IGC Fellows and GCC faculty at the IGC IGEP Welcome Reception in August 2015.

The Interfaces of Global Change (IGC) Graduate Student Organization has launched a new Fellow-to-Fellow Mentoring Program! Highlighted at the IGC Graduate Student Symposium on April 23, 2021, this Fellow-initiated peer mentoring program seeks to foster a support system composed of incoming, current, and alumni IGC Fellows.

Since the inception of the IGC Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program (IGEP) in 2013, the number of graduate Fellows and affiliated university departments has grown rapidly. While a marker of the program’s success, the growth also presents a challenge to maintain the small-knit community and network that is so valued by the program’s participants. Seeking to bolster the IGC’s inclusive community, Fellows Jessica Hernandez, Brenen Wynd, and Jennifer Brousseau developed the Fellow-to-Fellow Mentoring Program in the autumn of 2020.

The purpose of this initiative is to provide senior IGC graduate Fellows the opportunity to guide incoming IGC Fellows and foster inclusivity by sharing the wisdom they have gained from their graduate school experiences. As mentees rise through the program, they will have the opportunity to transition to the role of mentor and gain critical mentorship skills themselves. The program aims to create a safe environment for graduate students to seek advice and openly communicate with their peers outside of their home department or research group. Current alumni and graduating students will also be encouraged to participate in both a mentorship capacity as well as a resource for career-orientated topics. This will include a new alumni network and invitations to future panel discussions and IGC-sponsored events.

Part of a mentoring group meeting this spring with IGC Fellows Jenn Brousseau (FREC), Forde Upshur (BIOCHEM) and Alaina Weinheimer (BIOL).

While the global pandemic has put many things on hold for the first IGC peer mentor groups, small groups gatherings, one-on-one meetings and larger virtual discussions have already been held throughout this spring semester. Jessica, Brenen and Jennifer look forward to welcoming new participants in the IGC Peer Mentoring Program as well as expanding training opportunities and social events in the near future.

Global Change Center faculty and IGC Fellows should be on the lookout via email and in the GCC Weekly newsletter for updates regarding future opportunities to engage with the program’s activities. With enthusiastic support from Fellows, Global Change Center faculty and leadership, we hope to establish the peer mentoring program as an integral facet of the IGC experience.


IGC Fellow-to-Fellow Mentoring Program committee members:

Mentoring Word Cloud
A word cloud generated from faculty and Fellow input during the IGC Graduate Research Symposium on April 23, 2021