals new to the community individuals and a personal assistant or canine can look to for resources. companion. https://spectrumcenter.umich.edu/outlist/ 24Student Legal Services Multi Ethnic Student Affairs Office Student Legal Services (SLS) is a free full-service 2202 Michigan Union law office available to currently enrolled stu- 530 South State Street dents at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1308 campus. Phone: (734) 763-9044 Division of Student Affairs http://mesa.umich.edu/ 715 N. University, Ste. 202 and Ann Arbor 48104-1605 William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center Phone: (734) 763-9920 1443 Washtenaw Avenue http://studentlegalservices.umich.edu/ Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Phone: (734) 763-3670 Veterans Affairs: Transcripts and Certification https://trotter.umich.edu/ Michelle Henderson in the Transcripts and Cer- tification Office assists students who are veterans Graduate School Dispute Resolution and with certification, paperwork, transcripts, veter- Academic Integrity Procedures ans’ benefits, and other administrative needs. This office offers formal and informal dispute 1210 LSA/Veterans resolution services, provides resources and 500 South State Street referrals, and can offer alternative resolutions Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382 in consultation with other offices as appropri- Michelle Henderson ate. Students can expect confidentiality in a safe Phone: (734) 763-9066 environment. Rackham Ombuds Veterans Affairs: Office of New Student 1120 Rackham Building Programs 915 E. Washington St. Phillip Larson in the Office of New Student Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070 Programs assists U-M students who are veterans Phone: (734) 615-3682 with their overall acclimation and adjustment E-mail: rayj@umich.edu to being a student at the University of Michigan http://www.rackham.umich.edu/current- (i.e. course work, finding housing, social net- students/policies works, etc.). Office of New Student Programs Health and Wellness 1100 LSA 500 Soth State Street Counseling and Psychological Services Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382 (CAPS) Phillip Larson CAPS provides services that are designed to Phone: (734) 764-6413 help students reach a balanced university experi- ence, ranging from various counseling services, Multi Ethnic Student Affairs Office (MESA) educational and preventive initiatives, training & William Monroe Trotter Multicultural programs, outreach and consultation activities, Center and guidance on how to fully contribute to a The Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs caring healthy community. and the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural 3100 Michigan Union Center work in conjunction with one another 530 South State Street to provide workshops and programs that foster Ann Arbor, MI 48109 learning, and cross-cultural competencies that Phone: (734) 764-8312 represent an array of ethnic backgrounds. E-mail: tdsevig@umich.edu http://caps.umich.edu/ 25U-M Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) SafeHouse Center Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) provides SAFE House provides free and confidential emergency/urgent walk-in evaluation and crisis services for any victim of domestic violence phone services available 24 hours a day, 7 days that lives or works in Washtenaw County. Their a week, for people of all ages. The following programs include counseling, court accompa- services are provided: psychiatric evaluation, niment, information and referrals, emergency treatment recommendations; crisis intervention; shelter, and personal advocacy. screening for inpatient psychiatric hospitaliza- 4100 Clark Road tion and mental health and substance abuse Ann Arbor, MI 48105 treatment referral information. Crisis Line: (734) 995-5444 (24 hours /7 days) University Hospital: Emercency Business Line: (734) 973-0242 1500 East Medical Center Drive http://www.safehousecenter.org/ Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5020 Phone: (734) 996-4747 Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Crisis phone service: 734-936-5900 Center (SAPAC) http://www.psych.med.umich.edu/patient- SAPAC provides educational and supportive care/psychiatric-emergency-service/ services for the University of Michigan commu- nity related to sexual assault, dating and domes- Psychological Clinic tic violence, sexual harassment, and stalking. The U-M Psychological Clinic provides psycho- North Quad, 2450 logical care including consultation, short-term 105 South State St. and long-term therapy for individual adults and Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1308 couples, for students and residents of Ann Arbor Office Phone: (734) 764-7771 and neighboring communities. Services and fees 24-hour Crisis Line: (734) 936-3333 are on a sliding scale according to income and E-mail: sapac@umich.edu financial circumstances, and the clinic accepts http://sapac.umich.edu many insurance plans. 500 East Washington, Ste 100 Ann Arbor , MI 48104 Family and Community Phone: (734) 764-3471 E-mail: clinicinfo@umich.edu The Guide to Campus and Community for http://mari.umich.edu/adult-psychological- Graduate and Professional Students clinic This online guide provides web links and infor- mation to students about numerous resources at University Health Service (UHS) the University of Michigan and in Ann Arbor. UHS is a health care clinic available to U-M http://www.rackham.umich.edu/grad-life students, faculty, staff and others affiliated with U-M that meets most health care needs. For stu- Students with Children dents who are enrolled for the current semester This website is dedicated to the needs of stu- on the Ann Arbor campus most UHS services dents at the University of Michigan who juggle are covered by tuition. parenting, study and work. This site is described 207 Fletcher Street as a “one-stop shop for all your parenting Ann Arbor MI 48109-1050 needs.” Phone: (734) 764-8320 http://www.studentswithchildren.umich.edu/ E-mail: ContactUHS@umich.edu http://www.uhs.umich.edu/ 26Work/Life Resource Center Housing Information Office The Work/Life Resource Center is a starting The Housing Information Office handles all point for U-M staff, faculty, and students as residence halls and Northwood housing place- they begin to investigate resources for eldercare, ments, provides counseling and mediation childcare, and other tools for work/life balance, services for off-campus housing, and special ser- such as flexible scheduling and child care leaves vices for students with disabilities, international of absence. students, and families. 