Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Research, Scholarship, and Mentoring

I remember when I was an Assistant Professor and would ask senior faculty during conferences whether they had any advice for me. Time and time again, I would hear that one should develop and educate students since they would become one's network and colleagues in the future. I took that advice to heart and nothing gives me greater pride than comments and compliments from colleagues as to the mark that some of my former students (either undergraduate or graduate, including doctoral ones) have made. Obviously, not everyone can "make it" since sometimes life interferes and not everyone is made for the time and effort and work involved that academia, in particular, demands.

Professor Bin Jiang of DePaul University in Chicago took on the challenge of identifying "stellar scholars" in the field of Production and Operations Management, as evidenced by citations to their research. He then went further and asked them numerous questions regarding how to identify important problems and how to conduct research. The result was a paper on how to do research, which has very valuable advice. This article was published online in the Foum of the Journal of Operations Management. It was an honor to be included in the group of stellar scholars.

Speaking of "mentoring," UMass Amherst was the recipient of a grant from the Mellon Foundation, to establish a Mutual Mentoring Initiative and more advice and information can be obtained from the website where a very nice photo of some of my former students can also be found.