Mentor Matcher is a program instituted by The Access Network which pairs undergraduate and graduate students with a graduate student or professional mentor in a desired field. Mentees get the opportunity to learn more about their field of interest, professional life, and scientific research while navigating their academic career. It is not a requirement that mentors have prior experience working with students, and training will be provided. Throughout the course of the program, mentors will gain valuable outreach experience. Mentor Matcher is conducted 100% virtually and we plan to run in Fall 2023. Since mentees select their mentor individually, these deadlines can be rolling. Time dedication is entirely up to the mentor-mentee pair, but around 1-2 hours every week or two weeks is recommended.
This site-non-specific mentoring program offers a networking opportunity that focuses on resources their local sites might lack. For example:
- A student who is part of the LGBTQ+ community in a school where there are no openly LGBTQ+ professors or graduate students might benefit by being connected to another LGBTQ+ mentor from a different university
- A student part of a minority group, by ethnicity or nationality, may be interested in networking with mentors within that minority group.
- A student with disabilities might want to network with mentors with similar disabilities.
- A student dealing with Title IX related issues might want professional advice from an external source who is not bound by reporting mandates. (Advice on navigating the professional landscape only – not a replacement for title ix, counseling, or women’s center) [Note: Please check with your local reporting mandates if disclosures from students from outside your site need to also be reported. I will get back to mentors from UIUC in the coming weeks on what the mandates are here]
- A student might have limited specialties at their local university and want to connect to people outside their department to explore their desired subfield.
Becoming a Mentor
If you would be interested in serving as a mentor or know some, please fill out the google form. Please feel free to share this opportunity with people you would think would be great mentors from your departments, institutions, or industry contacts within STEM.
Becoming a Mentee
In order to facilitate the matching process, we make the entire list of mentors available to participants. However, to protect sensitive information, the Mentor List is password protected. To become a mentee participant please contact email@example.com to obtain a password. Consult this Mentor List to find possible mentors that suit your preferences and then fill out this google form. We will contact a match for you and you should receive an email from them.