Team Basics

Mentoring Up and Down
David Burgess
Professor of Biology and Lead PI
National Research Mentoring Network
 Many of the following slides are from Steve
Lee, University of California Davis
 Chris Pfund, Univ Wisconsin-Madison also
Module #9: But There Are Solutions
Mentoring and Sponsorship
While mentoring is essential for leadership development, it is
insufficient for advancing to top levels. Sponsorship is a more
influential and specific professional relationship.
Is key to advancing high performers and gives them greater
opportunities to excel through skill development and increased
Acts as a differentiator at the top and a means to overcoming
barriers for women.
Provides valuable benefits to sponsors, including feedback,
enhanced skills, increased knowledge of company needs and
opportunities, and personal and professional satisfaction.
Provides direct and indirect benefits to organizations, including
better leaders and teams and increased organizational
Why Be a Good Mentor?
 Achieve satisfaction
 Attract good students
 Stay on top of your field
 Develop your professional network
 Extend your contribution
Mentors Come in all Shapes and
 You don’t have to be of the same race
 You don’t have to be the same gender
 You have to learn to listen carefully
 You have to watch for unsaid concerns or
hidden stress
 You have to encourage, set high expectations,
and make an agreement with your mentee
 Everyone needs more than one mentor
Why Multiple Mentors?
 Some are great for professional
 Some are disciplinary mentors
 Some are role models of the same
 Some are social mentors
 All have different strengths and much to
Make an Agreement with your
 Mutually agree on a schedule for
 Be prepared for your meetings
 Develop a written action plan or a goals
Make that Contract
 Put goals and expectations in writing
 Short term versus long term objectives
 Measurable outcomes
 Re-visit the contract regularly
 Make sure both mentor and mentee agree
to the contract and then recognize progress
over time
 Be honest about both successes and
Recognize Challenges Facing
Students of Color
 Most are solo’s; especially if at a research
intensive university or private
 What is a solo? Only one or one of few in a
major or graduate program
 Worse in some disciplines: sciences, math,
computer science
 Double minorities have it worse
 Implications of being a “solo”
Recognize the Unique Challenges Facing
Students of Color
Stresses of being a Solo include:
Does not know a role model of same race/gender
Increased visibility
Burden of “representing” whole group rather than being taken as
an individual
Stereotype threat
Implicit bias
Exclusion from networks and social isolation
Overt and covert racism/sexism
Differences in how behaviors are viewed
Misidentification as service person or staff
Lack of knowledge of culture or community
These factors effect productivity, spirit and health!
 Advisor, Teacher, Role Model, Friend. On
being a mentor to students in science and
engineering. 1997. National Academies
 MentorNet:
 National Postdoc Association: