Women+ in Chemistry (WIC+) has had a successful, long-running peer mentorship program within the Department. The QoL Committee worked closely with WIC+ to expand the peer mentoring program to all incoming first-year graduate students. This large-scale mentoring program matches new graduate students to current graduate students, who receive targeted training in order to provide personal support, advice, and resources during the first two years of graduate school. This Department-wide mentoring program kicked off in summer 2020, and is currently well-resourced with both staff and the necessary finances to support an effective program.
The program will feature one-on-one peer mentoring, in addition to broader community mentoring. The peer mentoring program provides important support to our incoming graduate students as they adjust to the new academic environment of graduate school. The mentoring relationship will develop connections between the mentor and mentee.
Peer mentoring will hopefully result in a less stressful first year for our new graduate students and the development of mentoring skills in our current graduate students. We believe that an intentional mentoring relationship can help create community, communicate values, calm anxiety, inform about policies, provide a listening ear, and provide peer advising. We hope that this project will also result in new, meaningful relationships between mentors and mentees that lasts throughout the graduate school career (and hopefully beyond!).
Mentors will receive training over the summer, prior to the start of the program. More information about mentorship training is forthcoming; for summer 2020 the training will be virtual. Mentors will be provided with funding through Tech Cash accounts prior to the start of the program, to enable them to go out for coffee, meals, etc. with their mentee. Given the current conditions with COVID-19, all in-person meetings are completely optional and must follow all current MIT guidelines for physical distancing, wearing of masks, etc. We hope to have some group events for mentors/mentees during the 2021–2022 academic year, this will be dependent on current public health conditions.
The sign-up form for mentorship for the 2021-2022 academic year has closed. Please check back in Summer 2022 for next year’s sign-up! We cannot guarantee specific matches or match characteristics, and we can make matches even if some of the below sections are blank. However, additional information would be helpful if you wish to provide it.
All first year students will receive a mentor. To facilitate a best-possible mentor match, students are asked to fill out a form. First-year students for 2021-2022 have been matched but are always welcome to take on an additional mentor; please email Rachael Fuller (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to request an additional mentor. We cannot guarantee specific matches or match characteristics, and we can make matches even if answers are not provided. However, additional information would be helpful if you wish to provide it.