Mentoring Programs: Graduate Students as Mentors

Alexandria Niebergall and Lindsey Dougherty, the SMART Disco Clam Team
Alexandria Niebergall and Lindsey Dougherty, the SMART Disco Clam Team

The Graduate Division partners with campus departments to sponsor and support innovative mentoring programs for graduate and undergraduate students. We raise awareness of the key importance of mentoring by acknowledging and awarding best practices in mentoring by and for graduate students and faculty.

Student Mentoring & Research Teams (SMART)

Unique to Berkeley, the SMART (Student Mentoring and Research Teams) program engages doctoral students in creating mentored research opportunities for undergraduate students. The program is designed to broaden the professional development of doctoral candidates while fostering research skills and opening paths to advanced studies for undergraduates. Graduate student mentors and undergraduate student mentees receive stipends for their research efforts.

Getting into Graduate School (GiGS)

Getting into Grad School (GiGS) is a collaborative partnership between the Office of Graduate Diversity and the Graduate Assembly (GA). Its goal is to prepare undergraduate UC Berkeley students to select, apply to, and enroll in graduate school. By working with key staff and graduate student mentors, motivated undergraduates are inspired to pursue academic careers as they acquire a better understanding of how to succeed in the graduate school application process.

Berkeley Connect

Undergraduates at Berkeley increasingly wish for a more intimate and supportive academic experience, one in which they can be part of an intellectual community comprising faculty, graduate students, their fellow undergraduates, and alumni/ae.

Berkeley Connect provides this experience by placing participants in small discussion groups assigned to a graduate mentor, who is responsible for group meetings and one-on-one advising. The program includes informal lectures by professors, visits to Berkeley resources, panel discussions of career opportunities and graduate school, and social events in which professors, graduate students, and undergraduates can talk informally about intellectual issues.


Mentoring Course

Graduate Student Professional Development Program (GSPDP) 301, Spring 2017

This seminar will introduce graduate students to the role of mentoring in U.S. higher education and help guide graduate students as they mentor undergraduates at Berkeley, work in the context of a mentoring relationship with their graduate advisers, and prepare for the mentoring they will do in future academic and nonacademic careers. The course will consist of readings, in-class discussion, short assignments, and an applied component of mentoring.


Mentoring Awards

Carol D. Soc Award winner, Linda Williams (Film and Media Studies and Rhetoric) gathers with her graduate students at the Graduate Mentoring Award Ceremony 2014.
Carol D. Soc Award winner, Linda Williams (Film and Media Studies and Rhetoric) gathers with her graduate students at the Graduate Mentoring Award Ceremony 2014.

Every year, the Graduate Division, the Graduate Assembly, the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs, and the GSI Teaching and Resource Center call campus-wide attention to exemplary mentoring provided by faculty members to their graduate students.

Winners of these awards are honored annually at an awards ceremony jointly sponsored by the Graduate Assembly and the Graduate Division.

Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Awards

The Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Awards, established in 2007, recognize UC Berkeley faculty for their vital role in mentoring graduate students and training future faculty. Funded by the Graduate Division, these awards seek to foster the qualities of excellence in mentorship that are so important to the Berkeley community.

Faculty Mentor Awards

The UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly Faculty Mentor Award (FMA), now in its tenth year, honors members of the Berkeley faculty and teaching staff who have shown an outstanding commitment to mentoring, advising, and supporting graduate students. Three awards are presented every year, with one award reserved for a faculty member or teaching staff from a professional degree program.

Faculty Awards for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs

The Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs and the Graduate Division’s GSI Teaching and Resource Center sponsor an annual Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs. This award recognizes faculty (both Senate and non-Senate) who have provided outstanding mentorship to GSIs in their teaching at Berkeley and in preparation for future teaching careers.