Doctoral Mentoring Fellows Program

Mentoring to Diversify and Enhance the Professoriate

The aims of this program are to catalyze discussion, develop knowledgeable faculty advocates, and spark department initiatives to increase the diversity of doctoral students choosing and successfully embarking on academic careers. Faculty selected as Doctoral Mentoring Fellows (DMF) will participate in a year-long program of reading and discussing topics such as cross-cultural mentoring, the experience of graduate students from underrepresented groups, graduate student socialization and career choice, and how faculty advisors affect the experience and options available to graduate students. In addition to becoming more knowledgeable advisors themselves, the Fellows will serve as a resource for their departments to develop strategies for diversifying the  pipeline to the professoriate in their own disciplines.

“This project has given me the understanding and knowledge I was looking for with respect to both recruiting diverse students and realizing their perceptions of the words and actions of faculty may often be different. “ John Classen, 2015-16 Fellow, Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Through this program I was introduced to multiple impactful studies that have been conducted on the topic of advising graduate students of underrepresented background. Discussion of these studies brought to light issues that exist at NCSU as well as possible approaches to improve the graduate student experience.”Liara Gonzalez, 2015-16 Fellow, Clinical Sciences.

2016-17 Doctoral Mentoring Fellows

  • Belinda Akpa, Molecular Biomedical Sciences
  • John Begeny, Psychology
  • Jackie Bruce, Agricultural and Human Sciences
  • Howard Bondell, Statistics
  • Gina Fernandez, Horticultural Science
  • April Fogleman, Food Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences
  • Maria Mayorga, Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Stacy Nelson, Forestry and Environmental Sciences
  • Richard Spontak, Chamical and Biomolecular Engineering


Activities of the DMF Program

The Doctoral Mentoring Fellows will be expected to make the following commitments:

  • Actively participate in a monthly reading and discussion group from August 2017 through April 2018.
  • Read one to two papers per month for discussion and complete a few associated activities, such as talking with colleagues or attending an optional lecture.
  • Develop and launch a small initiative to enhance diversity in the graduate pipeline to the professoriate in their department or discipline. 

2016-17 Schedule of Topics

  • August: Call to action – Why are we here?
  • September: People and Environment: Graduate student experiences.
  • October: Projects: Brainstorming and tools for making change
  • November: Unconscious bias and stereotype threat
  • January: Projects: Informal progress reports and discussion
  • February: Why focus on faculty advisors
  • March: Diversifying the professoriate
  • April: Member projects, final reports 

How to Apply

To nominate a faculty member or to apply for the Doctoral Mentoring Fellowship, please send the nominee’s CV, including a list of doctoral students, and a statement of interest addressing the selection criteria to Marcia Gumpertz at by Tuesday, August 1, 2017. Successful nominees will be invited to serve as Fellows by August 8.

DMF Selection Criteria

Fellows will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Active and successful dissertation advising
  • Demonstrated interest in intellectual growth outside academic specialty
  • A willingness to serve as a change agent for mentoring and diversifying the graduate population

2016-17 DMF Projects

The Doctoral Mentoring Fellows Program is sponsored by the Graduate School and the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity.

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