Mentoring Structure

Multi-layered Mentoring Plan

We will employ a multi-layered mentoring approach, in which multiple teams – faculty, staff and peers – serve specific mentoring roles:


Each student will receive constellation mentoring by a team of faculty members with diverse backgrounds and expertise; constellation mentoring is a model in which all team members work together to advise their assigned trainee on academic, personal, health, and mental wellness issues and in professional skills to navigate these issues. Each faculty member shall provide support in areas suited for the mentor and, upon consent of the mentee, will share information with other mentors in the team. We will emphasize transparency and ensure that the students understand that this constellation mentoring includes faculty who serve as student advocates as well as those who can integrate input concerning academic and research progress. To assure equity-minded mentoring that reflects cultural competence relevant to the background and prior experience of the trainees, mentors will be required to participate in the Mentor Training led by Dr. Sokac at UIUC.

In addition to faculty mentors, mentoring will be also provided by peer and staff mentors, who may appear less intimidating than faculty members and with whom the trainees may feel more comfortable sharing information. Any confidential information sharing with faculty mentors will require student consent. Each Fisk student will be matched with an upper-level peer mentor in the Master’s phase and another peer mentor already pursuing a Ph.D. degree at UIUC, serving as role models who can help navigate the academic systems at Fisk and UIUC. Program Manager at UIUC will serve as a Staff Mentor throughout each trainee’s appointment at Fisk and UIUC. Our support starting from their arrival at Fisk and continuing after transition to UIUC will help maintain trainees’ trust in our Program. Fisk MPI Limbird will render her expert help to co-mentor trainees as appropriate.