Mentoring mentors

Every fall semester, the Graduate School at the University of Nevada, Reno hosts two, 2-hour Faculty “Mentoring Mentors” workshops open to all academic faculty, postdocs and other faculty with mentoring responsibilities. Workshops are 4-5 hours long, and offer the opportunity to discuss mentoring with faculty peers. Establishing an ongoing, supportive network of faculty mentors is a key function of this initial workshop. Nine of 10 of past faculty attendees found the workshops to be a productive use of time and would recommend the workshops to other faculty.

Topics covered in these workshops include:Seven people sitting and standing around a conference table.

  • Aligning expectations
  • Fostering independence
  • Maintaining effective communication
  • Navigating common mentee-mentor conflicts
  • Equity and diversity

We are currently monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will have registration information available soon.

Trained faculty mentor facilitators

Our faculty hosts are trained in evidence-based mentoring practices through the Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER), an NSF, HHMI funded program at University of Wisconsin Madison. CIMER resources are also available through the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), of which our University is a member. 

  • Matthew Aguirre

    Headshot of Matthew Aguirre As the Director of Postdoctoral Affairs, Graduate Recruitment, and Diversity Initiatives for the Graduate School at the University of Nevada, Reno, Matthew is responsible for designing and implementing Graduate School initiatives such as professional development for postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, graduate student recruitment and diversity. He also supports graduate student recruitment efforts and provides strategic direction to identify, recruit and support diverse graduate students. Matthew works alongside with the Graduate Student Association to further provide resources and support for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

  • Scott Bassett - Geography

    Headshot of Scott BassettScott Bassett attended CIMER training in 2019 and is an associate professor of geography and director of the land use planning and policy program at the University of Nevada, Reno. His research focus is in environmental planning, specifically, he looks at the urban-wildland interface issues. Scott has experience in advising both undergraduate and graduate students. His graduate student advisees have received jobs in the private, government and education sectors. He has limited experience in mentoring assistant professors in seeking promotion and tenure. With an expanding role in his department, Scott has an interest in improving the mentoring experience of junior faculty within the University's geography department.

  • Catherine Chaput - English

    Headshot of Catherine ChaputCatherine Chaput attended CIMER training in 2019 and is the Acting Director of Graduate Studies in English an Associate Professor of rhetoric with research interest in affect studies, political economy, and argumentation. She has mentored undergraduates and graduate students within her department. With new growth and hires within the Department of English, her perspective on mentoring within the liberal arts is especially timely and valuable.

  • Anne Leonard - Biology

    Anne Leonard and mentee sitting in an office. Anne Leonard attended CIMER training in 2018 and is an Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her primary area of research and academic work is Animal Behavior and Pollination Biology. She has no past experience with Mentor Training, but has always been interested in what makes a good “fit” for mentoring as well as learning new strategies for coming up with solutions to difficult situations when they arrive. She hopes to not only learn how to become a more effective mentor, but also how to share that information with her colleagues.

  • Kevin Shoemaker - Natural Resources and Environmental Science

    Kevin Shoemaker holding a rabbit out in a grassy field. Kevin Shoemaker attended CIMER training in 2018 and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno focusing on Conservation Biology. 

  • Jacqueline Snow - Psychology

    Headshot of Jacqueline SnowJacqueline Snow attended CIMER training in 2018 and is an Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno with over 10 years of experience supervising undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral trainees. She hasn’t had formal mentor training but has supervised new incoming faculty as part of COBRE mentoring initiative. Her primary focus is Neuroscience and she chose to learn more about Mentor Training since it is important to build current skills. She would like to learn more about evidence-based approaches to mentoring.

  • Scotty Strachan - Geology and Director of Cyberinfrastructure

    Scotty Strachan climbing equipmentScotty Strachan attended CIMER training in 2019 and is a trained research scientist in a new program development role (as "Director of Cyberinfrastructure") at the University of Nevada, Reno. Besides maintaining his own research agenda in Great Basin ecohydrology and mountain climate science, he is building from the ground-up a program of institutional research technology support (or, "cyberinfrastructure"). This program will bring administrative faculty, staff, research faculty, and students together across colleges and disciplines to change how technology is used to accelerate research at our school. Breaking these barriers can start with effective mentoring, facilitation, and workforce development, so aligning efforts with the University's Graduate School's new mentoring program is only natural. Scotty was often placed into mentoring roles for undergrad and graduate students as part of his previous research scientist and lab manager career, and has seen the difference between proactive mentoring and its absence. Scotty would like to bring mentoring facilitation back into both the IT department admin faculty ranks as well as the science and engineering college faculty populations, with whom he often work on proposals and research projects.

  • Alireza Tavakkoli - Computer Science and Engineering

    Headshot of Alireza TavakkoliAlireza Tavakkoli attended CIMER training in 2019 and is an associate professor of computer science with research interest in visual computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality.

  • Veronica Zepeda - Graduate Student Services

    Headshot of Veronica ZepedaVeronica Zepeda attended CIMER training in 2019 and was a lecturer in the University's Biochemistry Department from 2014-2016. Since 2016 she has been the Director of Graduate Student Services and Senior Advisor to the Graduate Student Association. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she gained her love of science in high school while attending several summer research programs. These experiences led her to attend MIT and obtain a B.S. in Biology. While pursuing undergraduate research at MIT, she became involved in science education and outreach programs. She continued this work while a graduate student at UC Berkeley and from 2006-2010 participated in the development of a summer research experience for undergraduates (REU) at UC Berkeley. Veronica received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology and went on to work as a Science Education and Outreach Coordinator at UC San Francisco. During her time at UCSF she focused on outreach to high school and community college students in the Bay Area and was the scientific advisor and mentor of the UCSF iGEM team - a summer research program for high school students. In her current role at the University, Veronica serves on several committees that support the growing diversity of the campus and co-organizes a professional development workshop series for graduate students. Through this work she has seen the need for expanded mentor training for graduate students.

Mentor/mentee resources

CIMER – Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research

Effective research mentoring relationships are critical to developing the next generation of researchers. Learn how to improve these relationships at all career stages and promote cultural change that values excellence in research mentoring as a critical aspect of diversifying the research workforce.

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD)

The University of Nevada, Reno is a member institution of the NCFDD, an organization offering professional development, training, and mentoring resources to faculty members, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students at colleges and universities across the country.

Registration information

Individual Development Plans (IDPs)

The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a document designed to guide mentees (traditionally postdocs, but graduate students will find the material valuable as well) toward an independent career. Completing and sharing an IDP between a mentee and advisor allows open discussion of goals, development of a plan for success and handle challenges that arise.