New Mentoring Grants will Support Relationships Between Scholars and Junior Researchers of Color

Two William T. Grant Scholars have been awarded grants to support their development as mentors to junior colleagues. The Scholars will mentor two promising post-doctoral fellows in enhancing their methodological skills, publication records, and career networks.

The Scholars mentoring grant is designed to help Scholars hone their skills and abilities as mentors and help researchers of color reach higher levels on the career ladder. The award encourages Scholars to be strong mentors attuned to the career development challenges disproportionately faced by their junior colleagues of color.

In their applications, Scholars assess their current strengths and weaknesses as mentors and propose goals for improving their mentoring skills. They and their mentees also assess the mentees’ strengths and weaknesses and design a mentoring plan that will strengthen the mentees’ potential for a successful research career.

This year’s Scholars mentoring grantees are:

Aprile Benner is a third-year William T. Grant Scholar. As an assistant professor, she has mentored 25 undergraduate and graduate students, the majority of whom are from traditionally under-represented groups.

The funds from the award will directly support Benner’s mentee, Kelly Minor, a fifth-year doctoral student in the Department of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College. This award will support Minor in a two-year postdoctoral fellow position at the University of Texas at Austin. Minor’s research interests examine adolescents’ preparation for and enrollment in post-secondary institutions.


Noelle Hurd is a second-year William T. Grant Scholar who has accumulated promising mentoring experiences as a graduate student and a post-doctoral fellow. Currently, as an assistant professor, she mentors an ethnically diverse group of six graduate students and 10–15 undergraduate students each semester.

The award will support Hurd’s mentee, Aisha Griffith, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Virginia Center to Promote Effective Youth Development. Griffith received her doctorate in Human and Community Development in 2014 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she worked with Reed Larson.