In conjunction with parallel programs, such as the Leadership Alliance and other programs supported by the University of Chicago, this office has established a strong ethic and belief in the value of mentoring.
Crucial to the intellectual and professional growth of MMUF students is the advising and mentoring that they get from senior scholars. In fact, central to all MMUF programs is the building of mentoring relationships. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has described its commitment to faculty mentoring in the following way:
Mentoring embodies the core principles of the MMUF program, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recognizes the faculty/student relationship as the driving force beneath the sustainability and success of this program. Only a consistent commitment to this relationship will enable us to achieve the goals of the program and to bring greater diversity to the academy.
As mentors, faculty members have the knowledge and responsibility to demystify the formal and informal aspects of earning a doctorate. Mentors also give fellows insight into the fulfillment and rewards of a career in scholarship and teaching. In the mentoring relationship, the sharing of personal experience and the transmission of knowledge intersect in a trusting learning environment that provides opportunities for both mentor and student to stretch beyond her or his boundaries.”
At the University of Chicago, we think of mentoring as taking place at multiple levels. Once students are admitted to the MMUF, new fellows are immediately brought into the fold of our MMUF community. New fellows meet peers and MMUF alumni in UChicago graduate programs. At this time, they also begin working closely with the program directors who guide them to build mentoring relationships. During the Summer Program, instructors and graduate students also further assist students in cultivating mentoring relationships with faculty.