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Connect. Empower. Transform.
The Hub, Issue No. 10, 29 September 2022
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Looking Ahead

Dear Friends of Global Talent Mentoring,

Since the launch of Global Talent Mentoring in April of 2021, it has been our goal to expand the program so that we can continue to offer this one-of-a-kind talent development opportunity to talented youths worldwide free of charge for the long term. This is now happening. Take a moment with our newsletter to see how:
  • Our newsletter starts with an update on the latest cohort of new participants and some of the community offerings we have produced for our participants.
  • Next, engagement specialist Christin Graml shines a light on two inspiring women in our network: Global Talent Mentoring partner Dr. Kateryna Terletska, a Ukrainian scientist researching the mathematics of waves, and Prof. Dr. Laura Lunsford, a mentoring and talent development expert based in the United States. Start with the abbreviated versions of Christin’s interviews below. If you find them fascinating—as we think you will—you can read the full interviews on our website.
  • We wrap up the newsletter by explaining a bit about the training support that we offer our mentors and the sort of research the team is carrying out to better understand effective mentor training.
We conclude our introductory words with a big announcement: The Global Talent Mentoring research team is growing! Since 2017, a team of researchers at the University of Regensburg (Germany) under my direction (Prof. Dr. Stoeger) shepherded Global Talent Mentoring from an idea into reality. Thanks to the generous and far-sighted financial underwriting of the program owner—the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (Dubai, UAE)—Global Talent Mentoring is now moving into a new chapter. An expanded multinational team led by both of us will now collaborate across three institutions in Germany and the United Arab Emirates (the University of Regensburg, the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and the Hamdan Foundation) to operate and grow the program as a flagship offering of the Hamdan Foundation’s World Giftedness Center. Subteams of researchers located in Regensburg, Nuremberg, and Dubai will combine their knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to ensure that Global Talent Mentoring will flourish. We welcome the new team members and look forward to working together with them on enhancing the program!

Best wishes,
Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger
Prof. Drs. Albert Ziegler
Program News

Expanding the Global Talent Mentoring Community

Teenage school friends smiling to camera, close up
Our second cycle of mentoring started in May of this year and with it, we welcomed fresh faces from across the globe including Portugal, Ukraine, and India. Partner institutions from five continents nominated the most qualified students in their region, who then applied for a participation spot as a mentee. It has been exciting to see these new mentees get to know their mentors and fellow mentees in our online community!
Since then, we hosted three live community events on our mentoring platform, where mentees and mentors tuned in to hear dyads present different aspects of their mentoring journey. The events featured dyads from Mexico, Greece, Germany, Ukraine, and the United States. Each event focused on a different aspect of mentoring: building an effective mentoring relationship, learning strategies, and a STEMM-focused presentation about mathematics.

We also introduced a community newsletter, The Pipeline, available only to participants. The newsletter provides us with a space to not only share community updates and inform participants about changes and improvements to the platform, but also highlight some of the activities and achievements of mentees and mentors in a more personal way to their fellow community members.

We are now in the fifth month of the second mentoring cycle, but are already looking ahead to Cycle Three. This fall, our partner institutions will be nominating a new batch of young, aspiring STEMM experts, thereby giving them the opportunity to apply for a mentee spot.

Our vision is to maintain a long-term mentoring program that will grow each year and be made available to future generations of talented youths worldwide. To help us realize this vision and continue offering this talent development opportunity to worthy youths and young adults free of charge, we ask for your help in connecting us with universities, STEMM research companies, specialized high schools, and other STEMM institutions that would like to nominate mentees and mentors.

Additionally, we are seeking additional practicing STEMM expert mentors who we can match with our motivated mentees from the upcoming Cycle Three batch, as well as from previous cycles. Some mentees who have already been accepted to the program are still waiting for a mentor in their same STEMM area. A new mentor volunteer could mean a life-changing experience for one of our mentees. STEMM experts interested in volunteering should fill out our Mentor Volunteer Form.

