The Labster Podcast

How to Be a Faculty Mentor

Episode Summary

Having a faculty mentor can make a world of difference to a student looking for guidance on how to pursue a career in STEM. In this episode, we’ll get to speak with Professor Lucia Santacruz of Bowie State University who combines her love of teaching with her passion for mentoring her students. Lucia shares her thoughts about how faculty mentors can help their students find the right path to a rewarding STEM career. This is especially important guidance if a well-meaning parent is pressuring their STEM student to become a doctor without exploring other options! SJ and Lucia close the session with a reflection on how mentoring can help close the diversity gap in STEM.

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

Lucia: [03:30] Fundamentally, I think it's an ethical duty, it's a moral imperative to make science shared with everybody. And that is not easy. 

Lucia: [06:52] Science has to be accessible not just to my cell bio students or cancer bio students, or to surgery residents or to med students. It has to be accessible to everybody. 

Lucia: [17:35] Mentoring is shepherding, but letting the person experience. Give advice but not impose, listen and give an opinion, and but don't be impositive in your advice. And always, always, always tell the truth. 

Lucia: [00:22:16] If you were to look in the hospital, you see that a lot of the technicians in the labs, the support staff in nursing are individuals that represent diversity. But as you start advancing in their hierarchy, … the lack of diversity becomes … very, very pronounced. 

Lucia: [25:33] STEM ... particularly when it refers to diversity, is not a bubble. It is connected, and it's a consequence of society where we are and what decisions have been. And it will take all of us to work and to be honest and in order to really address disparities in a meaningful way. 

Episode 16 Transcript:

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