Written by Sandra Lee, RD, MPH candidate at Brown School of Social Work and research assistant for the Global Health Center at the Institute for Public Health
The Global Health Center has launched its Global Health Mentoring Program, with the goal of building and fostering a global health community. The format of this program includes small mentoring groups consisting of two mentors and three to four mentees. Mentoring groups are assigned based on mentees’ preferences, but also with the intention to create diverse groups from different disciplines and interests. Guidelines are provided, with the minimal requirement to have a group meeting every six weeks as a platform to network, provide feedback, and actively engage in discussions.
The program currently has 23 mentors and 38 mentees in 10 mentoring groups. The majority of mentors are faculty, but also includes staff and postdocs. Mentees consist of undergraduate, master, medical and doctoral students, postdocs, staff, and others. Most participants are from Washington University in St. Louis, however a few members are from affiliated institutions, such as BJC, Goldfarb School of Nursing, University of Ghana, Veterans Hospital-Jefferson Barracks, and National Great Rivers Research and Education Center.
To date, mentoring groups have already commenced with their first or second meetings and discussed topics such as career paths, personal interests and experiences, projects, networking, current events, and academics. Some of the outcomes from these meetings include gaining advice, insights into careers, connections, better understanding of global health, satisfaction of helping others, and new collaborations.
Although the current COVID-19 pandemic has prevented participants from meeting in-person, all mentoring groups are still encouraged to continue meetings virtually at least every six weeks. This program has been a great platform to discuss the impacts of the current pandemic and provide support to each other during this difficult time.
The Global Health Mentoring Program has had an exciting start so far, and is evolving. The program continuously welcomes suggestions and new participants. If interested in joining the program as a mentor or mentee, please complete this brief survey. The Global Health Center is looking forward to seeing the continued success of this program to foster a global health community.