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ASPET Mentoring Network

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Big Ideas BadgeThe ASPET Mentoring Network: Coaching for Career Development is a program designed to supplement the training that graduate students and postdoctoral trainees receive through their university programs. The ASPET Mentoring Network will focus on developing skills needed to succeed scientifically, professionally, psychologically, and socially, including discussions about experiences and pressures faced by groups that are underrepresented in the sciences. As a professional development experience, the program uses a coaching model to help participants develop success skills for a variety of careers.

Graduate students and postdoctoral scientists accepted into the 2017-2018 program will attend several events in association with Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago, IL. These will include training and an informal reception on Friday April 21, 2017, a half-day program on Saturday, April 22, 2017, and the Graduate Student-Postdoctoral Colloquium on Saturday afternoon. During this time, trainees will meet faculty coaches, other students and postdocs, and become part of a 6-person coaching group. Each trainee will also meet individually with their coach during the EB2017 meeting and participate in virtual group meetings throughout the year. Group events will be tailored to the specific needs of each coaching group, but may focus on work/life balance, interview skills, communication, networking, and other topics frequently identified as important to growth as a professional.

Group of students around table 


Last updated: December 21, 2016 

Who is eligible?

Graduate students and postdoctoral scientists who are members of ASPET are eligible to apply. If you’re not a member, it’s easy to join! Please visit www.aspet.org/membership. Membership applications must be received by the Mentoring Network program application deadline.

What support is provided?

Applicants accepted into the program will receive a $1000 travel award to defray airfare and housing to EB2017, complimentary registration, and meals during the program. Applicants are encouraged to present an abstract at EB2017, but it is not required to be eligible to apply. Please note that if you are accepted into the program, you will not be eligible to receive any other ASPET travel awards for EB2017. Attendance at Mentoring Network events at EB2017 is required for participation.

What do previous participants think of the program?

"Our group instantly connected with each other, and it was amazing to see how much we all had in common. We support each other and plan monthly goals, which motivates us to achieve them. Most importantly, sharing each other’s experiences helps us gain valuable insights."

Suleman Hussain, graduate student, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

“One memorable feature of the ASPET Mentoring Network is that it provides an open forum in which to discuss the ways our lives fit in and around science. Even though our discussions have been adeptly facilitated by established pharmacologists as mentors, of value to me has been the opportunity to interact with and learn from my peers. Despite many of us being in different pharmacology-focused fields, it is these relationships that will be most valuable as we all transition towards becoming independent scientists. I recommend participating in this program enthusiastically and without reservation.”

Cam McCarthy, postdoctoral scientist, Augusta University

ASPET’s mentoring network is a valuable platform, not only to pursue career guidance from well-established scientists but also to develop scientific collaborations with peers. I am finding my dedicated coaching group very helpful for designing my outlook towards future opportunities and challenges. I am really happy to have become part of this excellent program.

Amreen Mughal, graduate student, North Dakota State University

“Participating in the ASPET Mentoring Network has significantly expanded my network in the ASPET community and has provided me with wonderful mentors and fellow mentees that support each other both professionally and personally. I’ve enjoyed hearing stories and getting career advice from a diverse group of people who are at different stages of their careers with varied experiences.”

Sophia Kaska, graduate student, Michigan State University

“Seeking sincere mentorship from experts in the field is crucial for achieving success. ASPET’S Mentoring Network program has provided me a unique lifelong opportunity to cultivate a strong mentor-mentee relationship and seek guidance on anything and everything for successful professional development. Moreover, the program has brought together trainees who face similar challenges during early scientific careers, which allows us to network with each other, along with mentors and find common solutions to any challenges we face”.

Naeem Patil, postdoctoral scientist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

How do I apply?

Applications for the ASPET Mentoring Network are currently closed.

Program contact

For more information contact: Catherine L. Fry, PhD at cfry@aspet.org 

2016-2017 Participants

Postdoctoral Scientists

  • Melissa Barker-Haliski, University of Utah
  • Rebecca Benham Vautour, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School
  • Lisa Brents, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Eman Gohar, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Lauren Haar, Loyola University Chicago
  • Naeem Patil, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Ibolya Rutkai, Tulane University
  • Sherrica Tai, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences 

Graduate Students

  • Seun Ajiboye, Johns Hopkins University
  • Sara Humphreys, Washington State University
  • Suleman Hussain, University of Texas at San Antonio                                     
  • Ram Kandasamy, Washington State University
  • Sophia Kaska, Michigan State University
  • Cameron Kieffer, Creighton University
  • Cam McCarthy, Georgia Regents University
  • Walatta Mesquitta, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Amreen Mughal, North Dakota State University
  • Anh Phan, Loyola University Chicago
  • Angel Rubio, Boston University
  • Tracey Suter, Brown University
  • Zachary Tibbs, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Alexandria Trujillo, SUNY at Buffalo                        
  • Saurabh Vispute, St. John's University                   
  • Chen-Shan Woodcock, University of Pittsburgh

2017-2018 Participants

Postdoctoral Scientists

  • Oreoluwa Adedoyin, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Michael Berquist II, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Patrick Garcia, University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Martha Gay, Howard University
  • T. Lee Gilman, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Joy Guedia, University of British Columbia
  • Iuliana Popescu, University of Kentucky
  • Luc Rougee, Eli Lilly and Company

Graduate Students

  • Rondine Allen, University of Iowa
  • Jugajyoti Baruah, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Alexa Hendricks, Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Joseph  Jilek, University of California, Davis
  • Anthony Jones, SUNY at Buffalo
  • Shrinidh Joshi, North Dakota State University
  • Molly McGinnis, Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • Anastasia Robinson, Howard University
  • William Rodemer, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
  • Olufisayo Salako, Florida A&M University
  • Souvarish Sarkar, Iowa State University
  • Mark Shaaya, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Sarah Sottile, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
  • Venkata Ramana Vaka, University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Ana Vergara, Washington State University
  • Jaydeep Yadav, Temple University School of Pharmacy

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