Micro Grants: Mentoring Exemplars 2018-19

Karla Horton, Social Work

Workplace bullying refers to repeated and aggressive acts towards a colleague by one or more perpetrators. There are essential aspects that workplace bullying shares with general bullying, such as power, aggression, and repeated actions. Power addresses hierarchy positions in the work setting such as tenured professor/tenure-track professor relationships. Aggression refers to repeated acts of relational, verbal, and/or physical behaviors against a target.

The effects of workplace bullying are unique to each work setting, especially in academia. This mentoring grant will assist in the research of workplace bullying, exploitative mentorship, and microaggression. This research project is a collaboration with a group of social work professors at Tarleton University, and we are utilizing this grant support towards the development of surveys and focus groups to examine the effects workplace bullying, exploitative mentorship, and microaggression has on academicians of color in higher education workplace settings. To learn more, please contact Karla Horton at karla.horton@unt.edu.


Jaymee Haefner, Instrumental Studies

As a harpist, I’ve become increasingly aware of how isolated our profession can be.  Normally, there is only one harp in orchestra, one harpist on the faculty in higher institutions, and if we are hired to perform for events we often play solo.  Likewise, I have found that harp research can be a similarly lonely endeavor, as we are often the only expert in given topics because there are so few of us who are published scholars.  In 2017, I published a book about life and work of Henriette Renié, One Stone to the Building.   This book was based on my doctoral research under the direction of my teacher, Susann McDonald (Mme. Renié’s most prolific student).  Within this book, I discuss and analyze several harp compositions by Renié in detail.  My research was carried out at the International Harp Archives at Brigham Young University.  Although the archives hold many of Renié’s original documents, many manuscripts of her compositions were missing from the archives, so this portion of my research has been a missing link.  Renié had no children, and her earthly possessions were left to her goddaughter and her legacy has been left to her students (including my teacher) to pass along to their students (including me).  In service to this of preserving and furthering Renié’s legacy, my project will include a visit to the Paris Conservatoire (where Renié lead classes for her teacher, Alphonse Hasselmans), a visit to the location of Renié’s summer home in Étretat, France.  This last location was the inspiration for many works written by Renié, including her Deux Promenades Matinales.   The outcomes include a photo-documentary of the places where Renié lived and worked, a presentation for the American Harp Society Summer Institute 2019, and a series of articles to be published in the World Harp Congress Review. To learn more, please contact Jaymee Haefner at jaymee.haefner@unt.edu.


Alexandra Ponette

A micro mentoring grant to support in-person collaboration:

A critical component of long-term collaborative research

The primary purpose of this micro mentoring grant is to support a first-time in-person collaboration between Dr. Thomas Gill, Professor of Geological Sciences and Environmental Science and Engineering at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP), and me.  In 2013, I began collaborating with Tom Gill on a multidisciplinary research project examining the effect of Dust Bowl-like conditions on atmospheric wet dust deposition (delivery of dust in rain) to terrestrial ecosystems in the State of Texas during the centennial-scale 2011-2014 drought.  Since that time, we have submitted three grant proposals and published one peer-reviewed article.  Despite having worked together for five years, Tom Gill and I have never met face-to-face.  We have corresponded primarily by email, but also via Skype and phone.  In spring 2018, I will travel to the University of Texas, El Paso, for four days to meet with Tom Gill and visit his laboratory, students, and colleagues.  We will discuss the overarching goals and objectives of our next research grant on dust-ecosystem interactions (phase two of the aforementioned research) for submission to the NSF Division of Earth Sciences Geomorphology and Land use Dynamics Program.  The intended outcome is a guiding conceptual framework as well as an outline detailing specific objectives, a plan for student recruiting and involvement, anticipated expenses, and milestones. To learn more, please contact Alexandra Ponette at alexandra.ponette@unt.edu.


Alicia Eggert, Studio Art

The Sculpture program in the College of Visual Arts and Design at UNT will use Micro Mentoring Grant funding to bring visiting artist Ron Lambert to campus in October 2018. Ron will help introduce new paper-making tools and techniques to the faculty and students. Ron’s visit will expand our institutional knowledge and help introduce a new component to the Sculpture curriculum. Ron’s artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally, at esteemed institutions such as the MoMA in New York, the Tate Britain in London, and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in South Korea, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, and Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio. A three-day visit to UNT this Fall will allow him to teach a workshop for students and faculty that demonstrates several paper-making and casting methods. He will also consult with Sculpture faculty and staff about best practices for utilizing and maintaining our new paper-making equipment. To learn more, please contact Alicia Eggert at alicia.eggert@unt.edu.


Pamela Andrews, Libraries

This micro-mentoring grant will allow Pamela Andrews and two Assistant Librarians to attend a one week course at the 2019 Digital Humanities Summer Institute. This project supports UNT’s institutional knowledge focus in the area of digital scholarship by supplementing existing research efforts with specialized skill-sets via an immersive learning experience offered by the institute in areas such as data visualization, 3D modelling, and digital publishing.  This learning experience will be used to enhance current library services and scholarship initiatives. To learn more, please contact Pamela Andrews at pamela.andrews@unt.edu.


