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UMass Sesquicentennial
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Overview    |    Mentoring Grants    |    Mentoring Exemplars    |    Mentoring Resources
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Team Grants 2007 - 2008

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.”

Department of Anthropology
The Anthropology Department received a pilot grant in 2006-07 to implement a group mentoring project, and requested a second year of funding to improve on and expand their project. This included monthly meetings for the seven pre-tenure faculty members and invited speakers; modest stipends for the pre-tenure and tenured faculty mentors assigned to the new faculty hires; the hosting of a mentoring reception at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting to bring together alumni of the program; and networking funds for the pre-tenure faculty members to bring senior scholars to campus to speak or travel elsewhere for the purposes of professional development and networking.

Department of Biology
The Department of Biology typically assigns senior faculty mentors to each incoming new professor in the traditional one-on-one mentorship model. To expand on this current program, the Department brought together the pre-tenure faculty in regular peer and near-peer mentoring meetings/workshops that focused on improved lab management, specifically: money management, hiring lab staff, mentoring in the laboratory, and time management. They also provided funds to enable pre-tenure faculty to connect with “Off-Campus Research Mentors” as well as travel stipends to attend conferences, learn new lab techniques under supervision, and/or visit their off-campus research mentor.

Department of English
This project expanded upon the department’s traditional mentoring model (i.e., pairing each new faculty with a senior mentor). The team developed a departmental handbook for pre-tenure faculty, which included information on everything from the mechanics of setting up a course webpage to various dimensions of professional development (e.g., list of fellowships available around the country). The team held 5-6 luncheon meetings over the year, devoted to issues generated by pre-tenure faculty. Knowledge shared in meetings was incorporated in the handbook. Modest travel support allowed recently-hired faculty to attend a key professional meeting, and the team arranged a mentoring meeting/reception with all alumni attending the conference in order to establish “Distance Mentoring Partners.”

Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
This grant funded the first formal mentoring program in the department, which is large, complex, diverse, and located on several different floors. Eight first-year faculty were paired with eight experienced faculty beyond their immediate area for one-on-one mentoring. New faculty and their mentoring partners interacted both in pairs and as a large group. Monthly meetings for the group were organized around discussions and presentations on a variety of topics developed by the new faculty. The team also brought in a consultant on grant opportunities/proposal writing expressly to work with new faculty/mentoring partners. At the end of the year, they held reception for the mentoring participants and departmental and Five College colleagues.

Departments of Natural Resources Conservation and Microbiology (a.k.a. “CNRE Mentornet”)
CNRE Mentornet worked with a highly reputable “invent your career” coach who helped create Individualized Mentoring Teams for each of the 7 pre-tenure participants and 2 new department heads. These mentoring teams were comprised of approximately 8 off-campus people each and included a mix of peers, near-peers, and “head starters” (people with at least 20 years of experience to help accelerate the learning curve for the pre-tenure faculty). The second component of the proposed project was a series of regular roundtable lunches scheduled 5x a year that focused on discussion topics chosen by the pre-tenure faculty.

Department of Political Science
The Department of Political Science based their proposal on a Group Mentoring System (GMS) that engaged mid-career & senior faculty members (both at UMass and other institutions) and advanced graduate students as mentors of early career faculty. In addition, the department matched an external senior scholar with each new faculty member and invited the off-campus mentor to UMass to give a public talk, meet one-on-one with their pre-tenure faculty member and engage with other GMS participants. New faculty also received travel/conference stipends in order to present research and build professional networks.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (“SBS”)
SBS implemented a “cross-departmental interdisciplinary mentoring initiative” in which all new pre-tenure hires in SBS selected a mid-career mentoring partner from their home department. In addition, all of the new pre-tenure hires met in monthly interdisciplinary group discussion meetings over the course of the academic year. There was an opening mini-conference to introduce the new faculty to the mentoring program, as well as a January retreat for the new pre-tenure hires and their mentoring partners. All participants received a modest stipend to facilitate one-on-one or small group interaction on teaching and research topics of their choice over meals.

School of Nursing
The School of Nursing established a Research Interest Group in order to addressing key issues of work-life balance, increasing the publication of new faculty’s work, and promoting research collaboration among mentoring partners. This program included a full-day retreat each semester, regular bi-monthly mentor/mentee meetings, stipends for collaborative research, travel funds for mentor/mentee teams to attend conferences, and the hiring of an outside writing coach and “self-in-relation” consultant from the Stone Center at Wellesley College.

School of Public Health & Health Sciences
Each junior faculty member in SPHHS selected 2 mentors, one with similar interests in teaching and the other in the area of research. The pre-tenure faculty took part in a roundtable series to discuss academic and work/life topics six times a year, as well as a seminar series to help promote research. New faculty also received travel funding to meet off-site mentors and network with colleagues in the New England area.

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