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Fisher, Roxanne RFisher at Chatham.edu
Fri Feb 18 11:30:28 EST 2000

I would like to say do not focus primarily on women as mentors.  I'm only a
new assistant professor but I've had at least seven people who I would
consider mentors, only one  (a senior professor here) is a woman.  My
post-doc advisor was a woman and the kindest thing I can say about her is
that she was an anti-mentor.  Many people said "Oh wow, you're going to so
and so's lab that'll be great to have a woman as an advisor" and it just
wasn't so.  Also don't overlook the many, many informal short interactions
you can have that add up to mentoring.  At least for me, mentoring
interactions (except with my Ph.D. advisor who was super- mentor!) are built
on multiple short interactions. These can happen before or after class, at
the coffee machine, at departmental seminars. at the playground (if you have
kids), at the library, etc.  All of my mentors are scientists who are
interested in students and post-docs in general and actively want to help
younger scientists build their careers.  Except for some total jerks, most
people do like to talk about science and about careers.  They all remember
someone who helped them.  Networking is a good thing too- don't hesitate to
talk to people who are just one step ahead of you or at your level, they can
often give good advice and if they've just suffered through something (like
the job search) they love talking about it.

Roxanne H. Fisher                                  rfisher at chatham.edu
Assistant Professor of Biology                  phone (412)365-1893
Chatham College                                     fax (412)365-1505
Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232

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