Mentoring

“You never know what person you’re going to meet at SACNAS who’s going to influence your life forever. I can name ten people I’ve met at SACNAS who have been instrumental in changing the course of my career.”
 - Maggie Werner-Washburne, PhD, professor of biology, University of New Mexico

In order to foster the next generation of minority scientists and science leaders, SACNAS recognizes that mentoring is the essential ingredient to building confidence and navigating towards success. For that reason, mentoring is at the heart of all SACNAS activities.

SACNAS Students as Mentees

Coming Face to Face with Mentors: The most important (and sometimes most difficult) first step in meeting a mentor is simply introducing yourself. At SACNAS, we bring you face to face with leading scientists from throughout the country. Now it is your job to take part in the formal mentoring and networking activities offered at the national conferences, regional meetings, and SACNAS chapters. Dr. David Burgess, a professor at Boston College and a past president of SACNAS says, “Don’t be shy! Ask questions! Scientists wouldn’t be at the SACNAS conference if they didn’t want to interact with you.”

Fostering a Mentoring Relationship: Once you have met a mentor, continue to foster the connections developed and keep communicating with your mentor throughout the year.

“I met my mentor at the last SACNAS conference and throughout the year, I kept in contact with him. I kept him updated on my academic progress. My mentor is an incredible person! He always heard me out, and he has always provided me with kind words and has aided me to build on my ‘academic confidence’ issues that I still struggle with.” 
 - William Saravia, graduate student, Cal Poly Pomona

SACNAS Professionals as Mentors

Role Models: Whether you realize it or not, you are a role model. Simply being member of the professional community at SACNAS, you are providing inspiration to the SACNAS students. The SACNAS mentoring program allows you to expand on this role and build meaningful relationships with our enormously talented and dedicated students.

Changing Lives: SACNAS mentors are the embodiment of the organization’s mission. As a volunteer chapter advisor, abstract reviewer, student presentations judge, or active participant at any one of our regional or national meetings, you can have immediate, direct impact on the lives of SACNAS students.

Mentoring for Mentors: SACNAS understands that we never outgrow the need for clear-headed advice, and so our mentoring program is designed to nurture you at every stage of your education and career.

From informal mentoring opportunities like professional development sessions and peer to peer networking at our national conference, to our rigorous leadership program, SACNAS provides opportunities for mentors to receive continued support and guidance.

"Being at SACNAS really hit home—that passion and talent for science is pretty evenly distributed across all students, but educational backgrounds and access to resources are not. Mentoring closes that gap and levels the playing field for all students. I've always believed that, but at SACNAS you can really make a difference as a mentor!"
 - Dr. Josephine Rodriguez, postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, 2010 Summer Leadership Institute attendee, and participant at the 2010 SACNAS National Conference