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James Holly, Jr.

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Mentoring Plan for PhD Students

Communication and Meetings

How would you describe your advising style? Does your approach vary over the course of a student's progress within their degree?

In general I meet with each student regularly. I have an open-door policy and encourage students to come see me often to discuss research or ask questions. Most advising is done through one-on-one or small group meetings, typically meet once a week.

What is the best way/technology for students to contact you? Are there time frames in which students should expect to hear from you?

Email is best, though we also use GroupMe and Google chat.

How often do you plan to meet with students one-on-one (be as specific as possible, it's okay to describe multiple styles that may vary with student needs)? Is an agenda required? How long are meetings?

Weekly, unless more autonomy and less frequency is desired. Meeting topic/agenda is usually driven by student though no formal agenda is required. I make an hour slot available.

Do you have regular group meetings? What does student participation look like in a group meeting?

Not at this time

Research and Teaching Expectations

Describe your students' primary area(s) of responsibility and expectations (e.g., reading peer-reviewed literature, in-lab working hours, etc.).

Reading peer-reviewed literature, data collection and analysis, writing annotated bibliographies and conference papers

How do you decide authorship and/or authorship order?

Generally only encourage people who actually write content for the paper to be included as authors, and the order depends on who is leading the writing and structuring of the paper. This means even if I provide verbal guidance I do not have to be included as an author on the paper.

Do you ask students in your group to serve as a GSI over the course of their program?

I ask them whether they desire teaching experience, fi so then i try to arrange GSI opportunities.

Do you have general expectations for graduation?


Are you supportive of your students going on internships? If so, is there a time of year that is best? How many internships can they do?

I typically leave this choice up to the student.

Opportunities for Feedback

How do you provide students with feedback regarding overall progress, research activities, etc.?

We have an annual review document

How far in advance of a deadline should a student expect to provide written work for feedback, such as publication drafts?

A few days is usually good

How do you solicit feedback from your students?

Conference Attendance

Which meetings do your students generally attend? What funding is available to attend these meetings?

American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference; Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; National Council for Black Studies, National Society of Black Engineers Convention

Time Away from Campus

Discuss expectations regarding vacations and time away from campus and how best to plan for them. What is the time-frame for notification regarding anticipated absences?

I'm generally flexible on this with warning, and would like to see students take a significant break at least once a year.  One month notice is helpful.

Are there specific standard times that students in your group generally take vacation?

Usually summer or winter breaks; I tend to do my own vacations in either July or August.  

What do you do to facilitate students taking time off (e.g., do you proactively encourage people to take vacation after major deadlines)?

I really leave this up to students, but times I'm more reliant on students being present are roughly the month before typical grant/paper deadlines in September, December, and May. 

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