Managing Effective Mentoring Relationships and “Mentoring Up”

We all know mentoring relationships involve a dialogue between a mentor and mentee and that the mentee should “drive” the relationship and communicate needs.

Or do we?

Mentoring relationships have greater value and are more effective not only when the mentor is adept at giving advice, but also when the mentee is prepared to guide the mentor. This is a powerful skill called “mentoring up” that can help you get the most out of a mentoring relationship.

In this interactive session, guest speaker Dr. Richard McGee will introduce a conceptual model of effective mentoring through recognition and mastery of core attributes of effective mentoring relationships. In particular, it will introduce how to use these key attributes to also manage your own relationships with mentors – Mentoring Up.  Participants will have the opportunity to complete exercises and analyze cases that set the stage for additional self-paced or workshop-enabled skill building.

Date: December 8th

Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Building 446 Auditorium (on the back end of the APS)

Lunch will be served. Please confirm your attendance through the RSVP link.

In preparation for this session, peruse the mentoring toolkits and Beyond Mentoring resources on the National Postdoctoral Association Website. To gain access to Beyond Mentoring, establish a FREE affiliate membership using your Argonne email address.

About the Speaker:

rickDr. McGee is Associate Dean for Faculty Recruitment and Professional Development Associate Professor of Medical Education, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. McGee has over 30 years of experience as a scientist, professor and leader in developing programs to enhance the professional development of early career scientists. He also leads the Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences (CLIMB) program at Northwestern, which was established to “create a diverse community of young scientists from Northwestern’s five PhD life sciences programs.” CLIMB aims to assist early career scientists and students in their professional development so that they may become more effective at communicating, collaborating and leading productive research careers. These groups utilize a variety of mentoring approaches, especially peer-to-peer mentoring and structured group mentoring.




Faculty Mentor-in-Residence Office Hours

Want some last minute advice before that faculty phone interview? Looking for someone to glance over your teaching and research statements? The Faculty Mentor-in-Residence is here for you!

henneWalter Henne, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Governors State University will hold office hours on Tuesday, November 24th. Walter received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Purdue University with a special focus in Bio-Analytical Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He performed research at Purdue as part of the Philip S. Low Research Laboratory. His current research centers on the design of medical diagnostic assays, devices and targeted chemotherapeutics. He is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed research papers and patents.

Walter will be available to meet walk-ins Tuesday, November 24th, from 10:00 AM to  1:00 PM Building 201, Room 157. After 1:00, come to Room 151.

Please direct questions to Postdoctoral Program Lead, Tina Henne at

Faculty Mentor-in-Residence Seminar

PhD comics

Image from PhD Comics

Best Practices for an Academic Job Search

The November Faculty Mentor-in-Residence is Dr. John Sowa, Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Biological Sciences at Governors State University. Dr. Sowa will deliver a seminar on “Best Practices for an Academic Job Search”. Whether you are in the midst of the academic job search or are planning to jump into the race next year, this seminar is for you!

Date: November 17th

Time: Lunch (provided) will be served at 11:45 AM, Program begins at noon

Location: Building 213, Cafeteria Private Dining Rooms

Please reserve your seat through the RSVP Link.


Aimed for postdoctoral scientists who are interested in pursuing academic careers, Prof. Sowa will share his experiences of being on the “searching” and the “hiring” side of an academic search. The presentation/discussion will include best practices for building an academic profile, applying for positions, interviewing, and starting an academic career. Attendees are encouraged to bring samples of their applications.

About the speaker:


John Sowa is Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Biological Sciences at Governors State University. His research interests are in the areas of organic and organometallic chemistry, homogeneous catalysis, stereochemistry, sustainability and environmental chemistry. He edited the 20th volume of Catalysis of Organic Reactions, has published 35 peer-reviewed articles, and is co-inventor on 3 U.S. Patents. He is a member of the ACS, AAAS and Sigma Xi.

Prof. Sowa obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Manhattan College. His Ph.D. was obtained from Iowa State University with Prof. Robert J. Angelici and he was a postdoctoral associate with Profs. Paul G. Gassman and Kent R. Mann at the University of Minnesota. His previous appointments include: Professor of Chemistry at Seton Hall University, Associate Scientific Director at Gibraltar Laboratories, and Visiting Scientist at The Scripps Research Institute. Prof. Sowa was a participant in the original Academic Career Workshop developed by Prof. Pete Carr at the University of Minnesota. He has also served as panelist and a planning committee member for approximately a dozen Academic Career Workshops based on Carr’s original program.






Faculty Mentor-in-Residence Event

Ever wonder what the faculty interview is like? What kind of questions does the search committee ask? How does one prepare? How should one respond to that random question that no one prepares for?

The next Faculty Mentor-in-Residence event will help answer some of these questions. Our very own Adina Luican-Mayer, Alexei Abrikosov Fellow in NST, has just successfully gone through an intense and lengthy faculty search process. She will be on hand for a brown-bag session on Friday to share her experiences.

Please bring your lunch and join us for networking and some good take-aways to plan your interview strategy!

Date: Friday, September 25th

Time: Noon

Location: Building 201, Rooms 190A/B (orientation rooms)

Bonus Links to Faculty Interview Resources:

UCSD Academic Job Search Survival Guide

UFL Career Resource Center

MIT Office of the VP of Research

About the Speaker:

adina%20picture_smallerAdina Luican-Mayer received her undergraduate degree from Jacobs University Bremen in Germany and her PhD in physics from Rutgers University in 2012. She is now the Alexei Abrikosov postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory. Her current research focuses on uncovering the novel electronic properties of low-dimensional systems custom made by stacking atomically thin sheets of van der Waals materials using scanning probe microscopy and supporting spectroscopic techniques.

Postdoctoral Career Skills Event: Networking at a Social Event–the Keys to Working a Room

NPAW_2015_logoNetworking is an absolute, necessary skill for advancing one’s career. It can open many doors and lead to new opportunities.

There are many ways to network, from social media platforms such as LinkedIn to poster sessions at conferences and facilitated meetings with collaborators. The most effective (and probably the most daunting) form of networking is the old-fashioned meet-and-greet.

In this interactive session, our invited speakers will walk you through ways to prepare for meeting new people in a social setting. You will learn tips for preparing before the event, how to greet new people and deliver your “sales pitch”, and how to sustain meaningful connections afterwards.

Date: September 22nd

Time: Lunch served at 11:45; Program begins at Noon

Location: Building 446 Auditorium

Please RSVP so we can plan accordingly through the registration link.

NPAW stands for National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week. These week, organizations across the country will be celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of postdoctoral researchers. To learn more visit the National Postdoctoral Association.

About the Speakers:

Meridith Bruozas, Educational Programs and Outreach Manager, Argonne National Laboratory

 Ms. Bruozas is an educator by training and has spent the past 15 years in a combination of district, non-for-profit and academic service positions researching and promoting STEM education. She earned her M.S. in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. She oversees Argonne National Laboratory’s educational programs that currently serve over 4,000 middle and high school, 231 undergraduate, and 280 graduate students appointments each year. Her publications include several national curriculum resources for the K-12 classroom and numerous professional presentations and research articles.


Perry Motsegood Head Shot - 20131003Perry Motsegood, PhD, Assistant Chemist, Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory

Perry Motsegood is an Assistant Chemist in the Nuclear Engineering Division where he applies electrochemical methods to minimize nuclear waste. He received his doctorate from the University of Iowa in electrochemistry in 2012 and was a postdoc at Argonne until becoming a staff member in 2015. Perry is a past president of the Postdoctoral Society at Argonne and currently serves as an officer for the Next Generation Nuclear Society within Nuclear Engineering.