Why do you love to mentor? Brandeis faculty explain

Three Brandeis faculty members discuss why they love to mentor students.

Wendy Cadge, Jane Kondev and Avi Rodal

Wendy Cadge, Jané Kondev and Avi Rodal

BrandeisNow asked a group of Brandeis faculty members why they love to mentor students. Here's what they had to say:

Wendy Cadge, professor of sociology and women's, gender and sexuality studies

It is great fun hearing what students are passionate about and working with them to take those passions to a new level. Sometimes it’s about starting a research project or finding an internship. Other times it is about dreaming with them about their futures in ways they never imagined. Often it is about listening to them and hearing, in what initially sound like disparate interests, common threads that can help them think about what to major in, where to study abroad, and/or how they want to live their lives inside and outside of the classroom. All students at Brandeis are passionate about something and being able to accompany them as they explore those passions in an intellectual and socially rich environment is the best part of working with students.

Jané Kondev, professor of physics

I see mentoring students as the most important job of a scientist. If science is the dialogue humans have had with nature over the past few thousand years, how can there be anything more gratifying than helping students become part of that conversation? One of the greatest joys of my professional life is helping students figure out something new about the universe by solving a science puzzle. This often puts them in the position of possessing knowledge that no one else on the planet has. Is anything more thrilling than that? 

Avi Rodal, associate professor of biology

I enjoy getting to know students, discovering their interests and figuring out the directions they want to grow. I love to help them brainstorm strategies to achieve their goals and then make plans for executing those strategies. Each person is totally different, and it's fun to find out what motivates each individual. I love to watch my students grow and develop over time, whether it's in their research skills, their knowledge or their communication abilities. Nothing is more amazing than sitting back and watching someone talk about their research or studies in a way they couldn't have done a few years or even months earlier, knowing that I played a role in helping them get to that point.

Categories: General, Student Life

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