If you are able to connect us with such institutions or individuals, please let us know by reaching out to Christin Graml at christin.graml@globaltalentmentoring.org.
Partner Spotlight

Making Waves in Math

Meet Dr. Kateryna Terletska, the Mathematician, Oceanographer, Science Promoter, and Global Talent Mentoring Partner Connecting STEMM Talent from Ukraine with the World
“Mentors are like a lifeguard in charge of ensuring that one makes informed decisions regarding important life choices.”
—Dr. Kateryna Terletska
Dr. Kateryna Terletska has a lot in common with the waves she researches. While we may not notice the waves far beneath the ocean’s surface, we see the impact they have on our shores and in our environment. Likewise, Dr. Terletska’s work as a scientist and science promoter has impacted many lives in Ukraine and abroad. When the doctor of physical and mathematical sciences is not busy studying the mechanics of waves, she is working to give educational science opportunities to young people and others in the Ukrainian and international communities.
Kateryna Terletska_portrait
Dr. Terletska also serves as the coordinator of the UNESCO-recognized Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (JASU), which is maintained by both the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The JASU is a valued partner of Global Talent Mentoring nominating talented youths as mentees and STEMM experts as mentors. Dr. Terletska shared her thoughts with engagement specialist Christin Graml on her work, mentoring, and getting young people—especially girls—engaged in science and helping those who have already found their passion to excel.
What inspired you to become a scientist?
My parents were a big inspiration. During my childhood, they sparked what would become my enduring interest in math. In primary school, I liked figuring out problems, solving mathematical puzzles, experimenting, reading books, and dreaming of exciting new adventures. My enjoyment of mathematics motivated me to study the subject in a math-focused school. As people pass through different stages of life, they ask different questions about the world around them. For me, the main question was about the usefulness of math—specifically, how mathematics applies to real life. This question continued to challenge me and ultimately determined my path to becoming a scientist.

In your opinion as a female mathematician, why are mentors especially important for girls and young women who are interested in math?
There are several stereotypes about girls and math. One of them is that boys are better at STEMM. This is simply not true. A 2018 study published in Nature Communications showed that there was little difference in the STEM grades of the 1.6 million evaluated students. Moreover, girls had significantly higher grades overall than boys by 6.3%. So, we know that girls can do well in math, physics, and programming, but our stereotypes get in the way of girls being interested in these disciplines. Our society needs to move past these stereotypes through innovation and scientific progress so that we do not leave behind half of our population in this respect.

I think girls’ lower levels of interest in STEMM, especially in Ukraine, may be explained by social attitudes and beliefs about whether it is considered appropriate for girls to choose these subjects and careers. Limited knowledge about STEMM careers or career requirements among students may be preventing girls from choosing these fields. Mentors and positive role models in STEMM fields can help change outdated attitudes. I was recently featured in a documentary series by INSCIENCE called “Naukovytsi” (“Female Scientists”) about Ukrainian female scientists. The purpose of the documentaries is to break down these stereotypes and showcase females who are successful in STEMM.

Please click here to read our complete interview with Dr. Terletska.
Mentoring in Focus

