BUILD EXITO works to strengthen institutional capacity for mentor training

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By Jen Lindwall

BUILD EXITO is working to strengthen institutional capacity for training the mentors who support traditionally underrepresented scholars pursuing research in biomedical fields.

In December 2019, BUILD EXITO collaborated with the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Portland State University (PSU, BUILD EXITO’s primary institution) and the Graduate School at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU, BUILD EXITO’s research-intensive partner) to co-sponsor and host a 2-day Train-the-Trainer workshop for the Entering Mentoring curriculum. Recognizing that quality mentoring is an important contributor to the success of researchers across all disciplines and career stages, the goal of this session was to help faculty improve the mentoring methods they use with students and postdocs while also learning to be facilitators of mentor training.

The workshop was offered by Christine Pfund, Ph.D., and Anna O’Connell from the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Content focused on the core modules of the curriculum such as maintaining effective communication and addressing equity and inclusion. There was great enthusiasm for the workshop, with the session filling to capacity and resulting in waiting lists at both PSU and OHSU. 

A total of 32 faculty mentors from multiple BUILD EXITO partner institutions (PSU, OHSU, University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Guam, Clark College, Clackamas Community College) participated in the workshop and learned how to facilitate the mentor training curriculum.

After attending the training, Marilyn Mackiewicz, Ph.D., said, “I am completely impressed with the National [Research] Mentoring Network; they are amazing facilitators and their resources you get access to are completely amazing. Speechless!”Mackiewicz is aBUILD EXITO Research Mentor and an assistant professor of chemistry research at Portland State University.

These newly qualified facilitators are ready and eager to train their colleagues serving as mentors. To implement ambitious plans for mentor training, both OHSU and PSU are establishing Mentoring Academies that will coordinate and provide logistical support for the training sessions to be offered by the new facilitators.

Group photo of faculty and staff from PSU and OHSU

 Above: Several of the faculty and staff from PSU and OHSU who were trained in the NRMN Entering Mentoring Curriculum in December 2019.

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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