Undergraduate Research Mentor Development Program

Both sections of the Fall 2018 URMDP are full. Join our waitlist to be notified if new spots open up and to receive information about priority registration for future semesters. 

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Alexis Christensen, Assistant Professor (Lecturer), World Languages and Cultures, and Dr. Douglas Mackay, Research Assistant Professor, Oncological Sciences, will serve as our faculty facilitators for the Undergraduate Research Mentor Development Program for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. We are also pleased to announce we will offer two sections of the program this academic year (see “Mentoring Modules” below for dates and times).

The purpose of the Undergraduate Research Mentor Development Program is to increase the capacity of the University of Utah to provide high-quality research mentors for undergraduate students. Participation in the program is available to University of Utah graduate students, post-docs, and faculty. Upon successful completion of the program, graduate students and post-docs will be eligible to serve in the place of ‘faculty mentors’ in the context of the Office of Undergraduate Research’s funding programs.

The program is designed to prepare participants to provide high-quality mentoring to undergraduate student researchers. The program involves “modules” presented in online course format, in addition to five in-person meetings, with a total time commitment by participants of 10-15 hours over the course of a semester. The in-person meetings use case studies to demonstrate issues that may arise in mentor-mentee relationships, and are intended to facilitate conversation and provide an opportunity for participants to work through problems collaboratively. Topics covered by the online modules and the case studies are organized around core mentor training competencies grounded in academic research (e.g. Pfund et al. 2013) and modified based on participant feedback and facilitator expertise. These competencies include: (1) maintaining effective communication; (2) aligning expectations; (3) assessing understanding; (4) fostering independence; (5) cultivating academic literacies; (6) research and mentoring ethics; and (7) promoting professional development. Throughout the program, we will develop our capacities to mentor the diverse undergraduate researchers with whom we work.

Eligibility & Registration

  • Eligibility:
    • Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars: open to University of Utah Master’s and Doctoral-level graduate students and University of Utah postdoctoral scholars
    • Faculty: open to University of Utah tenure-line and career-line faculty
  • Registration:
    • Registration for the Fall 2018 program is capped at 50 (25 per section; we are offering 2 sections).
    • Registration will open at noon on July 31 and will close when space is filled.
    • You will be asked to provide background information and describe your interest in the program.
    • Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars: Add your information to our waitlist to receive notification about priority registration for future programs.
    • Faculty: Add your information to our waitlist to receive information about priority registration for future programs.
      • Please note: The Program is designed to be readily “scaled up”, in that the content is presented via Canvas, and the in-person meetings involve discussion of case studies facilitated by a faculty member who is an experienced mentor to undergraduate student researchers. In future semesters, it is our plan to select faculty fellows from among the faculty who have previously participated in the program, each serving 20-25 participants. Before you register, please consider if you would be willing to serve as a faculty fellow during the 2019-2020 academic year. It would involve monitoring the Canvas site (content is already provided), providing feedback to participants on their written mentoring philosophies, and facilitating the five in-person meetings (discussion of mentoring case studies) in both Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters. We want to make sure that we maximize the number of potential future fellows among the 2018-2019 faculty participants.

Program Structure

  • Six online (Canvas) modules plus five in-person discussion sessions
  • NOTE: For the purpose of postdoctoral researchers and graduate students who are participating in order to serve as UROP mentors, successful completion of the Mentor Development Program is defined as follows: Completing all Canvas modules by their deadlines and attending at least four of the five in-person sessions. Those who successfully complete the Mentor Development Program during the Fall 2018 semester are eligible to serve as Summer 2019 UROP mentors (student deadline in March 2019).
  • Required work is due prior to the beginning of the associated in-person meeting.

Mentoring Modules

We are pleased to offer two sections of the URMDP this fall! The AM section (facilitated by Dr. Mackay) will meet 10-11:30 and the PM section (facilitated by Dr. Christensen) will meet 2-3:30. See meeting dates below. All in-person meetings will take place in Sill Center Room 120.

Module 1. Elements of Effective Mentoring/Developing a Mentoring Philosophy

  • Module Content: Mentor Development Program Information, Readings, Handouts
  • Required Work: URMDP Pre-Survey, Mentoring Philosophy Draft August 31, 2018

Module 2. Establishing Expectations and Maintaining Effective Communication

  • Module Content: Readings, Handouts, Case Studies
  • Required Work: Reflection “quiz”
  • In-person meeting: September 7, 2018

Module 3. Assessing Understanding and Fostering Independence

  • Module Content: Readings, Handouts, Case Studies
  • Required Work: Reflection “quiz”
  • In-person meeting: September 21, 2018

Module 4. Fostering Academic Literacies

  • Module Content: Readings, Handouts, Case Studies
  • Required Work: Reflection “quiz,” Mentoring Philosophy Draft 2
  • In-person meeting: October 5, 2018

Module 5. Research and Mentoring Ethics

  • Module Content: Readings, Handouts, Case Studies
  • Required Work: Reflection “quiz”
  • In-person meeting: October 26, 2018