2072 Administrative Services 1011 Student Activities Building 1009 Greene Street 515 East Jefferson Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1432 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316 Phone: 734-936-8677 Phone: (734) 763-3164 TTY: 734-647-1388 E-mail: housing@umich.edu E-mail: worklife@umich.edu http://www.housing.umich.edu/ http://www.hr.umich.edu/worklife/ Off-Campus Housing Resources University Center for the Child and the This program provides housing resources specifi- Family (UCCF) cally related to living off campus. UCCF offers a wide variety of family-oriented Phone: (734) 763-3205 services to enhance the psychological adjustment https://offcampushousing.umich.edu/ of children, families, and couples. Services are offered on a sliding-fee scale and include indi- vidual and group psychotherapy for children, families, and couples, parent guidance, coping with divorce groups for parents and children, and social skills groups for children. 500 E. Washington St., Suite 100 Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Phone: (734) 764-9466 http://mari.umich.edu/university-center-child- family Child Care Subsidy Program The Child Care Subsidy Program provides funds to students with children to assist in meeting the cost of licensed child care. Office of Financial Aid 2500 Student Activities Building 515 East Jefferson Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316 Phone: (734) 763-6600 E-mail: financial.aid@umich.edu http://www.finaid.umich.edu/Home/HowtoAp- plyforAid/StudentswithChildCareExpenses.aspx 27Appendix: Samples of Tools Used by Rackham Degree Programs Michigan Graduate Student Mentoring Plans, Rackham Graduate School Student Information Form, Department of Psychology Summary Report on Laboratory Thesis Progress, Immunology Mentoring Report, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures Procedure for Selection of Research Supervisor, Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program, Academic Progress Report, Women’s Studies and Sociology Doctoral Program 28Michigan Graduate Student Mentoring Plans An early dialogue on the advising and mentoring relationship between faculty advisors and their graduate students or postdoctoral scholars can be an essential tool for setting up expectations for the mentoring relationship. The attached information and sample mentoring agreement offer tools for students and faculty mentors to use in defining those expectations. It is assumed that these mentoring plans can to be modified in whatever way the individual program and advisor/advisee pair think is most appropriate to their intended relationship. These plans are not intended to serve as any kind of legal document, but rather as an agreement in principle as to the training goals of the advisor and advisee, after discussion between the two. The attached document is based on a sample published by the Graduate Research, Education and Training (GREAT) group of the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC). Departments and Programs may wish to use it to create a customized mentoring plan that sets up a statement of principles governing student/faculty mentor relationships, and to be used at the time a student com- mits to working with a primary faculty mentor. Tenets of Predoctoral Training Institutional Commitment Institutions that train graduate students must be committed to establishing and maintaining high- quality training programs with the highest academic and ethical standards. Institutions should work to ensure that students who complete their programs are well-trained and possess the foundational skills and values that will allow them to mature into independent academic professionals of integ- rity. Institutions should provide oversight for the length of study, program integrity, stipend levels, benefits, grievance procedures, and other matters relevant to the education of graduate students. Ad- ditionally, they should recognize and reward their graduate training faculty. Program Commitment Graduate programs should endeavor to establish graduate training programs that provide students with the skills necessary to function independently in an academic or other research setting by the time they graduate. Programs should strive to maintain academically relevant course offerings and re- search opportunities. Programs should establish clear parameters for outcomes assessment and closely monitor the progress of graduate students during their course of study. Quality Mentoring Effective mentoring is crucial for graduate school trainees as they begin their academic careers. Faculty mentors must commit to dedicating substantial time to graduate students to ensure their academic, professional and personal development. A relationship of mutual trust and respect should be established between mentors and graduate students to foster healthy interactions and encour- 29age individual growth. Effective mentoring should include teaching research methods, providing regular feedback that recognizes contributions and insights and offers constructive criticism, teach- ing the “ways” of the academic research and teaching enterprise, and promoting students’ careers by providing appropriate opportunities. Additionally, good graduate school mentors should be careful listeners, actively promote and appreciate diversity, possess and consistently exemplify high ethical standards, recognize the contributions of students in publications and intellectual property, and have a strong record of research accomplishments. Provide Skills Sets and Counseling that Support a Broad Range of Career Choices The institution, training programs, and mentor should provide training relevant to academic and other research and policy careers that will allow their graduate students to appreciate, navigate, discuss, and develop their career choices. Effective and regular career guidance activities should be provided, including exposure to academic and non-academic career options. Commitments of Graduate Students • I acknowledge that I have the primary responsibility for the