women with bullhorn and others raising fist

Research & Service Leadership Symposium

Mentor FAQs

Offer Your Expertise & Support to Students

The Research and Service Leadership Symposium (RSLS) celebrates extended project-based learning within and beyond the classroom. For many students the projects are completed within their courses, clubs, or programs, while for others the projects are developed independently. Either way, students need guidance to refine, develop, and finally present their projects!  

The journey to complete a project can be an exciting but is often a formidable endeavor for many students. Every student can benefit from having their personal Virgil as they make this journey. This is where you come in!  

Some students have already started projects for the RSLS, but many others are still seeking encouragement and mentors. You are invited and encouraged to share your expertise and enthusiasm to identify, motivate, and guide these students.

Have Questions? View the FAQs Below


Who can be a mentor?

Everyone! Full or part-time Foothill faculty, staff, and administrators can all serve as mentors. 

What do mentors do?

  • Recruit students to participate
  • Promote the RSLS in your classes, clubs, programs
  • Inspire!
  • Meet regularly with students 
  • Coach and guide students through obstacles
  • Provide subject expertise & experience
  • Assist students in writing a project proposal & completing the application
  • Assist students in developing the presentation

Who will I mentor?

Many mentors recruit students from their current or prior classes, clubs, or programs. But, you may work with any student who would like to work with you. We may refer a student to you if your area of expertise is a good match for the project, or you may receive a request from a student. You can also reach out to a student if you have expertise to provide, or if you can serve to guide them through the process. You may work with just one student, multiple students in a single group project, or multiple students individually on separate projects. You decide!

How much time do I need to devote?

The time you spend depends on you and the student. Some mentors meet regularly to help with project development while others meet only to assist with the application or presentation. A good strategy is to meet with the student early in the process to determine what works for both of you. If you are working with multiple students or teams, this may increase your time commitment. 

What will the mentorship relationship look like?

The relationship you build is up to you and the student. Many mentors enjoy a more active role, working side-by-side on projects with their mentees, or engaging in workshops. Others take a strictly advisory or editorial role. The type of project or the stage of development will also guide your relationship. And location may also shape your relationship. It is possible to work with a student who is in another city, country or time zone. You can mentor virtually or face-to-face. 

Are there any requirements for mentors?

While there are no requirements for mentoring, an important first step is to assist students with the application. This includes reviewing the proposal and application for clarity before submitting, responding to the notifications for mentor "approval," and guiding students on revisions. Another critical step is to assist in presentation development, by assisting in the preparation of slides or materials, and by encouraging practice of the presentation before the event. You can also help students meet important deadlines.

Why am I receiving notifications and how do I respond?

When students apply to the RSLS, they include their mentor's contact information. All notifications sent to students will also be sent to mentors. Some of these notifications will ask you to respond directly or take action. For example, when the application is submitted, we request mentor "approval" on the Smartsheet form. We want to make sure you've agreed to serve as the student's mentor, and that you've reviewed their project proposal. We will also provide regular updates on deadlines for revisions, additional information, final presentation submissions, and workshops. You can follow up with your mentee to encourage them to meet these deadlines, to review their work, and to attend workshops. You may also attend the workshops to get more insights into each step of the process. 

How do I apply for PGA/PAA credit and compensation for my time?

We value your time and commitment to your students. Professional development credit (PGA/PAA) can be requested for the ongoing mentorship role you play, and for each mentorship workshop you attend. Please review the Foothill College Professional Development website for more information and forms specific to the RSLS: Earning PGA/PAA for RSLS

We Are Here to Support You

As you support your mentees, we are here to support you. You don't need to mentor alone. We offer mentorship workshops each quarter to guide you in the process. And, more importantly, we have timely student workshops each quarter to provide RSLS participants with resources and tools for success to guide them every step of the way.  By encouraging students to attend these workshops, you are supporting them as a mentor. We also welcome mentors to attend these workshops with students to clarify the steps further. When you become a mentor, you join the RSLS team.

Check Out our Workshop Series!

RSLS Workshops

Become a Facilitator at the Symposium

As a mentor, you can also support your students by facilitating one of the Zoom rooms during the spring RSLS event. Your presence will be greatly welcomed by your mentee, and you will be able to experience the many wonderful projects developed by students across the disciplines. You can also invite new students from your classes, clubs, or programs to join you and see what the RSLS is all about, setting them up for the next year!

Want More Info? 

Contact RSLS Coordinators, Allison Herman & Lisa Schultheis, and Laura Gamez: RSLS@fhda.edu

Application Closed for 2024

Research and Service Leadership Symposium 2023

Please contact us!

Allison Herman,
Laura Gamez,
Lisa Schultheis
RSLS  Coordinators


Connect with Us

Discord LogoInstagram Logo