Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe from the New York University School of Medicine is sitting in his parked car in the garage of his home in New Jersey. It is 5:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening and he is eager to join his wife and three sons for dinner. But first, he picks up his cell phone to return a call from his mentee, Dr. Lisa Lewis. Dr. Lewis is panicked because her grant resubmission is due tomorrow and she’s unsure how to address the expert reviewer’s comments. For the next hour, Dr. Ogedegbe walks Lisa through every line of the reviewer’s comments and together they determine how best to respond. “I have never before received this level of commitment from a mentor,” says Dr. Lewis.
Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis, co-principal investigator of the PRIDE Behavioral Medicine and Sleep Disorders Summer Instituteexternal link icon along with Dr. Ogedegbe, believes it is interactions like the one detailed above that make the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-sponsored PRIDEexternal link icon (Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research) program unique. He said that Dr. Ogedegbe’s thorough and timely response to his mentee is typical of PRIDE mentors, who are extremely passionate about and committed to nurturing the next generation of minority scientists.
PRIDE mentor Dr. Karina Davidson from Columbia University says that what makes the program unique is consistent mentoring. At the first Summer Institute, the PRIDE participant is paired with a mentor who is a recognized expert from his or her research field. This expert joins with a team of mentors who work together synergistically to enhance the success of participants. The team includes a career coach, who helps the mentee develop a resume, learn how to network, and practice job interview skills.
Dr. Carmela Alcántara [PRIDE Alumna of the Mentoring Researchers in Latino Health Disparities] from Columbia University Medical Center took full advantage of the PRIDE team mentor approach. Working closely with her PRIDE mentors gave her the boost she needed to excel in her career as an academic researcher by helping her build her research competency and grant writing skills, and by providing invaluable networking opportunities.
[Posted : 07/10/2014]