Module 6. Professional Development

  • Module Content: Readings, Handouts, Case Studies
  • Required Work: URMDP Post-Survey, Final Mentoring Philosophy
  • In-person meeting: November 9, 2018

Certified Mentors

The faculty, post-docs, and graduate students listed below have successfully completed the Undergraduate Research Mentor Development Program:

Autumn Amici (Fall 2017)
Keith Arlotta (Fall 2017)
Kaylee Barket Jones (Fall 2017)
Thomas Brussel (Fall 2017)
Kris Campbell (Spring 2018)
Alexis Christensen (Spring 2017)
Ben Christensen (Fall 2017)
Cameron Christensen (Spring 2018)
Sean Crossland (Spring 2018)
Kali Dale (Spring 2018)
Carlene Deits-Lebehn (Spring 2018)
David  Ede (Spring 2017)
Anna Eiring (Fall 2017)
Ashley Elrick (Spring 2018)
Tanya Flores (Spring 2018)
Julia Franklin (Spring 2018)
Eric Fredrickson (Spring 2018)
Andrea Garfinkel-Castro (Fall 2017)
Danielle Geerling (Spring 2018)
Wilson Good (Spring 2017)
Jenna Goodrum (Spring 2018)
Nicholas Hebdon (Spring 2017)
Casey Hemmis (Fall 2017)
Inese Ivans (Spring 2017)
Alex Jafek (Spring 2018)
Julie Jeon (Spring 2018)
Lisa Johnson (Fall 2017)
Sharanya Kalasekar (Fall 2017)
Caitlin Kelly (Spring 2017)
William Kincannon (Spring 2018)
B. Autumn Krogh (Fall 2017)
Eunjin Lee (Spring 2018)
Melanie Lee (Fall 2017)
German Lopez (Fall 2017)
Dan Machin (Spring 2018)
Doug Mackay (Spring 2018)
Keegan Melstrom (Spring 2018)
M Metzger (Spring 2018)
Sudhajit Misra (Spring 2018)
Raziye Mohammadpour (Fall 2017)
Jasmine Norman (Spring 2018)
Emily Post (Spring 2018)
Michael Papadakis (Fall 2017)
Dennis Pruzan (Fall 2017)
Brett Raczka (Fall 2017)
Mukund Raj (Spring 2017)
Randi Rawson (Fall 2017)
Katherine Redd (Spring 2018)
Hang Ren (Fall 2017)
Melissa Schaefer (Spring 2018)
Crystal Sigulinsky (Spring 2017)
Jill Shea (Fall 2017)
Marta Szulik (Spring 2018)
James Tabery (Spring 2017)
Jess Tate (Spring 2017)
Trevor Tippetts (Spring 2018)
Jocelyn Todd (Fall 2017)
Christie Toth (Spring 2017)
Martin Venturas (Fall 2017)
Joerg Votteler (Spring 2018)
Roseanne Warren (Spring 2017)
Dawn  Wenzel (Spring 2017)
Roo Wisidagama (Spring 2018)
Blanca Yagüe (Spring 2018)
Jared Zitnay (Fall 2017)
Kris Campbell
Cameron Christensen
Sean Crossland
Kali Dale
Carlene Deits-Lebehn
Ashley Elrick
Tanya Flores
Julia Franklin
Eric Fredrickson
Danielle Geerling
Jenna Goodrum
Alex Jafek
Julie Jeon
William Kincannon
Eunjin Lee
Dan Machin
Doug Mackay
Keegan Melstrom
M Metzger
Sudhajit Misra
Jasmine Norman
Emily Post
Katherine Redd
Melissa Schaefer
Marta Szulik
Trevor Tippetts
Joerg Votteler
Roo Wisidagama
Blanca Yagüe
Autumn Amici
Keith Arlotta
Kaylee Barket Jones
Thomas Brussel
Ben Christensen
Anna Eiring
Andrea Garfinkel-Castro
Casey Hemmis
Lisa Johnson
Sharanya Kalasekar
B. Autumn Krogh
Melanie Lee
German Lopez
Raziye Mohammadpour
Michael Papadakis
Dennis Pruzan
Brett Raczka
Randi Rawson
Hang Ren
Jill Shea
Jocelyn Todd
Martin Venturas
Jared Zitnay
Alexis Christensen
David Ede
Wilson Good
Nicholas Hebdon
Inese Ivans
Caitlin Kelly
Mukund Raj
Crystal Sigulinsky
James Tabery
Jess Tate
Christie Toth
Roseanne Warren
Dawn Wenzel


For information about the Undergraduate Research Mentor Development Program, please contact Megan Shannahan at megan.shannahan@utah.edu. or 

For additional mentoring resources at the U, please visit the VPR’s mentoring site.


Pfund C, House S, Spencer K, Asquith P, Carney P, Masters KS  McGee R, Shanedling J, Vecchiarelli S, Fleming M. A research mentor training curriculum for clinical and translational researchers. Clin Trans Sci. 2013; 6: 26 – 33.