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Fri May 21 12:03:46 EST 1993

> Most of the mentors I have seen discussed have been male.  How did you
> meet them?  Did you choose the mentors or was it a mutual thing or was
> it assigned?  Can you have more than one mentor at the same time and
> last but not least, how many areas of your life did that mentor affect?

    Apparently all of the people responding to this topic thus far
have been either college level or beyond, so I thought perhaps I
could bring a different perspective to the converstation.
    I am a junior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy,
which is a three-year, public, state funded, residential high school
for gifted students.
    One of the programs we have here is the mentorship program.
Basically, this is how it works.  Student X decides he/she would
really like to be involved in research in some field of study.
Student X then goes to Dr. Connolly and fills out a request form
stating what he/she is interested in, what courses he/she has taken.
etc.  By some magic not understood by most, Dr. Connoly convinces a
professor at a college/university or a business person in the
student's field of interest that they would like to be the student's
mentor.  Then the student, with the help of his/her mentor, decides
on a specific topic and what he/she would like to find out, suggests
possibilties of what "answers" he/she will arrive at, designs a
method of gathering information and analyzing it, and then, with a
little luck, puts his/her plans into actions and learns something in
the process.
    This is possible because although we have a five day school week,
we have an alternating six day schedule: A, B, C, D, E, Ex.  On
Exploration Days, or Ex days, normal classes do not meet.  Sometimes
there are lectures or activities, as well as all faculty having
office hours from 1-4 pm.  Students who are in Mentorship are excused
from required lectures/etc so that they can go to their mentorship
site via buses provided by the school.
    I have been in mentorship since December, and I think it is an
excellent program and plan to continue with the same mentors and
project next year.  I have a partner who is a student here as well,
and my mentors are Mr. Thompson, who is the biology dept. team leader
here at IMSA, and Dr. LaBarbera, a professor at the anatomy dept. at
University of Chicago.  Both of my mentors are male, though several
students have female mentors.  I don't offhand know what the
breakdown of male mentors vs female mentors is, but I could
probably obtain those statistics from Dr. Connolly.

                      Mia K. Markey
Illinois Mathematics                (708) 801-6418
     and Science Academy            markey at holmes.imsa.edu
1500 West Sullivan Road             u29995 at u2.ncsa.uiuc.edu
Aurora, IL 60506                    ad593 at freenet.HSC.Colorado.edu

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