Dr. O’Brien-Richardson and Dr. Williams receive team grant for Rutgers community

March 1, 2024

Patti O’Brien-Richardson Briana Bivens, Madinah Elamin, Anette Freytag, Corina Hernandez, Anthony Jones, Darnell Thompson, and Shar Williams were awarded a grant in the 2023-24 Mutual Mentoring Grant cycle. This collective was formed to build capacity for academic publishing and publicly-engaged scholarship while curating a space to cultivate research and teaching practice in the community.

Their team, named The Scholarly Practitioners Collective (SPC), will deepen collaboration and apply equity values to mentoring relationships within this interdisciplinary team. The team will build their capacity for academic publishing and publicly-engaged scholarship by establishing a collaborative sustainable writing practice related to student engagement and anti-oppressive advocacy.

What is Mutual Mentoring?

The Mutual Mentoring program supports faculty at any career stage in developing robust mentorship networks, within and outside of Rutgers University, to combat isolation and ensure all faculty have the resources they need to thrive.

The Mutual Mentoring Program, developed at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, is an established vehicle for providing comprehensive support to faculty that also gives them agency in defining the modes of support that will be most useful to support their success.

“Mutual Mentoring” distinguishes itself from the traditional ‘top-down’ model of mentoring by:

  • Encouraging the development of non-hierarchical, collaborative networks where each person provides specific areas of knowledge and experience.
  • Forming network relationships that benefit both the person traditionally known as the “mentee” as well as the person traditionally known as the “mentor.”

Mutual mentoring has been proven to support faculty by helping them to develop their professional identities, promoting their well-being and job satisfaction, and improving productivity. Studies consistently find that mutual mentoring relationships lead to increased research output, more effective teaching, more dynamic networks, and improved tenure and promotion prospects. It nurtures vital social connections with colleagues who can provide advice, encouragement, and feedback over the course of a faculty member’s professional life.

Team Grant Program

Provides support of up to $6000 per award and supports networks of four or more faculty. Team grants may include a mix of types and ranks of faculty, as long as the majority of individuals meet the eligibility criteria.

Read more about the program: https://diversity.rutgers.edu/mutualmentoring

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