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Creating Better Strategies for Research Mentorship

July 19, 2019

This summer, more than 30 students are participating in mentored research experiences through the Summer Fellows Research Program, RMAPI Fellows, and the Presidential Research Fellows Program. But, these undergraduates aren’t the only ones conducting research through the program.

A student discusses her research during the annual Research and Creative Works Symposium.

Dr. Kristin Picardo, director of the Center for Student Research and Creative Work, is tracking their progress and assessing how the program runs as a part of EvaluateUR, an online platform developed by SUNY Buffalo State and funded by the National Science Foundation.

“I am so thrilled that Fisher is part of a national effort and our students to get to shape this tool,” Picardo said. “The things we learn from the platform will inform what our programming looks like in the future. This could mean weaving in additional mentoring strategies and professional development opportunities that can enhance student growth and learning across disciplines through mentored research.”

Currently in its third pilot phase, EvaluateUR collects assessment data to see how students build skills during the course of a research project. Fisher is serving as a pilot site along with other colleges and universities across the country, and students and faculty members conducting research this summer are using the platform to evaluate their work on 11 outcomes.

Students and faculty mentors first completed an initial survey sharing their perceptions of their skills and knowledge set. Throughout the program, they will return to EvaluateUR to complete additional self-assessments and will meet to discuss their progress. During three coffee and conversation events, the students and faculty mentors come together and share their experiences.

Dr. Cynthia McCloskey, who is mentoring students through the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative research fellowship, said the platform was a welcome addition to the program. “I like that it looks at how mentors and students are working together to support the students’ work,” she said.