On May 4, 2022, the Professional Development Core (PDC) of the Hispanic Alliance for Clinical and Translational Research (Alliance) coordinated a Research Mentor training hosted by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). This training was based on the evidence-based Entering Mentoring curriculum, which has positively impacted mentorship skills and knowledge, elsewhere. The 5-hour comprehensive workshop was open to the Investigators and Faculty from the Alliance three partner institutions: the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Universidad Central del Caribe, Ponce Medical School Foundation as well as to investigators and Faculty from other institutions of Puerto Rico. Each participant in this workshop, who finished all the tasks, became a certified mentor.
One of the trainers was Dr. Kermin J. Martínez-Hernández. Dr. Martínez-Hernández is the founder of K-21 Consulting LLC and an Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. He has vast experience offering workshops such as Entering Mentoring, Facilitator Training for Entering Mentoring, and Culturally Aware Mentoring. He has also done synchronous online research mentor training (RMT) for mentors participating in the NSF Research Experiences of Undergraduate (REU) programs, including graduate students, postdocs, and faculty. He is an active NRMN & CIMER Facilitator across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Another of the trainers was Ms. Stephanie House. Ms. House has been working on mentoring initiatives via the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research since 2009. She also worked with the NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMNet.net); co-directed the Master Facilitators Initiative during the first phase of the grant; and is now working as a researcher on a national trial to study an intervention to promote culturally responsive mentorship. Ms. House received her graduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1998.
A total of 18 participants attended this workshop. Of the attendees, fifteen (83.3%) completed the satisfaction questionnaire. Overall, the participants surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with the information presented, speakers’ expertise, organization, length, format, materials, and facilities of this workshop. Similarly, all surveyed indicated that they strongly agreed or agreed that this workshop was helpful in their professional development.
Mentoring is integral for academic success, yet researchers are often left to their own devices to learn effective mentoring through trial and error.
This half-day workshop for faculty mentors focused on helping mentors build a framework for effective and evidence-based research mentoring. Participants explored new approaches while working through mentoring challenges, reflected upon their mentoring experiences, and refined their mentoring styles. Case studies, activities, and small-group discussions helped accelerate the acquisition of mentoring insights and cultivate effective mentee-mentor relationships.
This new cadre of certified mentors will nourish the mentor workforce of the Alliance, thus expanding PDC’s opportunity to provide appropriate mentoring to upcoming researchers early in their careers.