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Overview    |    Mentoring Grants    |    Mentoring Exemplars    |    Mentoring Resources

Team Grants 2012 - 2013

Cross Kingdom Interactions Study Group
The Cross Kingdom Interactions Study Group gathered faculty at different career stages with common interests in integrating biological and environmental data in a meaningful way. Each team member chose a highly regarded researcher as an external mentor, and hosted the mentor for a campus visit and public talk. The team also organized monthly lunchtime meetings to discuss grants, manuscripts, a journal club in preparation for mentor visits, and evolving research ideas; and reviewed each other’s grant applications.

Department of Physics: Mentoring Teaching Physics
The Department of Physics established a peer- and near-peer mentoring network focused on promoting teaching excellence across the department’s wide range of course offerings. As part of the grant, the team convened regularly to socialize and discuss individual teaching projects; created a blog to further their in-person discussions; hosted regular meetings to discuss broader teaching techniques and issues, such as identifying diverse learning styles, adopting new technology, assessing student preparation, grading rubrics, and making effective use of teaching assistants; and brought nationally-renowned experts on physics education to speak at department colloquia.

Engineering and Computing Women Faculty Group
The Engineering and Computing Women Faculty Group provided support to thirteen female faculty engineers and computer scientists with the goal of developing a culture of mutual support and success. Activities included regular lunch meetings to discuss work/life balance, research interests, tenure and promotion, and time management; invited talks by prominent guest speakers from other institutions; and a networking event with female graduate students and post-docs.

Interdisciplinary Neurodegeneration Group
The Interdisciplinary Neurodegeneration Group brought together a wide range of tenure-track scholars interested in understanding the basic mechanisms of neurodegeneration to form a community of peer and trainee mentoring for both research and teaching. The group gathered PIs from research labs across campus for monthly mentoring meetings; hosted symposia to showcase broader expertise in the Pioneer Valley and identify opportunities for research and collaboration; and invited prominent scholars in the field to provide customized advisory input to the group and give public talks.

Interdisciplinary Seminar on the New Meanings of Race
The Interdisciplinary Seminar on the New Meanings of Race gathered faculty from the English and African-American Studies Departments to focus on the emergent challenges of scholarship and teaching about race in the twenty-first century. The group met regularly to discuss teaching strategies, the changing scholarship of race, professionalization strategies centering on networking, publications, and web presence, as well as individual faculty research and teaching projects. The seminar also hosted talks by prominent scholars from Duke University, Brown University, and the University of Chicago.

Isenberg New Faculty Roundtable
The Isenberg New Faculty Roundtable aimed to help pre-tenure faculty members from the School of Management become productive, well-respected contributors to their respective fields, the Isenberg School, and the broader UMass scholarly community. Team members gathered monthly with their near-peer and senior mentors to discuss topics such as “What Is Needed to Succeed at Isenberg,” “How to Teach Effectively at Isenberg,” “Editorial Relationships,” and “Managing Grad Students.”

Music Education Progressive Instruction and Innovation Team
The Music Education Progressive Instruction and Innovation Team supported alternative methods of music instruction by holding monthly Skype-based mentoring meetings with innovative music education faculty at the University of Florida; participating in monthly on-campus planning and reflection meetings; traveling to attend cutting-edge undergraduate music education courses and the Suncoast Music Education Research Symposia; and participating in online mentoring meetings with individual music education faculty at a variety of institutions.

Psychology Department Research Mentoring Group
The Psychology Department Research Mentoring Group organized itself around the idea of increasing research productivity of pre-tenure faculty by improving their mentoring skills. Specifically, by improving the ways in which they mentor students involved in their research, pre-tenure faculty were able to expedite the progress of establishing their own research programs. Faculty met monthly with their graduate students to discuss mentoring best practices. They also developed a set of research mentoring guidelines for the department and hosted two external speakers.

Women’s Interdisciplinary Writing and Publishing Network
The Women’s Interdisciplinary Writing and Publishing Network brought together women faculty in the humanities for an ongoing writing group and professional network. The team scheduled bi-weekly meetings to discuss manuscripts and the writing process and worked under the guidance of a local professional writing coach. In addition, the group hosted workshops and campus visits from editors at noted academic publishing venues such as Duke University Press, Pennsylvania State University Press, and Oxford University Press. They concluded their grant year with a Mindfulness Workshop, facilitated by an instructor from the UMass Mindfulness Institute. The workshop offered tips and techniques for stress-reduction, academic productivity and workload-life management through mindfulness meditation.

MotherWit was comprised of academic mothers who share a motivation to excel in their careers while balancing the care and well-being of their young families. As part of the grant, pre-tenure faculty paired up with associate professors for one-on-one mentoring, gathered for regular writing sessions, hosted speakers on parenting and mothering, discussed possible formal recommendations to influence institutional policy on supporting families and work/life balance, and supported its various activities by providing team members with child care. The group also launched a website to track participants’ writing progress.


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