Aprile Benner is a second-year William T. Grant Scholar. She proposes to use this award as an opportunity to improve three areas of her mentoring skills: 1) to be more time-efficient in her mentoring and explore the potential of group mentoring, 2) to expand her knowledge and mentoring skills across different racial and ethnic groups, and 3) to structure collaborations in ways that would allow junior colleagues to be better connected to the larger research community. The funds from the award will directly support her mentee, Kelly Minor, a fifth-year bi-racial (identifying as black and white) doctoral student in the Department of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College. Minor expects to graduate in May 2015, and this award will support her 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. Minor’s goals for this award are to increase her publications; develop her statistical skills by working with Benner on diverse datasets; establish an identity as an independent scholar; build interdisciplinary networks; and engage in professional activities like peer-reviewing, mentoring students, and serving on committees that will prepare her for tenure-track faculty positions.
As an assistant professor, Benner has mentored 25 undergraduate and graduate students, the majority of whom are from traditionally under-represented groups.