As IAPHS’s Mentoring Program transitions from a pilot to a full program, it’s time to introduce a few of the outstanding people who have participated. For this issue we spotlight mentor Allison Mathews and mentee Alexis Dennis, who have been meeting monthly over the past year to discuss a wide range of issues related to interdisciplinarity, career and research planning, and connecting with nonacademic audiences. Allison is Integrating Special Populations Associate Director at the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Alexis is a doctoral student in Sociology at UNC.
What accounts for their success? Allison attributes the ease which they have developed a great relationship to “overlap in our research interests, common experiences, and close proximity in location to each other.” “I am able to give her nuanced feedback on her career path because I recently experienced transitioning from graduate student to postdoctoral fellow to academic professional.”
Alexis points to a helpful practice: “At the end of each mentoring meeting, we generally set a concrete goal or task for me to work on prior to our next meeting. Setting smaller goals has helped me to work towards the bigger goals that we set for our relationship.” She has nothing but praise for Allison, who “has candidly shared her own experiences and has provided me with several resources. She is also a good listener and is very encouraging. It has been extremely helpful to have a mentor who has helped me to clarify my long-term goals, and has encouraged me to use my long-term goals as a metric for decision making in the short term. I’m really thankful to have Allison as a mentor.”
The IAPHS Mentoring Program is now accepting applications for mentors and mentees for 2020. Registration and more information is available here.