Pilot Grants 2006 - 2007
These projects are intended as examples of previously funded grant activity, and applicant teams are encouraged to creatively develop Mutual Mentoring projects that address their unique circumstances, challenges, and cultural “norms.”
The Anthropology Department assigned one formal mentoring partner to each new faculty member. These partners met one-on-one regularly, and the entire group of new faculty and their mentoring partners met five times a year for luncheon meetings. In addition, the Department offset a portion of the travel costs for the new faculty to attend the national conference of the American Anthropological Association, where they hosted a Mutual Mentoring Meeting for all alums of the Department, establishing important mentoring partnerships with anthropologists in related fields.
“Blacklist,” A Network for Women Faculty of Color
“Blacklist” was created as an interdisciplinary mentoring network of women faculty of color at a variety of career levels (Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors). The goal of this group was to support and retain women faculty of color at UMass Amherst and the Five Colleges through regular meetings of the network. The members brainstormed ways to overcome challenges in and outside of the classroom, created a travel grant program for members to present their scholarly work at conferences, and served as an important source of professional and social support for each other.
The History Department assigned two mentoring partners to all pre-tenure faculty (one mentoring partner in a similar geographical or subject field, and another with a similar methodological or theoretical research approach). The mentoring partners met four times over the course of the academic year in meetings organized around issues of orientation, research, teaching, and preparing for tenure. The Department provided modest stipends for the mentoring partners and also conducted two needs assessments to ensure that the mentoring efforts were responsive to the needs and concerns of early career faculty.
The Psychology Department implemented a Group Mentoring Initiative (GMI) in which all new Psychology faculty were paired with two mentoring partners, one at the early/mid-career stage and one at a later career stage. The GMI met formally six times over the course of the academic year in facilitated, topically-driven group meetings on issues of research, teaching, and tenure. In addition, the new faculty met individually or in small groups with their mentoring partners to discuss issues of specialized interest, and were provided with modest stipends to offset the costs of getting together.
Women’s Studies Department
The Department of Women’s Studies created an inter-institutional Mutual Mentoring project with the Department of Africana Women’s Studies at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. The purpose of doing so was to build across the differences of an established women’s studies program at a large public university in the northeast and a new program at a small, religiously affiliated HBCU in the south. The departments organized a planning conference in Washington, DC, where they developed teaching modules, team-taught courses, and other programs to help make the most out of the teaching and research strengths of their respective faculty.