Call for mentors at the AAAS meeting

The NASW Education Committee is again sponsoring the annual "Mentoring at AAAS" program in February in San Francisco, and we need volunteers to act as the mentors.

The program matches a veteran journalist or public information officer with a student in a graduate science writing program or an undergraduate student who has displayed a serious interest in science journalism. We've had trouble recruiting enough mentors in the past few years, and this year we could have a larger than usual demand--for the first time, NASW is offering 10 travel stipends to undergraduate students.

Here's what being a mentor involves: Fill out the application below, noting your availability at the AAAS meeting and your background, and we'll assign a student to you before the meeting starts. Then, all mentors and mentees who can make it will gather for an orientation session at the AAAS meeting, most likely at Friday 5-6pm before the AAAS science journalism awards. If you can't make that gathering, simply contact your mentee and arrange when to meet.

Mentors have traditionally had their mentee shadow them for day or half-day, showing them how they select talks and press conferences for coverage. Since fewer people file daily news from NASW, however, many veterans of the AAAS meeting have been reluctant to volunteer in recent years for such formal shadowing. Yet the education committee has found that something as simple as having lunch or breakfast with your mentee and being available for questions throughout the meeting can be enormously helpful to a young writer, one who has perhaps never attended a scientific conference. So don't be shy about volunteering--we particularly need staff journalists; PIOs and freelance writers have made up the majority of our mentors in past years.

More than 250 people have participated in the program in the past, and many former mentees are now regular mentors because they found the program so helpful. Let's keep that tradition going.

Thanks in advance for your support!

John Travis and Jeff Grabmeier NASW Education Committee Co-chairs

Here's a brief form that will help us match you with a new science writer with similar interests to your own. Just copy it and paste it into a new e-mail, fill it out and e-mail it to mentor@nasw.org. Please do not send attachments.

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YES! I'LL BE A MENTOR!!

Name:

Affiliation:

Phone:

E-mail:

My preferred days are: ___Fri ___Sat ___Sun.

Current position and responsibilities:


Science field(s) of particular interest:


Will you be filing stories from the annual meeting or working media conferences?


Briefly, my background is (include educational training, a summary of positions held, etc.):


Have you been a mentor before? If so, when?