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HHMI Gilliam Seminar Series: The intersectionality of mentorship and resilience within the academic landscape

Dr. Jonelle Basso
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Postdoctoral Scholar, DOE Joint Genome Institute
Seminar date:
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 12:00 to 13:00
LSB 201

Resilience can be described as the capability to recover quickly from adversity, where one taps into strengths from within, and obtains assistance from support systems to help overcome these challenges. Though mentorship actively helps develop proactive and resourceful responses to adversity, many persons, particularly identifying within underrepresented or marginalized groups lack this resource of allyship and community within the academic landscape. Furthermore, these persons may need to overcome more cultural adversity and emotional states mirroring a lack of confidence, acceptance, or contribution, which may ultimately lead to their elimination from the academe. In this talk, I will present ways in which mentorship can be a proactive and protective factor that helps create a more inclusive environment through building connections and improving a sense of purpose. The social interactions rooted in peer mentorship for example, can provide a safe space for sharing and receiving knowledge. Mentorship within affinity groups can support empowerment and lead to discussion on common felt states of mind, such as imposter syndrome. By enhancing the clarity of identity, self-awareness and presence of a trustworthy community, all persons can have a better chance for academic achievement and personal success.