Aware that the rates of women of color successfully transitioning from tenure track to tenured faculty member are markedly lower than other demographics at institutions across the U.S., I seek multiple opportunities to strengthen my mentoring networks and learn from more senior faculty members’ expertise on navigating the spoken and unspoken tenure requirements. Their advice concerning how to balance and create a linear research, teaching, and service narrative is invaluable.
For those graduate students, post-docs, and early career faculty interested in professional development opportunities, I recommend the following:
- Network with faculty, junior faculty, postdocs, graduate students at conferences, via Twitter, etc.
- Remember that mentoring can happen peer-to-peer and senior-junior.
- Good mentoring should always be a two-way street.
- But, mentoring relationship do not happen over night.
- To read what I have to say on formal and informal mentoring visit:
- Ask for a department mentor, but remember you should be creating a mentoring network. Find other mentors at your institution to help you get a lay of the land.
- Investigate whether your university offers mentoring opportunities between senior faculty and junior faculty or faculty and graduate students
- Do they offer groups to support women faculty, faculty of color, early career faculty?
- Preparing Future Faculty offers graduate students opportunities to be paired with faculty from other institutions. For example, The Ohio State University Graduate School pairs students with faculty from local, liberal arts colleges.
- In 2014-2015, I participated in a First-Year Faculty Mentoring Community at Grand Valley State University
- Research whether your national organization (e.g. MLA, OAH, ASA) provides early career faculty, postdocs, or graduate students professional development workshops or retreat
- Does your institution have a teaching and learning center? Often these spaces provide faculty multiple opportunities for professional development:
- Finally, remember that you should always be on the look out for new opportunities. Some of the best workshops or institutes that I have attended or heard about were forward to me or seen on social media.
- Digital Humanities Summer Institute
- HILT: Humanities Intensive Learning & Teaching
- Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Development at Duke University’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences
- Korean Studies Dissertation Workshop sponsored by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC offers various fellowships and workshops in multiple disciplines/fields)
- The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s Faculty Success Program