Five Duke Ph.D. students, four graduate faculty, and one university program are being recognized for their outstanding efforts in mentoring, teaching, or creating an inclusive environment for graduate education.
"Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) really helped me on the job market! I think my participation in PFF helped convince hiring committees, including at Meredith, that I was really interested in teaching and committed to succeeding in a career at an undergraduate-focused institution."
“BioCoRE has made it possible to tear down the imaginary walls that sometimes separate students from professors, thus creating a healthier and two-way relationships between students and professors. BioCoRE has become my second home here at Duke and it has allowed me access to other students, professors and resources on campus which I would have never had and this has greatly enhanced my graduate school career.”
“The first quality a great mentor should have is a willingness to admit their limitations, both to themselves and to the person they are mentoring. … You have to understand yourself, and you want your mentee to understand that just because you are a mentor, that doesn’t make you an absolute expert.”
“I had a student who came up to me after one of the classes and told me, ‘I read this article last night and saw their statistics, and I wanted to know where they got their samples from.’ And they brought the article in to show me and they wanted to talk about it. They are small little moments, but they reaffirm that you are doing something that matters in the students’ lives.”
“I think about mentoring as a life-course process. So once I sign on as your mentor, I’m your mentor for life, and I like to be there with you to see you through the various phases of your career and the various phases of your life.”
“We make a lot of assumptions about people knowing some of the really basic things about being in graduate school and using the resources that are available to you. Some people really know that when they come to graduate school because of the kind of undergraduate education they’ve had, but a lot of people don’t really know that. So it’s really important not to assume that everybody already knows all of the things you have to do.”
“Even though people think mentors are experts and they know everything, that’s not the case. Mentors should be able to learn from mentees as well. They might learn about new topics, new ways of doing things, new ways of mentoring. So they should be open and very flexible.”
"For me, the most important aspect of mentoring have to do with really treating the students and trainees as scientific peers, which they genuinely are. … I think it’s very important for students to be involved in all aspects of the research process."
“The teachers who have made the most difference in my life treated me as an intellectual peer. … It’s really empowering to be treated that way as the student. And as an instructor … I’ve always been surprised at the unique ideas that come out of those discussions that I lead when I treat students as peers.”