Mentoring International Students, Postdoctoral Scholars, and New Professionals
Yan Xia, Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Stephen Russell, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin; Catherine Solheim, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Jou-Chen Chen, Ph.D., Western Michigan University
- Students and New Professionals
About the Session
Whether you are a first-year undergraduate student, or a student enrolling in graduate school, navigating the higher education system is a challenge. This experience can be especially complex for international students who must contend with a host of socio-cultural considerations (e.g., language barriers, cultural norms) as well as separation from family and friends. A positive mentoring relationship can help buffer some of the challenges faced by international students. The mentor-mentee relationship can be vital for international students who not only deal with a high level of cultural adjustment, but must also adjust to the unique culture of academia (Ku, Lahman, Yeh, Cheng, 2008). Moreover, it is important for students to have a mentor who they perceive as caring about their personal and professional success (Fries-Britt & Snider, 2015). In addition to offering emotional support, mentoring tends to be most effective when it involves role modeling and career guidance. This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities of mentoring international students, as well as postdoctoral scholars and new professionals, and will feature a panel of established scholars who have extensive experience working with international students and new professionals in teaching, research, and outreach settings. The 2017 winner of the Felix Berardo Scholarship Award for Mentoring, Yan Ruth Xia, will sit on the panel along with Drs. Stephen Russell and Catherine Solheim. International section member, Dr. Jou-Chen Chen, will moderate the session. The panel will begin with a preplanned Q&A led by Dr. Chen (40 min) to introduce key considerations for mentorship of international students, followed by an audience Q&A (35min).
Attendees will gain knowledge in: (1) How to develop a welcoming and productive environment for international students and new professionals. (2) How to assist international students and new professionals with navigating personal and professional barriers and challenges. (3) How to collaborate with international students and new professionals in teaching, research, and outreach activities.