Written By: Melissa McDaniels & Stephanie House
Given that we are nearing the end of the phase one of NRMN grant, 30 of the NRMN Master Facilitators came together in Madison, WI on April 29 and 30 for a working meeting to complete intellectual products that were started over the past five years, as well as plan for sustaining the momentum of both the community of practice and the curricular innovations.
The agenda was developed to be both structured (to facilitate completion of specific products/projects) as well as fluid enough to to enable creative conversations and networking. The majority of our time together was structured as co-work sessions. For those unfamiliar with the idea, co-working is: “a self-directed, collaborative and flexible work style that is based on mutual trust and the sharing of common core objectives and values between members” (Foertsch, 2011). During these co-working periods, Master Facilitators worked on a variety of projects supporting new Entering Mentoring modules (e.g., LGBTQ+), as well as several mentee training projects, including “mentoring up” for both early career faculty and postdocs, and Entering Research for undergraduates and graduate students. Collectively, the entire group met to talk about how the learning community might collect and share curricular materials beyond the official end of NRMN phase one.
We also celebrated the accomplishments of this learning community over last last five years, which include collectively leading mentor training, mentee training, facilitator training, and culturally aware mentor training for over 9000 participants as well as significantly expanding curricular materials. A manuscript that outlines the development and accomplishments of the group has been drafted and was distributed for review at the meeting. Once feedback has been incorporated from the community, it will be submitted for publication. The meeting also reaffirmed the friendships and professional partnerships that emerged and will continue into the future.