The BUILD Mentoring Community (BMC) was developed by Dr. Kelly Young, Education Innovation Coordinator, in Phase I of the CSULB BUILD Program. Our BMC was a 2-semester cohort-based training program for faculty, staff, and administrators created based on the National Research Mentoring Network's (NRMN's) Entering Mentoring Program. The CSULB NIH BUILD program has adapted Entering Mentoring to a hybrid-training course that focuses on mentoring undergraduate researchers.
Each semester, a cohort of BUILD faculty mentors will come together as part of the ten-week BMC to learn, contemplate, and discuss issues in mentoring undergraduate research students. Participation in the BMC occurs over two semesters: the first semester includes both an online discussion group and a face to face intercultural communication workshop, while semester two is an independent project where participants will pilot and assess refinements in their mentoring skills.
The hybrid learning in semester one takes place over 10 weeks. Our hybrid program kicks off with one face-to-face meeting followed by eight weeks of online discussion, using the NRMN Entering Mentoring program. BMC members will read, discuss, and share personal expertise in: mentoring philosophy, aligning expectations of mentors with mentees, ways to promote professional development, effective communication, equity and inclusion, assessing understanding, fostering independence, cultivating ethical behavior, and creating a mentoring plan. Week ten of the program focuses on intercultural communication and can be completed independently of the nine hybrid weeks. BUILD intercultural workshops take place 2-3 times each semester and can be completed as convenient.
Using new or refined skills from the Entering Mentoring Program, participants will pilot a mentoring-related project in semester two. This independent project can range in scope and complexity and is created by the BMC member in conjunction with the BMC leader. The idea is to put new ideas into practice and to assess their effectiveness with your CSULB research team.
The BMC is designed to be time efficient for busy faculty and those who complete the program receive an honorarium and a Certificate of Completion by NRMN. The BMC program were offered every Fall and Spring semester. Dr. Young, who is widely recognized for her effective Faculty Learning Communities applicable to STEM fields, served as a meta-leader of the BMC, guiding the quality and consistency of the projects proposed, evaluating BMC outcomes, and publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, as appropriate. BMC alumni, including Joshua Cotter, PhD (Kinesiology), Arturo Zavala, PhD (Psychology), Niloofar Bavarian, PhD (Health Sciences), Jason Schwans, PhD (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Virginia Gray, PhD (Nutrition Sciences), Araceli Gonzalez, PhD (Psychology) and Deborah Fraser, PhD (Biological Sciences),have served as BMC Peer Leaders and were provided assigned time to do so. In addition to addressing faculty pedagogy and mentorship skills, an important outcome of the BMC was the testing of "research-emphasized" and "culturally-tuned" methods to determine "best practices", which were then disseminated to the broader scientific community.