Mentoring Diverse Students, Winter 2012


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Workshop for UTEP faculty held by Dr. Lorraine Gutierrez from the University of Michigan's MORE Program in January 2012.

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  • Lorraine gutierrez – prof in social work and psych at UM. On faculty since 1995. Phd in social work and Psychology from UM. Member of MORE–MORE is a Rackham project to strengthen our graduate student mentoring capacity at the UMWe recognize the significance of mentoring and the importance of supporting faculty for this roleGrew up in LA – mother immigrated to US in 1918 through El Paso. Group introductions if time and size of group allows
  • We were invited by the program because of the importance you place on mentoring students – We have reviewed your program review report from 2009 and recognize your strengths and concerns:Strengths – diversity of faculty and students; supportive environment for students, best practices – e.g. annual review of students, cohort oriented activities for students (e.g. job placement)Concerns – working with students remotely, communication with students, maintaining contact ABDWe have pulled together a short workshop to provide information on mentoring and “promising practices” that is tailored to your programWe will spend most of our time in working groups to develop some strategies for mentoring practices, programs, and policies
  • Attract good students/trainees - word gets around; the best mentors are usually the most sought-afterAmplify your own success - if a student/postdoc is working with you on research and scholarship, good working relationships tend to be more productive.Develop your professional network - students and other trainees who you mentor will be your future colleagues, and could greatly extend your personal and professional networkSatisfaction - seeing your students and postdocs succeed can be its own reward; results of good mentoring live on after you
  • It is by a sociologists from Princeton but she works at business school at Northwestern. (She did not come up with term "homosocial reproduction” the tendency on the part of authority elites to reproduce themselves through both exclusionary and inclusionary processes What Lauren Rivera (Northwestern) shows is that "who gets the job," given equally qualified (elite) candidates - is often determined by hobbies (hence, the "hobby" section of resumes). I discuss these findings in terms of the changing nature of educational credentialism to suggest that (a) extracurricular activities have become credentials of social and moral character that have monetary conversion value in labor markets and (b) the way employers use and interpret educational credentials contributes to a social closure of elite jobs based on socio-economic status.She did an extensive ethnographic study and the chit-chat about skiing or golfing or cooking, etc. increased rapport with interviewer and then increased likelihood of eventual job offer. I just finished teaching an upper-level undergrad seminar called "Women and Work" and we read this and several related pieces. More importantly, many of the women now plan to learn how to play golf!! They did not realize how important that is for building rapport with clients in business.
  • Research on stereotypes has found that they can affect our beliefs and behaviors of those who have stereotyped and who are the targets of stereotypes, including the performance of those who are stereotyped. Stereotypes can affect how others view us; these views can be positive or negative
  • Jussim, L. and Harber, KD (2005) Teacher Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: Knows and Unknowns, Resolved and Unresolved Controversies. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9(2), 131-155.
  • Identity and Perceptions - Pittinsky, Shih & Trahan (2006) Journal of Applied Social PsychologyInteracting with partner over e-mailUsername:;; Ac@wjh.harvard.eduScripted Interaction - SAT score revealedRecall Information about partnerParticipants interacted with a partner (a research confederate) in a series of e-mail exchanges. The partner used e-mail addresses that subtly cued either the partner's gender identity, the partner's ethnic identity, or neither identity. This subtle identity cue led participants to stereotype their partners in very different ways, biasing recall in directions consistent with the positive and negative stereotypes associated with the different identities cued. Applications of the findings to the problems that stereotypes create are discussed.
  • Pittinsky, Harvard Social Psychologist, has studied the unconscious power of stereotypes…Todd L. Pittinsky, Margaret Shih and Nalini Ambady (2000) Will a Category Cue Affect You? Category Cues, Positive Stereotypes and Reviewer Recall for Applicants.Social Psychology of Education 4: 53–65
  • The average score they recalled was associated with the identity the “applicant” had been assigned - F(2, 106) = 3.79, p < .05; the control score was the closest to the actual score on the application.
