Mentoring Resources

CHEMUnity Mentoring Program Goals and Guidelines

Program Mission

The goal of the mentoring program is to connect incoming first-year Ph.D. students with older graduate students. Senior students will serve as peer-mentors and resources, answering questions regarding administration, advisor selection, research, classes, outreach and other extramural opportunities as well as providing graduate student career advice.  In addition to helping incoming students adapt to the Chemistry program, this will also provide an opportunity for senior students to gain mentoring experience. This program should serve to ease incoming students into their graduate career as well as foster inter-student and inter-class communication and build the department community.

Expectations for Mentors

Mentors will be expected to attend a summer training workshop and quarterly events throughout the year.  Additionally, mentors are expected to arrange meetings with their mentees at least once per quarter (4 times/year). The relationship between mentor and mentee is dependent on both parties communicating with each other; however, mentors should consider important milestones of the younger students, including lead-up to final exams, advisor selection, and preparation for the qualifying exams as important times to reach out to their mentees.  Mentors are not expected to be experts and should reach out to Jonathan Maendel and Laura Makinen with any questions or concerns. Ideas for individual meetings with mentees include meeting for coffee or lunch or inviting mentees to student-sponsored events.

Expectations for Mentees

Mentees are expected to attend the three quarterly workshops and events in Fall, Winter and Spring.  Mentees should reach out to their mentors at least once per quarter (4 times/year) or more frequently as they see fit. The relationship between mentor and mentee is dependent on both parties communicating with each other.

Pairing Students

Mentors will be paired with 1-2 incoming first-year students.   A productive mentorship will include quarterly meetings, with mentors helping direct mentees to resources so questions are answered and concerns addressed.  If a mentor-mentee pairing is not successful, either party may contact Jonathan Maendel or Laura Makinen at or in the main Chemistry office to be re-assigned to another mentor.

Description of Events

In addition to the individual mentor-mentee meetings, which will be organized amongst student pairs themselves, the CHEMUnity program will include a workshop or social event in the Fall, Winter and Spring quarter. Only the summer training session will be for mentors only.  The rest of the events will incorporate both mentors and mentees.  

Available Resources

Conversations between mentors and mentees should be conducted in confidence, except if one party’s health, well-being, or the safety of others is threatened. Jonathan Maendel, Laura Makinen, and Danny Fisher are resources in the Chemistry office.  Other concerns may be directed to CAPS, the Counseling and Psychological Services for Northwestern students, the Sexual Harassment Prevention Office or CARE, the Center for Awareness, Response, and Education, or the Office for Research Integrity.  Mentors should use their best judgment of extreme situations, and seek help if necessary

CLIMB Mentoring Resources

Recommended Readings

  • "What's too much and what's too little?": The process of becoming an independent researcher in doctoral education. Gardner, Susan K. Journal of Higher Education, May 2008, Vol.79(3), pp.326-350 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Beyond Preparation: Identity, cultural capital, and readiness for graduate school in the biomedical sciences. Gazley, J. Lynn; Remich, Robin; Naffziger-Hirsch, Michelle E.; Keller, Jill; Campbell, Patricia B,; McGee, Richard; Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 1 October 2014, Vol.51(8), pp.1021-1048 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Identifying Future Scientists: Predicting persistence into research training. McGee, Richard; Keller, Jill L. CBE Life Sciences Education, December 2007, Vol.6(4), pp.316-331 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Dealing With Social Isolation to Minimize Doctoral Attrition: a Four Stage Framework. Azad, Ali; Kohun, Frederick. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 2007, Vol.2, pp.33-49 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • "I heard it through the grapevine": Doctoral student socialization in chemistry and history. Gardner, Susan K. Higher Education, October 2007, Vol.54(5), pp.723-740 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Successfully navigating the stages of doctoral education. Grover, Varun. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 2007, Vol.2, pp.9-21 [Peer Reviewed Journal]