Chapter 2 Resources

Mentoring Strategies that Support Underrepresented Students in Undergraduate Research

Written by Jenny Olin Shanahan

Discussion Questions

  • After decades of research findings that the benefits of participating in UR are most pronounced for students from historically under-served groups, why is UR still disproportionately made available to students with advantaged backgrounds? Do you think your institution is among that majority? If so, what are structural and individual strategies for which you could advocate?
  • How are diverse undergraduate researchers recruited & welcomed (or could be) at your institution?
  • How have you been (or how might you become) a “bridge-builder” between students’ home and academic lives?
  • Are you willing and/or prepared to talk openly about race/ethnicity, racial disparities, microaggressions, etc. with your student-researchers? What resources or professional development would help you prepare for these discussions?
  • In what ways do you expect & value independent social norms: students acting of their own volition, seeking out research & other opportunities, showing assertiveness, etc.? In what ways do you take into account students’ interdependent concerns: not presuming to put themselves forward when others might be “more deserving,” weighing family/home responsibilities with academic goals, etc.?
  • Identify an example you’ve practiced or witnessed of faculty power-sharing with undergraduate researchers.