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NRMN Master Facilitators Reflect on Recent Retreat

By October 22, 2015No Comments

To help meet a growing national demand for culturally responsive mentorship programming for researchers and students across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences, the NRMN has recruited a cadre of Master Facilitators who are able to provide mentor, mentee, and facilitator training for diverse populations across career stages, with emphasis on the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences. This September, NRMN’s group of now 35 Master Facilitators met together in Madison, WI for their second Master Facilitator retreat.

The inaugural NRMN Master Facilitators retreat was held at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in January 2015. This day and a half-long event was attended by 25 participants from across the country. An additional 10 participants joined the NRMN Master Facilitator community at the second retreat held in September 2015. Participants at the retreat learned about NRMN, shared their varied experiences with mentor and mentee training, and collaboratively decided how this new community of Master Facilitators will work together to meet the national demand for training. Space and time were also created for reflection on facilitation, learning about new strategies, experiencing new training modules, logistics and planning for future NRMN programs, and discussing next steps.

Facilitator Retreat2-crop

Top Left to Right: Bob Tillman, PhD; Kermin Martínez-Hernández, PhD; Cheri Barta, PhD, Lori Adams, PhD; Amy Prunuske, PhD; Melissa McDaniels, PhD; Anne Marie Weber-Main, PhD; Stephanie Robert, PhD; Esam El-Fakahany, PhD; Kelly Diggs-Andrews, PhD; Anna Sokac, PhD; Philip Cheng, PhD; Amber Smith, PhD; Anne Lynn Gillian-Daniel, PhD; Sandra Crouse-Quinn, PhD; Janet Branchaw, PhD; Harlan Jones, PhD; Stephanie House, MA; Angela Byars-Winston, PhD; Sonia Zárate, PhD; Christine Sorkness, RPh, PharmD; Jenna Roger, PhD; Pam Asquith, PhD; Kim Spencer, BS; Kelley Harris Johnson, PhD; Christine Pfund, PhD; Mitchell Feldman, MD, MPhil, FACP; Evelyn Frazier, PhD; Amanda Butz, PhD; Emily Utzerath, MA.
Not pictured: Dennis Durbin, MD; Andrew Greenberg, PhD; Patricia Kokotailo, PhD; Emma Meagher, MD; Sarah Miller, PhD; Stephen Thomas, PhD; Earlise Ward, PhD, LP

Who are the NRMN Master Facilitators?

  • 35 individuals from 16 institutions across 11 states who have experience with mentor and/or mentee training and a passion for increasing the retention and advancement of diverse groups by improving mentoring relationships
  • Mix of faculty and staff from disciplines that span the breadth of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), with experience mentoring a wide range of mentees, from high school students to junior faculty

What kinds of training do they facilitate?

  • Research mentor training – Evidenced-based training to help improve mentoring skills for mentors of undergraduates through junior faculty across STEMM. Training is being developed and offered face-to-face, in an online synchronous format, and as a self-paced online course.
  • Research mentee training – Evidenced-based training to help undergraduates through junior faculty mentees across STEMM effectively navigate their mentoring relationships.  
  • Facilitator training/train-the-trainers workshops – Evidence-based workshops to teach attendees how to effectively implement mentor or mentee training at their respective institutions.

Participants reflecting on the retreat wrote about what they saw as the greatest takeaways:

  • “It was wonderful to be in community with a group of people who shared a common goal to discuss what works.”
  • “Talking with others who have a passion for mentor/mentee training.”
  • “The opportunity to network with other facilitators and hear about training. experiences/questions and new modules and to get updates on NRMN training initiatives.”
  • “Sense of community, learning from each other experiences, modeling of activities, clarifying NRMN logistics.”
  • “The greatest strength in my opinion was creating a sense of community with different strengths, and having a plan of action.”
  • “Networking and solidifying the role of Master Facilitators in the NRMN network.”

Those interested in becoming an NRMN Master Facilitator will be able to apply starting in 2016.

Written by: Stephanie House, Sonia Zárate and Kermin Martínez-Hernández

Editor: Drew Simenson

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