Group Reflections: Being a Mentor


Michael: The reason I decided to be a mentor, in general,
with the undergraduates to post-doctoral fellows, the graduate students, is because I really enjoy it. So maybe it’s for selfish reasons, but honestly, it’s
something that makes me excited about what I do for work every day. That’s the best part of my job. I mean I like
the research and I like the new ideas and the ability to shape technology and so forth, but what I really love
about my job is the opportunity to mentor, at all levels. Ximena: Your mentors can be people that you feel comfortable talking
with, it doesn’t have to be everything at once. I’ve had people come and talk to me about what it’s like to be
a grad student. I’ve had people come and talk to me about how to choose grad school and how to choose an advisor. We mentor undergraduates in research,
but I’ve also had the opportunity to be a mentor like a personal mentor, like a life advisor. It’s a really good feeling and it’s not like, I guess the
idea of a mentor is it’s not a job; it’s more if people feel comfortable like a life advisor. It’s a really good feeling and it’s not like, I guess the
idea of a mentor is it’s not a job; it’s more if people feel comfortable like a life advisor. It’s a really good feeling and it’s not like, I guess the
idea of a mentor is it’s not a job; it’s more if people feel comfortable like a life advisor. It’s a really good feeling and it’s not like, I guess the
idea of a mentor is it’s not a job; it’s more if people feel comfortable like a life advisor. It’s a really good feeling and it’s not like, I guess the
idea of a mentor is it’s not a job; it’s more if people feel comfortable. like a life advisor. It’s a really good feeling and it’s not like, I guess the
idea of a mentor is it’s not a job; it’s more if people feel comfortable I feel comfortable talking with people so when they ask me questions, I try
to be honest. Try to be honest about what you feel. Try to be honest about what your experiences are and it tends to work. Damon: At present I have one native student from Haskell who’s working with me in the
lab and I’m also working very closely with a graduate student in the lab. So in that sense, I am performing a mentoring role. I am, on a
daily basis, providing research design and direction for both of these students, and in that sense I am performing as a mentor. I find it very satisfying, I feel
like I’m giving back for the help that I have received in the past. I am also providing them with advice on things that I may know
more about. The student that I’m working with in the lab, through my interaction during my teaching experience at Haskell, had requested to
work with me at KU. So I was very fortunate that she had done that and so now she and I are able to interact several
days during the week and work on various research projects in the lab. She’s very capable and very interested in what we are doing and therefore is providing a
valuable service for me in pushing the research ideas that I have forward, but also she is gaining really valuable experience for herself. She wants to
go onto graduate school, and anybody who can gain experience gain research experience before getting into graduate school is at
an advantage to other applicants to various programs.

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