Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Mentoring, UMass, Chem. Dept., 2021

I have mentored a few undergraduate students at UMass Amherst (2019-2021). I hope to continue this in my own teaching career, through small projects, independent studies, and research projects integrated into courses.

Samantha Schultz (2020-2021)

A very gifted bachelor’s student in UMass Biochem and Molecular Biology Dept, who Jianhan very quickly persuaded to join our lab for a Master’s program. Sam will have an impressive career wherever she decided to take it. I learned both how to deliver a large amount of information (and be ok repeating things or making small reminders), but also how to allow a student to explore and make mistakes independently. It is challenging to know what I need to demonstrate a few times, and what I should let the student learn on her own.

Callie Jillson (2019-2020)

The first student I mentored during her senior year in UMass Chem Dept. She worked on a question about the Hsp70 DnaK: will the presence a substrate in the binding cleft play a significant role in stabilizing the binding conformation? I learned the importance of asking/explaining “why” do a particular technique, rather than simply showing it to a student. Making sure a student understands the story we are trying to tell is more important but also more difficult to pin down. Callie gained a reasonable technical skills fairly quickly.