"Since Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death, several persons, especially those seeking data for an article or book, have asked me whether I knew in what way I was influencing his life. The answer is an unqualified 'No.' There is no way one can know the degree of influence one has upon another.” ~ Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, in Born to Rebel

Mentor Resources

The MMUF program is built on the proven notion that mentoring is of critical importance in supporting the growth of future scholars of color and others committed to the program’s mission. Each undergraduate Mellon fellow is paired with at least one faculty mentor, with whom s/he is expected to meet on a regular basis. Fellows work with their mentors to develop their scholarly interests into research directions and projects. As mentors, faculty members have the knowledge and responsibility to demystify the formal and informal aspects of conducting research, applying to graduate school, competing effectively once in a graduate program, earning the doctorate and pursuing faculty careers. We also encourage undergraduate fellows to cultivate mentoring relationships with MMUF fellows who are advancing through graduate school and into academic careers – and we hope and expect that fellows will themselves become mentors to younger fellows as their own careers advance.

MMUF fellow's timetable example 

Initial Summer

    • Define your research questions
    • Write your introduction
    • Choose your readings and start your bibliography
    • Attend Summer Research Program

Fall 1 (Junior)

Spring 1 (Junior)

Summer 2

    • Work on data results section
    • Take GRE
    • Attend Summer Research Program

Fall 2 (Senior)

Spring 2 (Senior)

As a Faculty Mentor, you have the knowledge and responsibility to demystify the formal and informal aspects of earning a doctorate. Mentors should present insight into the fulfillment and rewards of a career in scholarship and teaching. In the mentoring relationship, the sharing of personal experience and the transmission of knowledge intersect in a trusting learning environment that should provide opportunities for both you and your MMUF Fellow to stretch beyond your boundaries.

Mentoring plays a huge role in academic development. Through your guidance and example, you will help direct your Fellow towards achieving their goal of graduate academic success. At the heart of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program is the mentoring relationship established between you and your Fellow during the duration of the 2-yr Fellowship. The objective and goal of the directed research project is to give your Fellow a taste of what it will be like to be a graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. Although there are many directions a Fellow’s project may take, many MMUF programs suggest that the Fellow:

      • Pursue independent research under the direction of a Faculty Mentor or work as a research assistant on a project that the Faculty Mentor is currently pursuing.
      • Work on a curricular or teaching project of interest to the Faculty Mentor. This is particularly important, as it is imperative that the Fellow is provided insight and experience with teaching practices.
      • During their Fellowship, Fellows are allowed to participate in one of a number of research programs in the United States or abroad, as long as the topic area falls under one of the MMUF specified research areas and or is related to their research topic. 

Mentors should also guide the students professionally by

      • introducing them to pertinent professional organizations
      • providing opportunities for students to present and/or publish results (funds are available for Fellows to attend professional meetings/conferences independently or with the Mentor)
      • encouraging them in their aspirations for graduate education
      • modeling the day-to-day life of an academic
      • assisting with the graduate school application process

To ensure that Faculty Mentors and Scholars have adequate opportunity to cultivate a meaningful relationship, we strongly encourage at least two meetings per month.

    • Formulation and development of research ideas; and writing of research proposal and essays
    • Supervise independent research and review research progress during regularly scheduled meetings. Occasional communication via E-mail, and Skype are acceptable substitutes especially if you know the student well.
    • Review and sign the project proposal prepared by your fellow at the beginning of each semester.
    • Discuss new themes and clarify issues during regularly scheduled meetings throughout the duration of the two-year fellowship. Expose Fellow to informal learning opportunities including teaching assistantships, conference simulation events, lectures, and symposia, among other engagements
    • Evaluate the student at the end of each summer and semester. Your frank assessment of their work, motivation, preparedness and enthusiasm for graduate education is critical to the success of this program and UNM's ability to offer this incredible opportunity to future students.
    • Inform the MMUF Coordinators of any questions or problems that may arise from the program requirements.
    • Fellows will be expected to submit their research projects for presentation at MMUF conferences as well as for publication through Mellon Mays. As a Faculty Mentor you will be asked to help your Fellow with the preparation, application for submission and development of an abstract for their project.