Scholarship Conducted by My Research Assistants
I have been mentoring students for a long time. Starting back in 1989, as a graduate student, I have invited undergraduates to participate as research assistants. These collaborations have been challenging, meaningful, and productive. I have found that mentoring students toward greater levels of confidence, knowledge and abilities is deeply enriching. As my mentoring has matured over the decades, I have become more convinced that students must be given a sense of ownership of the scholarship they produce.
For that reason, my research assistants are responsible for conducting my research, AND in the spirit of reciprocity - I assist my research assistants in creating their own scholarship. This gives students a sense of being the first author, the lead on a research project, and better - allows them to understand the effort (mental and physical), the process involved, and the immediate and delayed rewards associated with scholarly accomplishments (papers, posters, conferences, feedback, praise and vita items).
Thus, my research assistants start on writing papers involving a literature review with a theoretical basis. In the beginning, my chief goal in mentoring students is to address their ability to seek, understand, create and question different theoretical approaches. I encourage students to use their literature reviews and theoretical analyses to the construction of their own theoretical model (albeit preliminary and consistent with undergraduate work, abilities and expectations). I am continually impressed by the effort, creativity and insight that students offer in the production of "box-and-arrow" models illustrating complex relations between variables.
Since 1995, I have mentored 123 undergraduate and graduate student papers/posters.
Below are links to some of my students projects.
Painter Unknown, ca. 1533