Mutual Benefits: Constructing Great Futures Together

In this episode, Dr. Jedidah Isler tells her story of how her career in astrophysics shaped her development and approach to mentorship. Through times of consistent support and in times where support lacked, Dr. Isler discovered what effective mentoring is. Dr. Isler shares about the obstacles marginalized students face in higher education, the different roles of mentors, and how effective and culturally responsive mentorship can expand what’s possible for marginalized students and STEM fields altogether.

The most effective mentoring relationships happen when the relationship is mutually beneficial to all parties. Dr. Jedidah Isler found this as she gave and received significant support at historically black universities, and when she lacked support at predominantly white institutions. As she earned degrees in these different environments, she discovered mentoring is a necessary skill, as is knowing what you need as a mentee.                                                                                     

In this episode, Dr. Jedidah Isler tells her story of how her career in astrophysics shaped her development and approach to mentorship. Through times of consistent support and in times where support lacked, Dr. Isler discovered what effective mentoring is. Dr. Isler shares about the obstacles marginalized students face in higher education, the different roles of mentors, and how effective and culturally responsive mentorship can expand what’s possible for marginalized students and STEM fields altogether. 

Astrophysicist Dr. Jedidah Isler studies hyperactive, supermassive black holes as an assistant professor at Dartmouth College. She is an award-winning scholar and speaker who works at the intersections of science and social justice. She is also the creator and founder of VanguardSTEM, an online platform and monthly series that focuses on women and non-binary people of color in STEM. She founded VanguardSTEM’s parent foundation, The STEM en Route to Change (SeRCH) Foundation, Inc., which uses social media to build community and resources for Black, Indigenous, Women and Non-Binary People of Color in STEM. Dr. Isler is also a co-author of the paper: Defining the Flow—Using an Intersectional Scientific Methodology to Construct a VanguardSTEM Hyperspace.

To learn more about the Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM report, and for a guide to implementing best practices at your institution, visit NAS.edu/mentoring

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