Attending your first Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH) and want to meet fellow early career scientists and more experienced JMIH-goers? Or are you a JMIH veteran looking to encourage participation by new members? For several years, the SSAR mentorship program has helped new attendees get the most out of our annual conference and provided an impactful way for attendees of all career stages to support new members.
Signing up for the program
The JMIH registration form will have a checkbox for attendees to indicate their interest in the program. If a registrant checks the box, then their contact information will be automatically sent to the program organizers. The program organizers will send out a questionnaire to indicate their research and career interests, and they will use the responses to make mentor-mentee matches.
Folks who’d like to act as a mentor for the program can check a different box on the registration form to indicate their interest. We expect the diversity of mentors to reflect the diversity of our new meeting attendees. Therefore, individuals from all career types and stages are invited to participate, from students to postdocs to established professionals.
How the program works
Everyone in the program meets as a group near the beginning of JMIH. This meeting gives everyone the chance to get to know each other over a meal provided by the SSAR, and it provides an opportunity for program organizers to give suggestions for making the most out of the mentorship interactions.
After the initial meeting, mentor-mentee pairs can meet up when and how they choose. Interactions often include attending poster sessions together, checking in over coffee, and/or talking over a meal. Mentors can also help their mentees to meet other researchers and help grown their networks. For 2022, the Mentorship Program will run in parallel with the NSF-sponsored Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium, providing several exciting opportunities for mentee-mentor pairs.