Laura Anne Pasquini, Learning Technologies

Exploring the Impact of Mentoring for Doctoral Students

The goal of this research is to understand how doctoral students experience mentoring during and after the completion of their terminal graduate degree programs in both face-to-face and distributed environments. There are a variety of campus stakeholders and professionals who form a tribe of mentors for learners who are pursuing a terminal degree. With a variety of career paths post-degree, we want to know how doctoral students establish, communicate, and sustain mentoring relationships that support their personal and professional development. We seek to explore mentoring relationships through the shared narratives of doctoral students who are currently in-progress and/or who has recently completed (in the last 2-5 years) a terminal graduate degree (e.g. Ph.D., Ed.D. M.F.A, etc.).

Beyond a faculty supervisor or advisor, we are curious to learn about the nature and dynamics of other mentoring relationships impacting graduate students. This might include mentoring experiences beyond campus, within their disciplinary/professional organizations, and often mediated through online networks and digital environments. With the opportunity to connect to scholars and practitioners beyond campus, how have graduate students established mentoring relationships with other scholars, peers, and professionals to support their domain of study? How do doctoral students find resources, support, and kinship within professional online networks? What type of mentoring opportunities have doctoral learners found either formally or informally to reach their personal and professional goals? Are there mentoring groups, peer-to-peer, or professional experiences that have guided their early career decisions and/or direction?

To learn more and participate in the project, please find further details about this study here: https://ltiwithme.wordpress.com/2018/04/27/exploring-mentoring-relationships/ or contact Laura Pasquini (Laura.Pasquini@unt.edu) or Meranda Roy (MerandaRoy@my.unt.edu). 


Vincent Robles, Technical Communications

This project conducted by Vincent Robles and his mentor Jordan Frith outlines a way to teach content strategy, a practice of technical and professional communication. Content strategy is a complex practice that resists straightforward disciplinary and professional categorization. Content strategists are simultaneously technical writers, technical marketers, project managers, and user experience designers. Which can make developing a content strategy course difficult. Some programs spread content strategy skills over separate courses. The project outlines a standalone content strategy course based on a thorough literature review, reflective narrative based upon pedagogical experience, and student reflection data. Little research discusses approaches to teaching content strategy, and recent research has called for more research into content strategy pedagogy. The project resulted in one conference presentation in August 2018 with published peer-reviewed proceedings, and the researchers are working on a journal article. The project will benefit instructors and inspire conversations between instructors and practitioners about best practices for teaching content strategy. To learn more, please contact Vincent Robles at vincent.robles@unt.edu.


Sara Champlin, Mayborn School of Journalism

The Current State of Brand Responsibility: An Investigation of Current Practices, Pitfalls, and Future Goals

The purpose of the present project is to create a collaborative mentorship opportunity with faculty in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon (UO). Drs. Deborah Morrison and Kim Sheehan are experts in the fields of strategic communication and advertising development. Together, the team brings immense industry experience and practical knowledge of the discipline as well as prolific research that addresses a range of critical topics in advertising. Additionally, they share interests in using advertising “for good” – or to promote greater societal initiatives through mass communication. Recently, the team developed a Master’s Program in Advertising and Brand Responsibility, which will roll out in Fall 2018. This program is the first of its kind and thus they are paving the way for expansion of similar programs at other institutions as well as promoting greater research into this important area. The central goal of this mentorship grant is to explore best practices regarding brand responsibility advertising, as well as initiating programs such as that at UO.  To learn more, please contact Dr. Sara Champlin at sara.champlin@unt.edu


Nora Gilbert, English

Last year, UNT was invited to become a member of the Dickens Project Consortium. The chief goal of this prestigious consortium is to promote research on the life, work, and times of Charles Dickens and to bring the results of this research before both a scholarly audience and the general public. The marquee event of the Dickens Project is its annual, week-long summer Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz. As an institutional member of the consortium, we are required to send one faculty member and one graduate student to the institute per year, and this mentoring grant will help fund my attendance in the Summer of 2019. While the mentoring benefits for the graduate students we send may be the most apparent—they get to attend a wide variety of professionalization talks and seminars, get experience teaching the undergraduate and non-academic attendees of the conference, and get to meet many of the biggest names in Victorian literary studies up close and personal over the course of the week—the mentoring benefits for faculty members are quite robust as well. Personally, I know many people working in the field of Victorian Studies who have developed ideas for collaborative projects (essay collections, special issues, conference panels, etc.) during their week together at Dickens Universe. In particular, I plan to discuss my current book-in-progress, Gone Girls: The Runaway Woman Narrative in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Fiction, with some of the very scholars whose ideas I am responding to in the course of the project, and know that their feedback will be invaluable as I enter into the final stages of the writing process. To learn more, please contact Nora Gilbert at nora.gilbert@unt.edu.