Mentoring: It's the Network

Published in MIT News on March 21, 2014, by Elizabeth Durant, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education

MacVicar Day explores how to create more ways to mentor MIT undergraduates.

At the MacVicar Day symposium on March 14, physics professor Nergis Mavalvala shared a recent email with the audience, using assumed names to protect the innocent.

“Dear Professor X: Thank you very much for encouraging me to talk to Professor Y at the beginning of the semester about a UROP," she said. "I will now be doing a theoretical astrophysics project on tides and stars orbiting near black holes. I’m really looking forward to this and greatly appreciate your help. Sincerely, Student Z.”

It was an apt illustration of the focus of the forum, “Creating a Network of Mentors.” Mavalvala joined two other faculty members and an undergraduate student to discuss the importance of mentors, and to brainstorm ways to enable undergraduate students to develop their own network.

Dean for Undergraduate Education Dennis Freeman moderated the event...

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