This fall, the Office of Graduate Education (OGE) partnered with Associate Provost Tim Jamison to pilot a Faculty Peer Mentorship Program (FPMP) for new MIT faculty. Closely aligned with the OVC focus on advising and mentoring, the FPMP provides a bridge for incoming untenured faculty to gain wisdom and perspective from more senior faculty who have been honored through the Committed to Caring (C2C) program.
C2C empowers graduate students to celebrate faculty members whose mentorship has been compellingly positive. C2C professors have demonstrated their caring and mentorship through concrete actions such as advocating for students, creating welcoming and inclusive workplaces, initiating contact, and providing a channel for students to express any difficulties.
For the current pilot, about a third of new MIT faculty (9 of 29) asked for a C2C mentor. These participants hold positions in the schools of engineering, science, and architecture and planning. The kickoff gathering, convened by Assoc. Provost Jamison on November 1, offered participants support in thinking intentionally about processes that facilitate a respectful research and scholarship culture that brings out the best in faculty, student, and postdoc interactions.
Mentoring matches will continue to meet on their own throughout the year, receiving support from OGE staff, and convene again in a spring gathering. The pilot will be evaluated at the end of the academic year.
—Heather Konar, OGE