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UMass Sesquicentennial
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Overview    |    Mentoring Grants    |    Mentoring Exemplars    |    Mentoring Resources
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Micro Grants 2008 - 2009

Brent Auerbach, Assistant Professor of Music and Dance
To build a national network of senior and near-peer mentors active in the field of Brahms scholarship, Dr. Auerbach attended a joint meeting of the American Musicological Society (AMS) and the Society for Music Theory (SMT) in Nashville, Tennessee. At the meeting, Auerbach served on a panel in his area of research and gained valuable exposure to the editors of the Brahms Studies journal.

Enobong Hannah Branch, Assistant Professor of Sociology
As part of her grant, Dr. Branch participated in the Sociological Professional Delegation to South Africa to build substantive relationships with South African and American scholars researching contemporary race, ethnicity, class, and gender structures in South Africa. By enlarging her network of external senior mentors, Dr. Branch was able to make progress on a new cross-national research project.

Tanya Fernando, Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Fernando used her grant in the summer and fall of 2008 to hire a professional writing coach to edit her manuscripts as well as to provide mentorship on how best to balance teaching, research and scholarly writing. As a result of her external mentoring partnership, Dr. Fernando made significant progress on a book proposal and chapter about the Modernist use of the aesthetic of “shock” and its connections to theories of race and sexuality.

Mila Getmansky Sherman, Assistant Professor of Finance and Operations Management
To provide more networking opportunities to women in her field of study, Dr. Getmansky Sherman helped found and organize the Early Career Women in Finance Mini-Conference. As part of the conference, pre-tenure women in finance shared and received feedback on recently-completed manuscripts and developed important external peer mentoring relationships.

Dayo Gore, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies
Dr. Gore used her grant to arrange formal mentoring meetings with Dr. Komozi Woodward, a Professor of American History and Africana Studies at Sarah Lawrence College, and Dr. Jeanne Theoharis, the Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College-CUNY, both of whom serve as reviewers for important journals in Dr. Gore’s field. In addition, Dr. Gore participated, along with Dr. Theoharis, in a roundtable on women and gender in post-1945 U.S. History at the 14th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women.

Haivan Hoang, Assistant Professor of English
To foster a community of scholars interested with Asian/Asian American concerns in the field of rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies, Dr. Hoang co-designed and launched a website for the Asian/Asian American Caucus, which is part of the National Council of Teachers of English. As part of the grant project, Dr. Hoang fostered conversations among senior and junior colleagues in her field of study, enriched her knowledge of scholarly resources, and developed her leadership within her community of scholars.

Fidan Kurtulus, Assistant Professor of Economics
Dr. Kurtulus used her grant to expand her professional network by attending three major research conferences: the Western Economics Association Conference, the American Economics Association Conference, and the Annual Meetings of the Society of Labor Economists. At these conferences Dr. Kurtulus received constructive feedback in preparation for publication of her research, met with near-peers at other institutions, and identified senior mentors who could serve as outside reviewers for her tenure evaluation.

Young Min Moon, Assistant Professor of Art, Architecture & Art History
Dr. Moon used his grant to invite distinguished inter-disciplinary artist/curator Yong Soon Min, a Professor of Art at the University of California Irvine, to the University of Massachusetts. As part of her visit, which coincided with the installation of her work at the Smith College Museum of Art, Min met with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty and discussed the curatorial practice and interdisciplinary career possibilities with Professor Moon.

Melissa Mueller & Janine Solberg, Assistant Professors of Classics & English
As part of their shared Micro-Grant, Professors Mueller and Solberg formed a near-peer scholarly writing workgroup, met twice monthly to critique drafts of each other’s writing, and hired a professional writing coach and editor to help them complete their book manuscripts and draft chapters, respectively.

Christine Rogers, Assistant Professor of Public Health
To build Mutual Mentoring connections with other environmental professionals in the state, Dr. Rogers joined the Society of Women Environmental Professionals (SWEP) and hosted a SWEP meeting at the University of Massachusetts. In addition, to develop a stronger research connection with environmental epidemiologists, Dr. Rogers attended the annual meeting of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiologists in Pasadena, California.

Jonathan Skolnik, Assistant Professor of German and Scandinavian Studies
Dr. Skolnik used his grant to build interdisciplinary mentoring relationships that support his recent research into how German Jewish exiles and African Americans in Hollywood during the Hays Code era dealt with racism and segregation. To do so, Dr. Skolnik consulted with noted scholars in his field during trips to Yale University, the German Studies Association Meeting, and the Association for Jewish Studies Conference.

Lianhong Sun, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
To strengthen his pedagogical skills and build a network of support from senior faculty, Dr. Sun paired with his department chair and instructors both at the University of Massachusetts and at other institutions and participated in range of mutual mentoring activities. As part of his grant Dr. Sun co-taught a class with his chair, held regular pedagogical meetings with his chair and other noted teachers on campus, and attended a career development workshop at the 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) meeting in Philadelphia.

Laura Valdiviezo, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies
Dr. Valdiviezo used her grant to strengthen her mentoring network on campus and expand her understanding of how the pedagogy of Multicultural Education supports a commitment to equity, social justice, and diversity. To do so, she met regularly with Drs. Sonia Nieto and Masha Rudman, received feedback on her syllabi, and presented her findings to faculty in her department.

Stephen Watts, Assistant Professor of Political Science
To expand his knowledge of quantitative social science methods and strengthen his network of external senior faculty mentors, Dr. Watts attended the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research’s (ICPSR) Summer Program in Quantitative Methods for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Dr. Watts met with researchers from other institutions, acquired valuable statistical training that will lead to future collaborations, and received mentoring from graduate students with quantitative research experience.

Lisa Wexler, Assistant Professor of Public Health
Dr. Wexler used her grant to build a substantive mentoring relationship with Dr. Laurence Kirmayer, the Director of the Culture & Mental Health Research Unit at McGill University and an important researcher of stress resilience in indigenous populations. To do so, she traveled to the Institute on Indigenous Mental Health Research (IIMHR), where she met with Dr. Kirmayer and researchers in her field; learned strategies for managing multi-site, qualitative research projects; and gained important information about the study of indigenous populations.

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