Berkeley has long encouraged high standards for faculty mentoring their students and teaching graduate students to become effective mentors. Our graduate programs promote excellence in mentoring — but what exactly is it, and how do we foster it?
Mentoring can take many forms, and a given individual may have several very different mentors. Mentors may be advisors who share their career experience; supporters who give emotional and moral encouragement; tutors who offer apprenticeship and feedback on one’s performance; sponsors who impart information and aid in obtaining opportunities; or models of identity.
Just before this issue of GradNews went to press, the 2018 Graduate Mentoring Awards celebration — in its 12th year co-sponsored by the Graduate Division, the Academic Senate’s Graduate Council, and the Graduate Assembly — honored five faculty from various fields for their outstanding commitment to mentoring and supporting graduate students. Our next issue will report more on these inspiring mentors.
Adding another dimension to campus efforts, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos is an enthusiastic partner in seeking to highlight best practices and challenges in effective mentorship within specific research disciplines. On March 14 a discussion on Mentorship in the Life Sciences brought together faculty and graduate students to consider how best to educate and train the next generation of life science researchers. On April 23, a Mentorship in the Social Sciences event will explore similar topics suggested by participants.
We expect these discipline-focused fora to continue alongside other well-established mentoring initiatives. For more information, check out this link to resources on mentoring and the Professional Development website.
With warm regards,
Fiona M. Doyle
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies
and Dean of the Graduate Division