  • Observation of underperformanceOf African Americans in academic settingsOf women in mathematicsOf white men in athletic competitionOf white people in interracial interactions
  • Shih, M., Bonam, C., Sanchez, D., & Peck, C. (2007). The social construction of race: Biracial identity and vulnerability to stereotypes. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 13, 125-133.Results from studies show that when one’s identity is emphasized (i.e., made more conscious of one’s identity), then one will perform less well/better if low performance is part of the stereotype of that particular identityExample: Asian American women and performance in mathwill do better if their Asian American identity is emphasized will do worse if their female identity is emphasized
  • Shih, M., Sanchez, D., Ho, G. (2010). The Costs and Benefits of Switching between Social Identities. In R. Crisp (Ed). The Psychology of Social and Cultural Diversity. (pp. 62 – 84). Blackwell: Malden, MA-- χ2(1) = 10.16, p < .01
  • Nguyen, H.-H. D., & Ryan, A. M. (2008). Does stereotype threat affect test performance of minorities and women? A meta-analysis of experimental evidence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 1314-1334.meta-analysis (a statistical examination of data from multiple studies) assessing the impact of stereotype threat on test performance in minorities and women. decrements in performance on difficult tests were larger for minorities than for women. For minorities, stereotype threat effects were largest when cues signaling stereotype threat were moderately explicit; women performed most poorly when gender was subtly highlighted. Women who were moderately identified with a domain such a mathematics were most susceptible to performance decrements under stereotype threat, and effects for highly-identified women were weaker but significant. These results show that stereotype threat effects are reliable but also moderated by several factors. 
  • Good, C., Aronson, J., & Harder, J. A. (2008). Problems in the pipeline: Stereotype threat and women’s achievement in high-level math courses. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 17-28.Osborne, J. W., & Walker, C. (2006). Stereotype threat, identification with academics, and withdrawal from school:  Why the most successful students of colour might be the most likely to withdraw.  Educational Psychology, 26, 563-577.
  • Students do not trust a faculty advisor/mentor’s feedback if only given positive feedback. They want to understand standards, trust they are being evaluated according to them, and make improvements.
  • Research on overcoming stereotype threat --
  • Brown, M. Davis, G., McClendon, S. (1999) Mentoring Graduate Students of Color: Myths, Models, and Modes. Peabody Journal of Education, 74, 2, 105-118; George, Y. & Neale, D. (2006) Report from study group meetings to develop a research and action agenda on STEM career and workforce Mentoring. American Association for the Advancement of Science Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, December 2006
  • Do this in duos or triosReport out – what are the alternatives?What can we do differently?
  • Mentoring Diverse Students, Winter 2012

    1. 1. Mentoring Diverse StudentsUniversity of Texas – El Paso Lorraine Gutiérrez January 10, 2012
    2. 2. Introductions – Who am I?
    3. 3. Plans for today Provide an overview of mentoring and promising practices Examine how mentoring can reduce the risks of unconscious bias Discuss your experiences with effective advising and mentoring practices, and identify possible “promising practices” to address student challenges Create an action plan to enhance your mentoring experiences
    4. 4. Mentors and Mentoring A mentor is a person in an individual’s chosen profession who is actively working to integrate a new person into a professional role. A mentor feels some responsibility for the successful development of the student’s career.  Mentoring is an interpersonal relationship that contributes to the student’s sense of competence, confidence and effectiveness.  Mentoring advances the person’s scholastic and professional goals in directions they desire. Effective mentoring involves understanding and acknowledging the student’s different identities and communities.Alvarez, A. N., et. al. (2009). Tapping the Wisdom Tradition: Essential Elements to Mentoring Students of Color. Paglis, L.,et. al. (2006). Does Adviser Mentoring Add Value? Williams-Nickelson, C. (2009). Mentoring Women Graduate Students: AModel for Professional Psychology.
    5. 5. Careful mentoringcan help avoidmany pitfalls.
    6. 6. Mentoring includes  Advising  Supporting  Tutoring  Sponsoring  Modeling
    7. 7. Benefits of mentoring to students  Improved academic performance  Increased productivity  Improved professional skills  Higher self confidence  Expanded social and professional networks
    8. 8. Good mentoring: Quotes from students My advisor is very nice and warm-hearted. I got a lot of useful advice on academic and career, and s/he is always patient to help me. S/he gave me excellent advice and inquired as to how things were going, giving me a chance to ask questions and start discussions. They treat me with respect. I understand my position as a graduate student working for accomplished individuals, yet they treat me with the respect I deserve as well. That is invaluable. My advisor helped me understand the balance between research and coursework and hence get a good understanding of managing my time effectively. My advisor is super-smart, and can usually help resolve technical problems when I get stuck. Overall, my advisor is a caring person who does his/her best to listen to feedback and learn from it. My advisor is willing to spend time to talk about career development with his/her students, and s/he really knows the most effective way to train his/her students to achieve their career goals.
