Welcome to the professional and peer mentoring programs of the Physics Department. The goal is to provide individualized face-to-face professional and peer guidance to physics majors at all levels, from freshmen to senior. It is really important for an efficient development of a physicist to be maximally involved within the physics community, and to witness/taste first-hand the physics beyond the curriculum. It has been demonstrated by many research reports that individualized mentoring is an excellent tool to achieve this goal. It allows students to become aware of pre-doctoral research opportunities, state-of-the-art in a discipline, best practices to forge a successful career, and a long etcetera. We are developing these programs in close collaboration with our student societies: The Student Physics Society (SPS), the Graduate Society of Physics Students (GSPS), and the Physics Woman Society (PWS). Below we provide some short descriptions of each of the programs, and I encourage you to get involved with them in the role that you choose, from professional mentee to peer-mentor.
At the bottom of the page we include some links to training resources for physics mentors and mentees.
Joshua Colwell – Associate Chair for Academic Programs
PROFESSIONAL MENTORING PROGRAM
This program becomes mandatory to all physics majors starting in Spring 2017. In a few words, it consists in pairing physics major to a Physics faculty member for professional mentoring and guidance. To ensure that all physics majors take place in the mentoring program, we have designed a Webcourse (soon to become a formal zero-credit course), which we plan to dynamically improve according to your own feedback. This course is created on a semester basis and all declared physics majors are automatically enrolled in the program.
Completion of this course is simple. You need to:
- Enroll in a mentor group(first assignment*);
- Meet your mentor(second assignment*); and
- Complete a post-meeting survey(third assignment*).
*Check Webcourses for actual deadlines on each of the assignments on a given semester
Your future course enrollment will be put on hold until completion of the three assignments, just to make sure that all mentees meet their mentors.
PEER MENTORING PROGRAMS
The GSPS Program: Learn about research from a graduate student
The difficulty of undergraduate courses notably increases during the junior and senior years. In addition, undergraduates toward the end of their degree are faced with graduation, applying for graduate school, preparing for tests, or possibly seeking employment. The GSPS Peer Mentoring Program will seek to pair graduate students with undergraduates as they start to face these challenges. Graduate students having already faced these challenges are in a position to assist undergraduate through the last few years of their degree.
Graduate mentors will conduct themselves in a professional and courteous manner, and will meet with students multiple times per semester to discuss a variety of academic topics. We’ll encourage our mentors to assist their mentees with selecting courses, preparing for exams, and seeking research opportunities within the department/university or outside such as REUs and internships. Our goal will be to pair students based on similar academic interests, research interests, and backgrounds. We hope to help foster relationships that will propel our graduating seniors forward and strengthen our growing graduate student body. More information about the program and how to become a mentor can be found at (http://sciences.ucf.edu/physics/gsps/peer-mentoring/)
The SPS Program: Be guided by another undergraduate student
The Society of Physics Students wishes to create a community of physics students within the program. The undergraduate Peer Mentor Program provides an opportunity to connect students across various academic years. Many of the issues faced as a new student transitioning into higher academics is the logistical and cultural barriers that may impede success. The mentors shall provide clear and honest expectations for new undergraduates in SPS Peer Mentor Program. Mentors shall provide their students of general requirements and responsibilities as well as extra opportunities available to physics students. Dr. William Kaden shall act as the program supervisor. There will be a meeting at the end of every semester which each, mentor, student, and the supervisor shall do an end of semester questionnaire to collect information on each individual’s experience. More information about the program and how to become a mentor can be found at (http://sciences.ucf.edu/physics/sps/)
Resources for Undergraduate Students and Educators
Physics Research Mentor Training
Physics Research Mentor Training Seminarphysics-research-mentor-training-seminar