successful completion of my degree. I will be committed to my graduate education and will demonstrate this by my ef- forts in the classroom and in research settings. I will maintain a high level of professionalism, self-motivation, engagement, curiosity, and ethical standards. • I will meet regularly with my research advisor and provide him/her with updates on the progress and results of my activities and experiments. • I will work with my research advisor to develop a thesis/dissertation project. This will include establishing a timeline for each phase of my work. I will strive to meet the established deadlines. • I will work with my research advisor to select a thesis/dissertation committee. I will commit to meeting with this committee at least annually (or more frequently, according to program guidelines). I will be responsive to the advice of and constructive criticism from my committee. • I will be knowledgeable of the policies and requirements of my graduate program, graduate school, and institution. I will commit to meeting these requirements, including teaching responsibilities. • I will attend and participate in relevant group meetings and seminars that are part of my educational program. • I will comply with all institutional policies, including academic program milestones. I will comply with both the letter and spirit of all institutional research policies (e.g., safe labo- ratory practices and policies regarding animal-use and human-research) at my institution. 30 • I will participate in my institution’s Responsible Conduct of Research Training Program and practice those guidelines in conducting my thesis/dissertation research. • I will be a good research citizen. I will agree to take part in relevant shared research group responsibilities and will use research resources carefully and frugally. I will be attentive to is- sues of safety and courtesy, and will be respectful of, tolerant of, and work collegially with all research personnel. • For use in relevant fields: I will maintain a detailed, organized, and accurate records of my research, as directed by my advisor. I am aware that my original notes and all tangible research data are the property of my institution but that I am able to take a copy of my note- books with me after I complete my thesis/dissertation. • I will discuss policies on work hours, sick leave and vacation with my research advisor. I will consult with my advisor and notify any fellow research group members in advance of any planned absences. • I will discuss policies on authorship and attendance at professional meetings with my research advisor. I will work with my advisor to submit all relevant research results that are ready for publication in a timely manner. • I acknowledge that it is primarily my responsibility to develop my career following the completion of my doctoral degree. I will seek guidance from my research advisor, career counseling services, thesis/dissertation committee, other mentors, and any other resources available for advice on career plans. Commitments of Research Advisors • I will be committed to mentoring the graduate student. I will be committed to the educa- tion and training of the graduate student as a future member of the scholarly community. • I will be committed to the research project of the graduate student. I will help to plan and direct the graduate student’s project, set reasonable and attainable goals, and establish a timeline for completion of the project. I recognize the possibility of conflicts between the interests of my own larger research program and the particular research goals of the graduate student, and will not let my larger goals interfere with the student’s pursuit of his/her thesis/ dissertation research. • I will be committed to meeting with the student on a regular basis. • I will be committed to providing resources for the graduate student as appropriate or according to my institution’s guidelines, in order for him/her to conduct thesis/disserta- tion research. 31 • I will be knowledgeable of, and guide the graduate student through, the requirements and deadlines of his/her graduate program as well as those of the institution, including teaching requirements and human resources guidelines. • I will help the graduate student select a thesis/dissertation committee. I will help assure that this committee meets at least annually (or more frequently, according to program guide- lines) to review the graduate student’s progress. • I will lead by example and facilitate the training of the graduate student in comple- mentary skills needed to be a successful researcher; these may include oral and written communication skills, grant writing, lab management, animal and human research poli- cies, the ethical conduct of research, and scientific professionalism. I will encourage the student to seek additional opportunities in career development training. • I will expect the graduate student to share common research responsibilities in my re- search group and to utilize resources carefully and frugally. • I will discuss authorship policies regarding papers with the graduate student. I will ac- knowledge the graduate student’s contributions to projects beyond his or her own, and I will work with the graduate student to publish his/her work in a timely manner. • I will discuss intellectual policy issues with the student with regard to disclosure, patent rights and publishing research discoveries, when they are appropriate. • I will encourage the graduate student to attend professional meetings and make an ef- fort to help him/her secure funding for such activities. • I will provide career advice and assist in finding a position for the graduate student fol - lowing his/her graduation. I will provide honest letters of recommendation for his/her next phase of professional development. I will also be accessible to give advice and feedback on career goals. • I will try to provide for every graduate student under my supervision an environment that is intellectually stimulating, emotionally supportive, safe, and free of harassment. • Throughout the graduate student’s time in graduate school, I will be supportive, equita- ble, accessible, encouraging, and respectful. I will foster the graduate student’s professional confidence and encourage critical thinking, skepticism and creativity. 32
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