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Mathematics professor leads graduate student mentoring initiative

Outdoor portrait of Jodi
Jodi Mead, Graduate College, outdoor portrait, Allison Corona photo.

Jodi Mead, a professor in the mathematics department and co-director of the computing doctoral program at Boise State University, is passionate about student success. As this year’s Associate Dean in Residence in the Graduate College, Mead is bridging the gap that sometimes exists between faculty and graduate students by facilitating mentoring circles with both groups.

“The student-advisor relationship is pivotal to graduate student success,” Mead said. “I joined the Graduate College to support mentoring tools and best practices.”

Last year, the Graduate College began an Associate Dean in Residence program. This opportunity allows graduate faculty members to join the Graduate College, where they are tasked with initiatives focused on student mentoring and advising.

“Jodi brings insights and a skill set that is invaluable in continuing to advance advising and mentoring at the graduate level,” said Tammi Vacha-Haase, dean of the Graduate College. “Her efforts will build on foundational resources that are currently available.”

The mentoring circles are a large part of Mead’s focus. Mentoring circles are an opportunity for mentors and students to share experiences and insights, and to address specific problems raised by students and faculty alike.

mentoring session

According to Mead, mentoring circles create valuable networks and connections that students and faculty can use for support. In addition to creating support systems, mentoring circles integrate diverse populations and facilitate cross-departmental connections.

“Mentoring circles give students and faculty access to influential peers and senior leadership,” Mead said.

Mead currently is recruiting graduate students and faculty to participate in these networking circles. Groups of five to eight students and faculty will meet four times per academic year. Meetings will be focused on specific topics like career and leadership development, handling conflict, work/life balance, and diversity and inclusion, as well as meetings focused on specific student groups, such as part-time or international students. For those interested in participating, please fill out the mentoring circle interest form by Nov. 7.

The Graduate College also is accepting new applications for the Associate Dean in Residence position for the 2020-21 academic year. Applications are due Dec. 13. For information on how to submit an application, contact Kristen DeBoer at

More information on Graduate College mentoring can be found here:

–By Kinzi Poteet