‘Transformative Mentoring’ at Dissertation Symposium/Retreat

Six months have passed since the 2015 Holmes Scholars Dissertation Retreat at Florida A&M University (FAMU). It was an honor and pleasure to work with my colleagues as we coordinated the last two retreats, and we owe special thanks to Carolyn Hopp and Sheila Moore for organizing the 2015 event. Now we’ve begun preparations for the third annual retreat—to be held May 27-28, 2016, this time at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Highlights of the 2015 event included a welcoming lunch and keynote address, breakout sessions to assist students at all phases of the dissertation process, and outstanding support provided by Holmes mentors, university faculty, and even many who were not affiliated with our network, such as writing coach Vernetta Williams.

A poll conducted by Adrianne Taylor and Niah Hatcher revealed participants’ most memorable experiences from the 2015 retreat. A few themes emerged, with the most significant relating to professors’ lending their support to the students. Opportunities for collaboration were also recognized, as former doctoral students offered both personal and professional insights into navigating the doctoral degree process. A network of scholarship permeated the entire weekend as Holmes Scholars discussed their various research interests through presentations and informal discussions.

The 2016 symposium and retreat will focus on “transformative mentoring of doctoral students for success in research, scholarship, and service” and will include strands on the research process, faculty mentoring, grant writing, manuscript writing/publishing, postdoctoral tenure and promotion process, and self-advocacy/health. The event is being coordinated jointly by the FAMU and UCF chapters of the Holmes Scholars Program. We appreciate the ongoing support from the National Association of Holmes Scholar Alumni and AACTE, and we are eager to reconnect with our Holmes Scholars family in Orlando in May!

For more information and to register, visit http://education.ucf.edu/hsscholar/conference.cfm.

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Terrance McNeil

Holmes Scholar, Florida A&M University.

Desmond Hodge

Holmes Scholar, Florida A&M University.