    9. 9. Benefits of mentoring to faculty Attract good students Amplify your own success Develop your professional network Satisfaction of seeing your students succeed Expand your knowledge of the field and life experiences
    10. 10. Students’ perspectives on mentoringchallenges Every advisor should sit down with their advisee and discuss the program requirements, both short and long term. One of biggest problems of new graduate students is to set his/her academic advisor as soon as possible in order to have both academic and financial supports. However, it is very difficult for first year graduate student to get financial support. I do not feel the program cares about how a student is doing. There is no formal proper follow-up on student progress, and there is no evaluation of who deserves more to be awarded financial aid. Students generally tend to stick with students from their own community. As such it becomes sometimes difficult to interact with many of them. Also, unfortunately in my department graduate students do not tend to go outside their labs, and so sometimes the environment is a little stifling. There seems to be a lot of tension between faculty & students, with students feeling that they have no one to talk to when they have a problem with their advisor, unless they want to risk their reputation by going to the dean or other faculty! Provide clear guidance in research. This has not been achieved because faculty are not directly involved in research; rather, they rely on post-docs to keep the labs running well. However, when such post-docs are not interested in helping others, this model falls apart.
    11. 11. Mentoring in a Diverse World The global environment and changes in society make mentoring a diverse student body increasingly important Studies show that students and faculty may be most comfortable working with people who they view as similar to themselves Effective mentoring requires working with students from many different backgrounds Smith, R. (2002). Race, Gender, and Authority in the Workplace. Annual Review of Sociology, 28, pp. 509-542
    12. 12. Stereotypes and their impactStereotypes are…  social expectations associated with a group identity such as: gender, race/ethnicity, culture, religion, profession, age, education, etc. Stereotypes affect…  perceptions and behaviors in ways that are automatic and unconsciousSteele, C., Spencer, S., Aronson, J. (2002). Contending with group image: Thepsychology of stereotype and social identity threat. Advances in Experimental socialPsychology, 34, 3790404
    13. 13. Stereotypes and Performance  Self Fulfilling Prophecy or “Pygmalion Effect”  When teachers are told to expect superior performance from certain students, these students perform better even when aptitude is equal across the students  Typically, student performance was significantly better than students who were not identified as high potentialJussim, L. and Harber, KD (2005) Teacher Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies: Knowns andUnknowns, Resolved and Unresolved Controversies. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9(2), 13131-155.
    14. 14. Identity and Perceptions Perceptions canbe influenced byvery subtle cues,such as a name oremail address orclothing Even whenobjective data areavailable, memorycan be biasedPittinsky, T. L., Shih, M., & Trahan, A. (2006). Identity cues: Evidence fromand for intra-individual perspectives on stereotyping. Journal of Applied SocialPsychology, 36, 2215-2239.
    15. 15. Stereotypes and Perceptions  Pittinsky, Shih, & Ambady (2000) --  109 Participants randomly assigned to 3 groups  read a college application for “Emily Chen”  all read the same application  Asked to recall the student’s SAT Math Score; instead, she was described as:  An Asian-American High School Student, or  A Female High School Student, or  A High School Student.Pittinsky, T., Shih, M. & Ambady, N. (2000). Will a Category Cue Affect You?Category Cues, Positive Stereotypes and Reviewer Recall for Applicants. SocialPsychology of Education 4: 53–65.
    16. 16. Results – average Math SAT Score
    17. 17. Stereotypes and PerformanceStereotypesabout groups can affect the performanceof group members aka “Stereotype threat:” When individuals are made aware of a negatively stereotyped group identity (e.g. gender or race) test performance is poorer than when identity not mentionedEarlystudies were conducted with African Americanand European American college studentsHas been replicated over 300 times with differentgroups and with men and women with similar resultsSteele, C.M. (2010). Whistling Vivaldi, and other clues to how stereotypes 17affect us. NY: Norton.
