To many on the outside, life as a tenured faculty member conjures up images of dreamy afternoons spent theorizing at one's desk, interspersed with occasional trips to the lab to hold up test tubes to the light. Of course, anyone who's been to grad school for more than a week knows there's more to scientific endeavor than that. In fact, a faculty member's requisite skill set is quite extensive.
"Substantially more scientists and engineers graduate from U.S. universities than can find attractive career openings in the U.S. workforce, [and] the postdoc population, which has grown very rapidly in U.S. universities and is recruited increasingly from abroad, looks more like a pool of low-cost research lab workers with limited career prospects than a high-quality training program for soon-to-be academic researchers." --Michael Teitelbaum
"Andrea treats me like someone who’s intelligent enough to run a laboratory experiment by himself, but she’s always there for questions. She’ll have a long conversation with a former student who’s visiting from med school, or talk to us about our futures, or hang out and discuss TV. She’s your friend, and she cares about you." --Matthew Mansh
"If, in the course of the day, faculty spend some time talking about their career and careers in general, it wouldn’t be something they would have to keep a note of in a logbook and say, ‘Oh, this isn’t research-related.’ ”--Joseph Ellis
Early and sustained interventions which strongly feature mentoring are essential in helping Native American and Latino students navigate an unfamiliar academic system that is dominated by majority culture and practices. Throughout students’ educational progression and well into their initial strides upon donning the doctoral gown, they depend upon a clearly marked career map, research training opportunities, professional skills development, peer networks, and role models. These factors can mean the difference between successfully reaching their goals and taking missteps ending in an impassable career detour.