CRA-DMP Evaluation Report #1

The Mentors' Point of View: Issues Involved in Mentoring in the DMP

VI. Receiving recognition for their participation in the DMP

In the 1994 and 1995 program years, the mentors received neither monetary nor professional recognition for the participation. However, many mentors commented that they would have preferred to receive some sort of recognition for their participation in the DMP. In this section, we will discuss the various methods the mentors stated that the CRA could use to give the mentors some recognition.

VI.A. A letter to the department chair or the academic Dean

Many mentors commented that the CRA should send their department chair or an academic Dean a letter about their participation in the DMP. These mentors felt that such a letter would serve a dual purpose: it would inform their department of their participation in the DMP and also may assist the student in her interactions with the university.

R: To address this issue of not being paid, maybe a little bit more recognition for the women who did participate, 'cause if you're young and untenured, every little piece helps. You know what I mean?

I: Right, so what kind of recognition?

R: I don't know. For example, it would have been nice if my Dean received a letter about my participation. When you get a grant, like, the NSF will notify that research office, my research office, provost. They'll notify me, and they'll notify the dean, or the research office will notify the Dean the provost that this grant was received. That kind of sort of formal recognition that this person is participating in this program would be nice.

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Different people that say the mentors should be paid. I'm not sure that that's needed. One thing that might happen is [if] the department the students were going to, [or] if the head of the department or someplace further up [received a letter of recognition] -- if it were made to seem like more of an award. The way it is now, as far as I know, nobody other than the mentor and the mentee know that this person is coming in, and perhaps if more fanfare could be done at both the home institution and at the student's institution. That might be good even with finding equipment and room for the students. The department also was made aware of this happening. It is an honor. We sell it as an honor.

VI.B. Publicity for their participation in a journal

A few mentors mentioned that it would have been nice to have been honored for their participation in the DMP by having their name listed in some publication, like the Computing Research News. These mentors felt that this publicity would benefit the mentor, her institution, and the DMP.

I: How could the program facilitate it better for people getting points, as you said, for doing this through the university? Have you thought of any way that it would help?

R: [Pause] Oh I don't know, Possibly some more publicity in Computing Research News or you know some publications of the trade if they sort of highlighted the program and some of the experiences of the mentor pairing. And then you know maybe one university would see one of their faculty members highlighted and they didn't even realize they were doing that and they would look at it as good publicity for their university. Then they could use that as a more tangible tool for recruiting or whatever they wanted to use it for. Maybe even something like writing a letter to the department head describing the program and describing the faculty members contribution to the program.

VI.C. Funding may influence more faculty to participate

Many mentors commented that if the DMP provided some sort of funding, more faculty may be inclined to participate. Many of these mentors stated that the funding would not have to be directed toward the mentor. The funding could be applied to cover expenses of having the student, to the department, or to be a stipend for both the student and mentor to attend a conference.

And there's actually no record at all that have participated in this program as far as far as my department is concerned. So for example, it would have been nice if I had gotten at least the grant or something like that. Or there was some benefit. I mean it actually it costs me money to be involved in the program because I have to pay for the computer account and then the way things are set-up around here, you have to make sure there is a machine available and you have to make sure that they can access the network and the servers and things like that. So there is a monthly charge I had to pay. And that was fine because I had enough other grants that it wasn't a problem to pay for that. But somehow it seemed a little bit odd that I was volunteering for this program and it was costing me money to be involved in it.
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R: One of the things that I'm supposed to do is I'm supposed to have research grants. If there was something associated with the program that could be classified as a research grant, even if none of the money came to me, it would be personally advantageous - if there was some funds going to the university to provide some compensation for the resources being used.
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R: It might help if the faculty member got something out of the program in terms of maybe funding to a conference of you know something small out of it.

I: They receive no remuneration, do they? R: No they don't get anything at all. And I think if they did it would at least look better probably for their record or something they'd want to show, they got some kind of funding out of it or a trip or some kind of a reward out of it other than the fact that you hope you've helped a student.

I: So would that be of incentive or as a reward or both, I suppose?

R: Probably both, yeah. I think it would give more respect to the program in terms of I've seen some of the notes on the net about, "Oh why would anybody want to do that? It's just charity work."

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R: And it is hard. I mean there's so much pressure at a university to get funding so if I figure that I spent five hours a week on this, it would probably be better spent at my university to spend five hours a week preparing a grant proposal or something like that.

I: OK, so you really have to look at it that way -- that this, you have to look at the time put in and where else it could have been better directed.

R: That's right. And as near as I can tell you don't get any points for doing this at your own university. I don't think that it would really count favorably for anything like a promotion or a raise or course reduction or anything. Whereas if there was some money attached to it, even if it didn't go to the faculty member, if it went to the university somehow you would get points for it with the university.

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