2017 Mentoring Grants to Support Junior Researchers of Color

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

The Scholars mentoring grant is designed to help William T. Grant 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:

Laura Hamilton is a first-year William T. Grant Scholar who has mentored graduate students, one post-doctoral student, and several junior faculty new to the field. While Hamilton’s previous mentoring experiences have been mainly with scholars demographically similar to herself, she wants to learn how to support students who are of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The award will support her mentee, Veronica Lerma, a first-generation Latina fourth year doctoral student in Sociology at the University of California, Merced. Lerma’s research focuses on reducing inequalities experienced by Mexican American youth across social institutions, including the criminal justice system and higher education.

Eve Tuck is a second-year William T. Grant Scholar. In her new position at the University of Toronto, Tuck is mentoring doctoral students for the first time in her career and is working with ten doctoral and three master’s students. She would like to develop a mentoring framework that will inspire collaboration rather than competitiveness.

The award will support her mentee, Sandi Wemigwase, an indigenous first-year doctoral student in the Social Justice Education program at the University of Toronto. Wemigwase intends to expand her network of scholars of color, build her mixed-methods research skills, and examine how indigenous people are conceptualized as a group.

Kristin Turney is a first-year William T. Grant Scholar who has mentored 15 doctoral students in a formal mentoring capacity. With her mentoring award, she would like to develop strategies to help students cultivate independent research agendas. She would also like to heighten her capacity for mentoring across difference.

The award will support her mentee, Janet Muñiz, a third-year Latina doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Muñiz’s research interests focus on social inequalities in urban communities towards informing policy that can positively influence the lives of youth who grow up in economically disadvantaged areas.

David Yeager is a third-year William T. Grant Scholar who supervises a diverse group of graduate students, including three doctoral students. He identifies three goals for this award, including reorganizing his lab and paring down project commitments to free up more time for mentoring and graduate student projects, as well as pursuing training and ongoing support from faculty leaders of campus diversity initiatives at University of Texas.

The award will support his mentee, Melanie Netter, an African American second year doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin. Netter’s research interests focus on what motivates young people, especially as they face difficult life circumstances or academic challenges.