The Graduate Mentoring Center at Indiana University opened in Bloomington in August 2014, directed by Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde—the first person to ever receive a Ph.D. from IU’s Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. Abegunde said she wants the center, based in the University Graduate School, to support doctoral and master’s students at IU Bloomington and IUPUI on multiple levels through partnerships with other schools, centers, groups and departments.
Beyond helping students develop skills that will support their research, the Graduate Mentoring Center aims to teach students how to reflect on their graduate journey and how they can become part of the community of scholars who will contribute innovative and relevant research that will one day change and transform society. Mentorship is a necessary part of this process. Abegunde said she hopes to help students understand how to create and sustain empowering relationships with mentors. Being able to do this personally and professionally is important, she said. “When you leave here, you have to form or reform relationships in order to build the next step,” she said. “I could not be where I am today without mentors.”