As a student in Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program (IGEP) Remote Sensing program at Virginia Tech, I was asked to fill out the information required for the IGEP annual report. I think our team did very well and I learn a lot by enrolling this program. I love to work with a interdisciplinary team to get broad ideas for my research. As I know, other students in this program also love it. When I am looking for academic jobs, interdisciplinarity is a major consideration of faculty/research positions. I am glad I was trained to do interdisciplinary research.
This is the third year for many IGEPs and the VT community is strongly looking at IGEP as a potential model for the Destination Areas. I am curious about IGEPs’ performances and the future directions of these program.
Our department, department of Geography, is interviewing candidates for department head this month. One of the candidate, Dr. Thomas Mote is a good model for mentoring. As head of the department of Geography at the University of Georgia, he worked with leaders of student organization in geography, discussed about what department and faculty can support undergraduate and graduate students. He encouraged students to apply internship positions which made the department keeps a good connection with some related organizations/companies. He went to specific conference sessions about challenges and opportunities for geography and shared the thoughts with the department, then faculties could adjust their mentoring strategies and students could adjust their needs.
Isaac Newton’s epigram about “standing on the shoulders of giants” is sometimes invoked in the context of mentorship. I can work toward him to build my own mentoring relationships.