Exploring Academia Beyond Ann Arbor: Intercampus Mentorship

Calling all U-M graduate students and postdocs! Would you like to talk over lunch with faculty in your field about what teaching and research are like at schools other than U-M? Or give a guest lecture to undergrads at a liberal arts college? Or get feedback on your teaching portfolio from someone who has recently been on the job market or served on a search committee? 

The Rackham-CRLT Intercampus Mentorship Program can help you achieve these goals.  Participants in the program meet with faculty mentors at nearby colleges and universities to discuss and even collaborate on teaching, research, the job search, faculty worklife, and much more. The cost of travel and meals with a mentor is reimbursed by Rackham.

The program is designed to be flexible so that you can tailor it to your needs. You might choose to arrange just one visit to observe a class and have lunch, or you could opt to meet several times over the course of a semester to collaborate with your mentor on a new course design or a research project. If there are costs associated with your project, such as supplies or books, Rackham will reimburse these up to $75. An intercampus mentorship can be a great way to fulfill Requirement D for the Graduate Teacher Certificate, but it's available to any grad student or post-doc at U-M. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What schools can I visit?

A: There are 6 institutions officially affiliated with the program: Albion College, Eastern Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Kettering University, Oakland University, and Oberlin College. Other institutions are also possible upon request. Past participants have visited Hope College, Washtenaw Community College, and Wayne State University, among others. 

Q: How do I find a mentor? 

A: You can find a mentor with help from CRLT or on your own. Participants often identify a potential mentor simply by browsing the departmental website at a school of interest. In addition, we have lists of faculty who would like to participate on the mentorship website. However, CRLT can also help you identify a good match:  just send an email with your teaching and research interests, along with your goals for the mentorship to mbakewel@umich.edu. After a potential mentor has been identified, CRLT can make the first contact to introduce you and the program, or you can contact faculty directly.

Q: How do I get started? 

A: If you're planning only one or two meetings at an affiliated school, all you have to do is enroll on our website and let me know your budget a week in advance of your first meeting. (You'll get a link to the budget form when you enroll.) If you'd like to visit a different institution, or you'd like to have more than two meetings, contact me for guidelines for writing a short proposal. Most proposals are reviewed and approved in about a week. 

As coordinator of the mentorship program, I'd be very happy to help you find a mentor or answer any questions you have about the program. You can also get more information about the program by visiting our website. I've invited past participants to share their experiences on this blog, so please check back in the coming weeks to read their stories. I hope you can take advantage of this opportunity to explore academia beyond Ann Arbor!

Meg Bakewell
Assistant Director, CRLT