A Mentoring Program of Reading Hall of Fame
The Reading Hall of Fame Emerging Scholars Fellowship was founded to support young scholars by pairing them with Reading Hall of Fame mentors during their first two years of a college or university tenure-track appointment. The program is intended to help emerging scholars to maintain their focus on research and publication as they make their way from the mentored experience of doctoral study to the competing demands of a full-time, faculty position.
Initial funding for this program was provided by sales of the book, Changing Literacies for Changing Times (Routledge, 2009), co-edited by James Hoffman and Yetta Goodman. Hall of Fame members are invited to voluntarily supplement funds so that the program will be sustained over many years.
Until funds allow otherwise, we will award two fellowships each year.
The Mentoring Program
The mentoring relationship will consist of at least two communications each semester and the opportunity to meet with other mentors and scholars at national/international annual professional meetings such as ILA, AERA, LRA, NCTE, SSSR, etc. The mentoring program is designed to be flexible and responsive to participants’ needs. However, mentoring activities might include: (a) reviewing manuscripts, (b) providing logistical advice about how to balance work/life in an academic career; (c) offering information about grant-getting and publishing venues; and (d) providing access to useful information for navigating the complex sociopolitical culture of the academy. Like any relationship, the mentor relationship should grow and evolve over time.
Each mentor will also be asked to make an initial contact with the Dean at the recipient’s institution. The purpose is to discuss the mentoring program and to request information about institutional norms relative to the ways this program might be especially helpful to the individual’s progress toward tenure and promotion. This step is intended to increase the likelihood that the mentor’s guidance will be consistent with the demands of the institution. Although the Dean may refer the mentor to another faculty member, initiating the contact with the Dean of the School will provide consistency in how this mentoring program is introduced to each institution.
At the end of the first year of mentorship, each mentee will be asked to provide a short report of his/her work for distribution at the annual breakfast of the RHOF and possible publication in the RHOF newsletter. The work of the young professionals also might be featured at a conference session sponsored by the Reading Hall of Fame, perhaps at the yearly conference of the International Literacy Association or the Literacy Research Association. The session might be formatted as a poster session at which each young scholar discusses his/her work. Mentors who are present may also provide feedback about the work.
Each mentee who is presenting will receive a one-time, $500.00 stipend during the first year of the mentoring program to support travel costs. Mentees may also attend with their mentors the annual Reading Hall of Fame breakfast held at the yearly conference of the International Reading Association. When in attendance at the breakfast, each pair will be introduced.
Recruitment and Application Process
Mentor Recruitment: Each year, Reading Hall of Fame members will be asked to complete a brief form indicating their willingness to serve as a mentor, dates of availability, and their areas of research and scholarship. Those who indicate an interest must agree to work with an applicant for a minimum of two years.
Assistant Professor Recruitment: Suggested approaches to recruiting applicants include emails sent to listservs of ILA, AERA, LRA , ALER, NCTE, SSSR, etc and other professional organizations describing the program and asking faculty members to notify doctoral students who are completing their work; flyers will be disseminated at the professional meetings of various organizations. Doctoral students who have signed contracts for assistant professor positions may apply by completing the application form available on the Hall of Fame website.
The Reading Hall of Fame Emerging Scholars Fellowship Committee will review applications to determine worthy applications and the availability of a strong mentor-mentee match.
Criteria for acceptance include:
1. Quality of the application. The application should indicate that the applicant has shown a clear interest in and promise for pursuing a record of scholarship.
2. Strong letters of support
3. Ability of the Committee to identify a strong mentor/mentee match.
Letters will be sent to each applicant indicating result of the committee’s decision. If applicant is accepted for the program, letters will be sent to both the young scholar and to the mentor with information about how to make contact and suggestions for mentoring activities.
Applications must be received by July 10th of the current year. Fellowship recipients (and their mentors) will be notified of their selection by August 30. The Dean of the institution at which the scholar is employed also will receive a copy of the acceptance letter. Other applicants will be notified by August 30 that they have not been selected.
Six members comprise the Emerging Scholars Fellowship committee. The current members will be invited to serve for at least three years to provide for continuity. At the end of the three-year period, new members will be appointed by the President of the Reading Hall of Fame. Current members of the Committee can be reappointed should they be interested in continuing their responsibilities. The Chair of the committee will serve in that position for two years.
Responsibilities of the Committee include:
1. Develop the process for recruiting applicants.
2. Solicit applications, including the development of a flyer describing the program.
3. Solicit Reading Hall of Fame mentors.
a. Each year, RHOF members will be asked whether they are interested in serving as a mentor; a file of these members and their research interests will be maintained by the Committee.
b. In addition, upon review of applications, the Committee may choose to identify a RHOF member whose research interests match those of a successful applicant.
4. Review applications and, if application meets criteria, determine availability of an appropriate mentor.
5. Develop a process for monitoring the program.
6. Prepare a report for the Hall of Fame, submit to the President of RHOF, and share at the annual breakfast.
7. Provide information to the Treasurer when the mentee funds need to be distributed.
Reading Hall of Fame Emerging Scholars Fellowship Committee (2019-20)
Patricia Edwards, Chair, Michigan State University (appointed 2019, 3 year)
Kathy Au, SchoolRise, LLC
Melinda Gay Ivey, University of NorthCarolina, Greensboro
Diane Barone, University of Nevada-Reno
Peter Afflerbach, University of Maryland College Park
Jim Cunningham, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill