Graduate School dean and biochemistry and molecular biology faculty member Dr. Suzanne Barbour, Ph.D., was recently published in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's membership magazine.
Barbour had the first of her three-part series on mentorship published in ASBMB Today early September. The series aims to "explore the experiences of African-American men in the molecular biosciences through interviews with five men at various stages in their careers, including two students, two faculty members and a researcher in the biotechnology industry," according to the article's sidebar. The article said all five men "cited mentors as a major factor in their decision to pursue a degree in STEM."
The article points to a 2015 report from the Council of Graduate Schools, in which it's reported "62 percent of African-American and Hispanic doctoral candidates cited their research mentors as major factors in their success," the article said.
One of the article's subjects, Dr. Craig Cameron, Ph.D., of Pennsylvania State University, shared the importance of being a mentee on his professional development: "I have been blessed with having mentors, from my fellow graduate students and research supervisors to my committee members and department heads. Without positive people and positive environments, my minority status could have easily disincentivized my pursuit of science and being a scientist."
In interviews with the series' subjects, Barbour asked about giving back to communities in the form of mentoring. Barbour writes: "Although there were significant generational differences in their responses to questions (to be explored in future articles), interest in grooming the next generation of diverse bioscientists was a consistent theme from the youngest of the respondents to the most senior."
The series' next installment will have the five interviewees "provide their perspectives on the degree to which race and ethnicity have affected their career progression and the importance of career–life balance in managing this impact," the article said.