Minority Mentoring Program Welcome and FAQ for Mentors

Welcome to the Minority Mentoring Program!


Thank you for volunteering as an online mentor of the ASM Minority Mentoring Program.  The goal of the Minority Mentoring Program is to facilitate one-on-one mentoring relationships between minority microbiologists and qualified professionals in their field of interest.  As an online mentor, you play an integral role in a growing network of support for minority microbiologists.


Online mentoring provides the unique opportunity for colleagues in different locations and environments to exchange information and develop an enriching relationship.  While online mentoring relationships are most often initiated via email, the interactions between mentors and mentees continue to be informative and rewarding.


To assist you in your role as an online mentor, the Underrepresented Members Committee has developed the list of Frequently Asked Questions below.  We hope this information is helpful to you as you respond to inquiries from mentees and pursue your online mentoring relationships. 


The Underrepresented Members Committee welcomes your feedback as an online mentor with the program.  Periodically, the committee will ask for your input regarding the program.  We hope that you will participate in our surveys to mentors but also encourage you to share any other comments you might have throughout the year.  To contact the committee, please email Michelle Crispino at mcrispino@asmusa.org or me at mswright@srrc.ars.usda.gov.


Thank you again for your service to the Minority Mentoring Program and the American Society for Microbiology!




Maureen S. Wright

Chair, ASM Underrepresented Members Committee




Frequently Asked Questions for Minority Mentoring Program Mentors


Who will be contacting me?

Mentees identify prospective mentors by searching the database of online mentors by a specific set of search criteria.  Your profile as a mentor has been developed with the information you selected upon joining as a mentor.  Mentees will contact you based upon the results of their search of the mentor database.


How will I communicate with mentees?

Mentees will initiate contact with mentors.  Mentees have been encouraged to identify their interests and mentoring needs at the onset of their communications with you to insure a clear understanding of their needs.  We encourage you to make your preferences for a mentoring relationship known to the mentees in your first conversation.  For example, if you prefer to communicate by email, please share this with the mentee so that they can act accordingly. 



What if I cannot answer the mentee’s questions?

Some questions posed to you by mentees might not be in your field of interest or within your scope of knowledge.  When this situation arises, we encourage you to share this with the mentee.  Further, if you anticipate that the answer could be addressed by another colleague or ASM member, please feel free to provide the reference or encourage the mentee to conduct another search of the Minority Mentoring database.


Additionally, should you receive any inquiries from international mentees, please feel free to provide them with information on ASM’s International Mentoring Program.  The International Mentoring Program was designed specifically to assist international members and their mentoring needs.  The International Mentoring Program can be found at index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2802.


What are some general resources to share with mentees?

Here is a short list of useful websites which might be of interest to mentees:

·          Finding a microbiology degree program  - US News and World Report (http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/tools/brief/cosearch_advanced_brief.php) and Petersons (http://www.petersons.com/GradChannel/code/search.asp?path=gr.fas.grad) offer in-depth search tools for identifying college and universities with microbiological science undergraduate majors and graduate degree programs.

·          Learning more about NIH’s minority programs (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Minority/) – The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (one of the National Institutes of Health) Division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) administers research training programs aimed at increasing the number of minority biomedical and behavioral scientists.  These programs include the MARC, MBRS, and Bridges diversity programs.