Geography Undergraduate Mentoring Program

The Geography Undergraduate Mentoring Program will pair Berkeley undergraduate students with a mentor. This program arose from the Graduate Diversity Pilot Program which was awarded to the Geography Department in 2020. This program aims to improve undergraduate access to mentorship by specifically prioritizing students who traditionally face challenges in gaining mentorship.

Undergraduates may pursue whatever their goals may be - whether that be research experience, pursuing graduate school, applying for internships, completing an honors thesis, etc. - with the help of their mentor. The graduate student mentors in the Geography Department will be given mentorship experience and a stipend of $800. $200 of discretionary funding will be available for each pair. The program will support 5 pairs per academic year and help improve diversity, equity, and inclusion for our department and campus.

Both undergraduate students and graduate student mentors will need to submit an application.

The program seeks to recruit students from the Geography department’s diverse undergraduate population. Undergraduate student priorities:

  • Black, Latinx/Chicanx, and Indigenous
  • Geography majors or undeclared majors
  • First-generation students
  • Students with little or no research experience

Mentoring pairs will be given control over the frequency and duration of meetings but generally, should aim to dedicate ~2-4hrs per month to mentoring activities. For example, this could be weekly 30 min meetings or bi-weekly 1 hr meetings with impromptu meetings happening as needed. The meeting schedule should be determined during the first meeting with pairs.

There will be separate mentor and mentee cohort check-ins once per semester. This will be a space for mentors/mentees to chat about their experience. Any issues that have come up can be discussed amongst cohorts. The mentor check-in will be led by the Graduate Student Lead and the mentee check-in will be led by the Undergraduate Student Advisor.

At the end of each semester, a survey will be sent to mentors and mentees to get feedback. The Graduate Student Lead should incorporate feedback into the program to improve it for the next year.

At the end of the academic year, mentoring pairs will be able to present about their experiences with the rest of the cohort pairs.

Applications

Both graduate mentors and undergraduate mentees are required to apply. The application process will not be laborious and is intended to be short. There is a separate application for mentees and mentors via Google Forms. Applications due Oct. 31st

Undergraduate student mentees
Apply Here

Mentee Eligibility:

  • UC Berkeley full time student (Spring 2022)
  • Able to commit ~2-4 hrs monthly to mentoring activities
  • Share experience with mentor at end-of-the-year cohort presentations
  • Willing to be highlighted for the program
Graduate student mentor
Apply Here

Mentor Eligibility:

  • UC Berkeley Geography graduate student (Spring 2022)
  • Able to commit ~2-4 hrs monthly to mentoring activities
  • Share experience with mentee at end-of-the-year cohort presentations
  • Willing to be highlighted for the program

Timeline

Time Activities
Mid-Sept Applications open
Late-Oct

Applications close
Mentoring pairs are determined

Nov

Mentoring pairs are notified
Graduate student mentors have a pre-mentoring workshop

Early-Jan

Mentorship activities begin
Surveys sent out

Mid-Feb

Mentor cohort check-in
Mentee cohort check-in

Early-Apr

Mentor cohort check-in
Mentee cohort check-in

Early-May

Surveys sent out
Cohort presentations
Mentorship activities end

Program Mission

The Geography Undergraduate Mentoring Program seeks to support undergraduate students in Geography with year-long mentoring from Geography graduate students, along with faculty support, to turn their passion - whatever it may be - into purpose. An original project, research experience, internships, community engagement, applying to graduate school, and more are all within the scope of this program. We will draw and rely on other initiatives from the pilot program to realize our goals. With support from the undergraduate advisor, graduate students will mentor undergraduate students in order to achieve the program’s core goals:

  • Provide equity of student experience by ensuring all students have access to mentorship, with active recruitment, and retention strategies for Black, Latino, Indigenous, and first generation students
  • Foster department wide engagement and community by connecting together and giving agency to Geography undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and the wider community
  • Expand capacity in co-curricular programs by providing more opportunities in research, public service, community engagement, and creative projects

Contact Us

Please feel free to reach out for program questions/comments/issues.

Graduate Student Lead: Sol Kim (solkim@berkeley.edu)
Undergraduate Student Advisor: Sharad Chari (chari@berkeley.edu)