School of Music Professor Mary Cohen talks with her SROP mentee Willord Simmons.
School of Music Professor Mary Cohen talks with SROP mentee Willord Simmons.

Mentoring serves a crucial role in our summer research programs and it is vitally important to the success of each student. Below are some specific tips that we have found to be imperative and very effective for our students each summer.

  • Accessibility is key. Being accessible to your student and attentive to individual needs are top qualities in an effective mentor. Time is a crucial element in successful mentoring. The priority that you give to your student is very important.  It is preferable that our faculty mentors are scheduled to be on campus the majority of the summer and available for the recommended student contact.
  • Communicating and sharing expertise and knowledge is vital to introducing prospective scholars to your field of research. Share your reservoir of knowledge, professional contacts, and personal career experiences freely.
  • Establish mutual respect and trust, allowing students to ask any question and to share differing opinions.
  • Foster an environment where your student can gain necessary skills, learn to think critically, and "learn how to learn."
  • Tailor your mentoring to the students' individual needs.
  • Include students in social activities and encourage graduate student contact for other levels of mentoring.
  • Establish consistency in contact with your student, discussing progress, and how the student is feeling about the SROP experience. Monitor the experience your student has with other members of your research team or lab if your contact is limited.