Navigating academia: The importance of mentorship for doctoral students

JaNiece Elzy, EdD, and a doctoral student

As a doctoral student, attending AERA can be an overwhelming experience. The conference is massive and encompasses a wide range of educational research topics beyond one's specific area of interest. However, with the guidance and mentorship of a seasoned faculty member, the experience can be a valuable opportunity for learning and growth.

Literacy and Learning Assistant Professor and experienced AERA attendee JaNiece Elzy, EdD, understands the importance of mentorship in navigating academic conferences. She recalls her own experience attending as a doctoral student, guided by her dissertation chair who encouraged her to first attend AERA. Through this mentorship, Elzy learned about topics such as methodology and theoretical frameworks that would prove invaluable in her dissertation research.

Now, as a professor, Elzy is pays it forward to provide the same guidance and mentorship to her own doctoral students. This year at the 2023 AERA conference in Chicago, she encouraged students to attend sessions, make connections, and ask questions in order to develop a deeper understanding of their own research interests.

Two of her doctoral students even joined in co-presenting a session titled “Teachers’ Perceptions of Running Records of African American Students.” These students were instrumental in the data analysis process of the research, and were able to further develop their skills and make valuable connections in their field by attending AERA.

Mentorship is the backbone of any successful doctoral program and something Literacy and Learning prides itself on supporting as an invaluable opportunity for doctoral students to advance their growth and development.

Through guidance and support of a mentor, students can acquire invaluable experience in presenting their research, networking with other experts in their field, and refining research interests. This exposure helps doctoral students emerge as leading voices in their respective areas of study and equips students with the necessary tools to realize their full potential and make meaningful contributions to their field.

Page last updated 5:07 PM, July 14, 2023