Mentoring That Matters

Prof. Dr. Laura Lunsford, Expert on Talent Development, Mentoring, and Leadership, Shares Her Insights on Successful Mentoring and Mentoring Programs
“It’s important that people understand that mentoring, like many human behaviors, is a skill that can and should be developed.”
—Prof. Dr. Laura Lunsford
What does it take to create an effective mentoring program? Prof. Dr. Laura Lunsford continues to explore this question and others in her research about mentoring and mentoring programs. The full professor of psychology is based at Campbell University (North Carolina, United States), where she is also assistant dean of the School of Education and Human Sciences. Prof. Dr. Lunsford shares her expertise on mentoring programs and leadership development not only in her role as an academic leader, but also as a consultant, speaker, coach, and author. Prof. Dr. Lunsford puts her scholarly knowledge into practice at Lead Mentor Develop, a consultancy she co-founded focusing on mentoring, coaching, leadership, and talent development. Engagement specialist Christin Graml sat down with Prof. Dr. Lunsford during her recent stay at the University of Regensburg (Germany) as a Fulbright Scholar to gain insight into some of the facets that make mentoring and mentoring programs successful.
Why do you think it’s important for the public to be informed about mentoring?
As humans, we do a lot of different things every day, including having to figure out how to interact with other people. We use our experiences to shape our behaviors, but the fact is that sometimes our experience misleads us in developing beliefs that are incorrect. For example, many people believe you are “born” a good mentor or not. It’s important that people understand that mentoring, like many human behaviors, is a skill that can and should be developed. Often, it’s not explicit how we learn about mentoring, so more clearly explaining what effective mentoring behaviors and supports are may enhance the chance that people are going to do mentoring well and learn how to exit gracefully from relationships that aren’t as effective. I think it’s important that the public realizes there is a science about mentoring. My hope is to support others to focus on the skills that are going to enhance mentees’ performance and our performance as mentors.
Many traits and practices make a good mentor. In your opinion, what are the most important ones?
Especially when you’re thinking about mentoring highly talented people, one important trait is the ability for a mentor to adjust their style and understand the goals of the person they’re mentoring. Additionally, the ability to ask the right question is important. For example, if it’s in a research scenario, it’s the ability to help the mentee figure out what would be an interesting research question to pursue or asking the right question that will really promote reflection for the mentee. I think at that level, the mentee will greatly benefit from a skilled mentor who can help ask questions to clarify what is important to pursue personally or professionally.
Laura_Lunsford_portrait
How can mentors show their mentees how to become good leaders?
A lot about mentoring is often invisible to people, so I encourage people through workshops and talks to be more explicit about what they’re doing and why. Mentors should explain to the mentee, “Here’s why I’m doing this” or “here’s why I’m asking this question,” because then it makes the invisible more visible to the mentee. Especially when you’re thinking about leadership, some shadowing experiences can be quite important in providing an occasion for your mentee to see that you don’t have it all figured out. Those shadowing experiences can help the mentee see your thought process when tackling challenging problems, because when you move up to be a leader, that’s what you’re doing. You’re trying to solve problems—whether it’s in your discipline or organization—that are not easy to solve. If the problems were easy to solve, then other people would have solved them, and they wouldn’t have fallen into your lap to address.

A lot of attention is given out there on how to become a good mentor, but an effective mentoring relationship takes two. What is your advice on how to become a good mentee?
Even a great mentor has a bad day, so we sometimes have outsized expectations about the characteristics of effective mentors or what they can really do. What mentees can best do is to use their time well and their mentors’ time well, and also have a sense of why they want to connect with this person. What is the mentee’s goal? Maybe the mentee’s goal is that they’re not sure what their goals are yet and they need to figure them out, but they should have something that they’re trying to learn. I will often ask the question, “How do you want to be different in six months or one year as a result of engaging with this person?” That question will often help mentees gain clarity about what they can bring to those discussions and the relationship.

Please click here to read our complete interview with Prof. Dr. Lunsford.
Mentor Support

Helping Our Mentors Succeed Through Training

Senior professor teaching calculus
Even our amazing mentors need help sometimes! Thats one of the reasons why we created research-based training units specially designed for mentors that focus on specific aspects and stages of the mentoring journey they will encounter as they guide their mentee. The training units cover topics such as getting to know each other, aligning expectations, and goal setting with mentees.
Goal setting is one very important part of the mentoring journey. With the aid of our training units, mentors can help their mentees by guiding them to create realistic, achievable goals. Thanks to a study by Global Talent Mentoring researcher Matthias Mader, Program Co-Directors Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger and Prof. Drs. Albert Ziegler, and Alejandro Veas, we now know more about how mentors think about the attainability of mentoring goals. The complete publication can be found in the journal Frontiers in Psychology and is entitled “How Mentors Think About the Attainability of Mentoring Goals: The Impact of Mentoring Type and Mentoring Context on the Anticipated Regulatory Network and Regulatory Resources of Potential Mentors for School Mentoring Programs.”
Spread the News!
Please share The Hub with your friends and colleagues so that they can also become a part of our growing network. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at info@globaltalentmentoring.org.
Comments and questions about The Hub and Global Talent Mentoring can be addressed to Newsletter Editor Ms. Christin Graml.
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Global Talent Mentoring

www.globaltalentmentoring.org
Global Talent Mentoring is part of the World Giftedness Center, a program of the UNESCO-affiliated Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance (Dubai, UAE).
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