    18. 18. Small Cues can Result in StereotypeThreat  “this is a test of intelligence”  “this is a test of mathematical ability”  “this is a test of natural athletic ability”  “this is a test of racial sensitivity”Shih, M., Bonam, C., Sanchez, D., & Peck, C. (2007). The social construction of race:Biracial identity and vulnerability to stereotypes. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic MinorityPsychology, 13, 125-133.
    19. 19. Gender Stereotypes and Interactions Stereotypes can be implicit  – Woman in Mechanics Environment  – Man in an Arts and Crafts Environment Individuals randomly assigned to male-female pairs to perform same task  Activity described as a “building” task or “arts & crafts” task In “building” task situation – men took charge and made the most suggestions In “arts and crafts” task – women took charge and made the most suggestionsShih, M., Sanchez, D., Ho, G. (2010). The Costs and Benefits of Switchingbetween Social Identities. In R. Crisp (Ed). The Psychology of Social andCultural Diversity. (pp. 62 – 84). Blackwell: Malden, MA
    20. 20. How does Stereotype Threat work?  Distraction  Cognitive burden  Anxiety  Physiological discomfort  UnderperformanceNguyen, H.-H. D., & Ryan, A. M. (2008). Does stereotype threat affect testperformance of minorities and women? A meta-analysis of experimental evidence.Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 1314-1334
    21. 21. Impacts on students  Student’s often react to stereotype threat in the following ways:  Disengage from the activity  Decrease their performance  Distance themselves from the group  Change fields or areas of studyGood, C., Aronson, J., & Harder, J. A. (2008). Problems in the pipeline: Stereotype threat and women’sachievement in high-level math courses. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 29, 17-28; Osborne, J.W., & Walker, C. (2006). Stereotype threat, identification with academics, and withdrawal from school: Why themost successful students of colour might be the most likely to withdraw. Educational Psychology, 26, 563-577.
    22. 22. Wise Mentoring Can Lessen StereotypeThreat Trustworthy feedback explicitly links  High expectations  High standards of assessment  Confidence in capacity of student Mentors can communicate that ability or intelligence is not “fixed” but “expandable”  If mentors stress expandability the gender gap in math is eliminated Cohen, G.L., Garcia, J., Apfel, N., & Master, A. (2006, Sept. 1). Science, 313, 1307- 1310; Aronson, Fried & Goode (2002), Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 113-125
    23. 23. Reducing the Impact of Stereotypes Encourage common identities (e.g., graduate student, member of a particular lab) Hold high expectations of all students Provide role models from a variety of backgrounds Recognize that the graduate program is challenging for all students, regardless of identity or background Communicate how skills and abilities can be learned and developed
    24. 24. Promising Practices New Student Orientation Programs “Buddy” Programs that match more advanced grad students with new ones Mandatory yearly performance reviews  written and oral discussions of strengths and weaknesses Honest communication Frequent contact/interaction with students –  Academic activities: brown bags, colloquia, workshops  Social activities: pot lucks, movie nights, picnics Match students and faculty with similar intellectual interests Developing “mentoring plans” with students on an annual basisBrown, M. Davis, G., McClendon, S. (1999) Mentoring Graduate Students of Color: Myths, Models, and Modes.Peabody Journal of Education, 74, 2, 105-118; George, Y. & Neale, D. (2006) Report from study groupmeetings to develop a research and action agenda on STEM career and workforce Mentoring. AmericanAssociation for the Advancement of Science Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs,December 2006.
    25. 25. Promising Practices Provide supports for mentors  Involve faculty in selection of students  Build mentoring into faculty workload  Reward mentoring through recognition, awards, and faculty reviews  Offer mentoring workshops and professional development  Acquaint faculty with recent research on mentoring practices Provide adequate program support for mentoring activitiesAdams, H. (1992). Mentoring: an essential factor in the doctoral process for minority students.National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in engineering. Notre Dame: IN; Hill,R, Castillo, L, Ngu, L, Pepion, K. (1999). Mentoring ethnic minority students for careers inacademia. The counseling psychologist, 27 (6). 827–845.
    26. 26. Small Group Discussiono In your small group, discuss the following: o What are some of the “challenges” for students in your program? o What can a mentor do to address these challenges? o What can a department or school do to address these challenges?
    27. 27. Addressing these challenges… What is one thing you can try to address mentoring challenges this semester?
    28. 28. MORE Mentoring Resources MORE website  Bibliography  Downloadable documents  Links to mentoring websitse