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Service Opportunity: Virtual Mentors for Early Career Scholars with Disabilities/Disabled Scholars
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2/4/2019 to 4/1/2019
When: Monday, February 4, 2019
Where: Toronto, Ontario 

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Service Opportunity: Seeking Virtual Mentors for Early Career Scholars with Disabilities/Disabled Scholars*

The Virtual Mentor Program is an integral extension of the Pre-Conference Seminar for Early Career Scholars with Disabilities/Disabled Scholars, sponsored by the Spencer Foundation and the American Educational Research Association. The seminar, to be held in Toronto as a pre-conference seminar at the AERA 2019 annual meeting, aims to provide a formal mentoring and professional development experience specifically addressing the unique challenges faced by disabled scholars seeking to become tenure-track faculty members. The virtual mentoring component is a short-term program for scholars and administrators to serve as mentors matched with disabled emerging scholars. The goals of virtual mentoring are four-fold:
1. To expand the professional network of both established scholars and selected participants who are promising scholars in their respective fields,
2. To make explicit the implicit expectations of the academic job market,
3. To improve academic job outcomes for disabled scholars, and
4. To proactively harness the capacity of emerging and established scholars to positively influence the systemic challenges faced by disabled individuals in the academy at all levels.

To meet this need, the program is seeking mentors, both with and without disabilities, representing all research areas within the AERA membership. Mentors may be current or emeriti faculty members or administrators at post-secondary institutions.

Interested individuals may sign up using the short online form.

Commitment: Virtual mentors will be asked to meet with their assigned mentee twice during the three-month period following the seminar to discuss the mentee’s application portfolio, provide general feedback regarding their application materials, and discuss the interview process. The application portfolio will include the applicant’s curriculum vitae, cover letter, research statement, teaching philosophy, and any additional components agreed upon during the first mentoring meeting. We hope these relationships will continue after the conclusion of the program. Virtual mentors will be asked to participate in a survey evaluation of the program and will receive a letter acknowledging their service.

Planning Committee
Keri L. Rodgers, Ball State University (Co-Chair)
Federico R. Waitoller, University of Illinois at Chicago (Co-Chair)
Mercedes Cannon, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
David Hernández-Saca, University of Northern Iowa
Carlyn Mueller, University of Washington
Holly Pearson, Framingham State University
Veronica Smith, Ball State University

Please contact Keri L. Rodgers ( for additional information regarding this program.

* The AERA, Spencer Foundation, and seminar planning committee recognize that using person-first (e.g., people with disabilities) or identity-first (e.g., disabled) language is a continuous debate in the disability community so we acknowledge both forms of identification throughout the call.

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