Optimize Your Mentoring Practice

Optimize Your Mentoring Practice

On Monday, January 13, 2020, we hosted Dr. Christine Pfund, who presented how to use the science of effective mentorship to optimize your mentoring practice.

Mentoring is associated with academic and career success across disciplines and career stages in higher education. At the junior faculty level, strong mentorship has been linked to enhanced mentee productivity, self-efficacy, career satisfaction, and sense of support. Similarly, mentoring graduate students are more likely to persist in their academic decisions, with positive mentoring being cited as the most important factor in degree attainment.

Mentored graduate students and junior faculty are more likely to publish their research than counterparts who are not mentored. Unfortunately, few mentors have received formal training in effective mentoring practices, particularly for mentoring minority scholars. Even fewer scholars receive formal instruction on what it means to be a proactive mentee and do not have the self-efficacy required to articulate their needs to mentors. This has led to a national focus on the “science of mentoring’ and calls for research on mentoring and tested interventions to optimize mentoring relationships across diverse groups and optimize their relationships.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Christine Pfund

Christine Pfund

Senior Scientist

Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Christine Pfund, Ph.D. is a senior scientist with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). Dr. Pfund earned her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, followed by post-doctoral research in Plant Pathology, both at University of Wisconsin-Madison. For almost a decade, Dr. Pfund served as the Associate Director of the Delta Program in Research, Teaching, and Learning and the co-Director of the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching helping to train future faculty to become more effective teachers. Dr. Pfund is now conducting research with several programs across the UW campus including the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Her work focuses on developing, implementing, documenting, and studying interventions to optimize research mentoring relationships across science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM).

Dr. Pfund co-authored the original Entering Mentoring curriculum and co-authored many papers documenting the effectiveness of this approach. Dr. Pfund is the principal investigator of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Coordination Center. She is also director of the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research at UW-Madison (CIMER). She is a member of the National Academies committee that recently published the consensus report and online guide, The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM.