Thursday, August 23, 2007

Outside Mentor Appreciation Thread

By popular demand. Positive discussion only. The discussion starts on the previous thread.
Which professor outside of your department, not on your Ph.D. committee, not a former mentor at the undergraduate level has been most helpful in your research? How?

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Alastair Smith.

Joke.

Anonymous said...

Nice thread idea!

David Lake, UCSD. Just someone who committed time and energy, giving tons of encouragement and plenty of razor-sharp criticism to someone he could just as easily have ignored. He is one of my heroes in the profession.

Cheers, David!

Anonymous said...

Steve Van Evera's full of encouraging (if often rather quirky!) ideas for grad students/junior faculty.

Anonymous said...

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita was incredibly supportive and generous with his ideas and data.

Anonymous said...

Stuart Kaufmann, Delaware.

He read my conference paper several times, gave me tons of comments verbally and via email repeatedly, with strong words of encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Bob Jervis at Columbia's pretty good about being open to a variety of different ideas. For someone as well known as him, it's quite refreshing.

Patrick Jackson at American is awesome - always willing to work with anyone, and force new ideas in.

Colin Elman's good people too, especially if you've gone through IQRM.

Anonymous said...

I think God is the greatest mentor...

Anonymous said...

Pat Regan has been really good, willing to work with lots of people and always generous with helpful advice.

Anonymous said...

Gary King. In addition to all the free software/data he makes available to the community, he's quite happy to help grad students who aren't immediately "his".

Anonymous said...

Hein Goemans! Extremely encouraging and super generous with discussion and data.

Anonymous said...

6:27 - what department is he at now? Bob Jones?

Anonymous said...

6:27--

I have to disagree. I've found that God jealously guards his/her data.

Anonymous said...

Two people at CISAC--Lynn Eden and Scott Sagan.

Anonymous said...

Helen Milner, David Lake, and Duncan Snial. These three offered me extensive and brutal comments on the first few articles I published. All three were very generous with their time and their ideas. If we could all grow up to be like these three...

Anonymous said...

A general question: do the most known and well-published people in the field make good mentors?

Anonymous said...

I'll echo the support for Patrick Jackson at American.

Anonymous said...

I'll second the Snidal hat tip. Wonderful guy.

Anonymous said...

I agree on Lake and Snidal.

Will refrain from even commenting on Milner.

Anonymous said...

I'll second the Lynn Eden nomination.

Anonymous said...

Pat James is an incredible mentor. Reads stuff quickly, works with heaps of junior folks.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Frieden always reads my stuff and then calls me to talk about it. That is far beyond the call of duty.

Anonymous said...

I agree re: Hein Goemans. Terrifically helpful even when he has no obligation to assist.

Anonymous said...

I agree, too, on Hein Goemans. He has provided some of the most useful feedback on my research.

Anonymous said...

Hayward Alker was great to me, though I was not one of his (many) students.

You are missed.

Anonymous said...

I third Lynn Eden and fourth Hein Goemans. Both are incredibly generous and supportive with time and comments.

Anonymous said...

I learned more at the ICPSR Summer program at U. Michigan than in two years of methods courses at my top 10 grad school in New England.

Anonymous said...

I second the comment on ICPSR.

My program's stats/formal teaching was, top "ten" ranking notwithstanding, simply abysmal.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I gotta add to the disappointment with the top ten. At my "top" program, mentoring was very rare and often driven by personality. And some mentoring which did take place was not constructive. Hence I observed a mostly combination of benign neglect & occasional malevolent intervention. I don't intend this comment to be an attack. Rather, I often felt that I was the only one observing or experiencing this...only to later find out that everyone else was too. So if you are having trouble with finding good mentors, know that you are in good company. And that PhD programs don't seem to have strong incentives to provide this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

I'll give props to the Peace Science Society, with people like Dina Zinnes, Bob Muncaster, Ray Dacey, and Sheldon Levy. Dozens more, honestly, all who take the time at the meeting to mentor grad students. The criticism is constructive and everyone was accessible.

Anonymous said...

Re: ICPSR. Brian Pollins. Charles Franklin. Simply the best methods teachers I've ever seen, and good guys who are excellent at talking about issues with your research questions.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Hayward Alker from above. He wasn't a mentor of my own but he was always willing to help any grad student who wanted his advice, and in general he deeply cared about both grad and undergrad students. Exactly the sort of kindly, eccentric, brilliant but not exactly coherent type people like to imagine universities are full of.

Anonymous said...

I'll second the nod to Brian Pollins. I also agree that the Peace Science Society members in general have been quite willing to meet and discuss research projects.

Anonymous said...

Only slightly off-topic: there a reception Thursday night at APSA (Hyatt, Toronto Room) honoring Hank Heitowit, the long-time director of the ICPSR summer program. Hank had a whole lot to do with the development of the institutional culture of that program.

And another endorsement for Hayward: he was tremendously helpful to a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

Agreed on Peace Science, I remember when I first presented there as a grad student how intimidating it was to look out into the audience and see all of these people who I was citing or had read in class. The comments, particularly for grad students, are almost always pretty nurturing and helpful. The only shame is that slots at the conference are so difficult to get these days.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Frieden has been a terric mentor for me as well.

Anonymous said...

I would like to second both Scott Sagan and Colin Elman- both of them provided me with encouragement and help when I needed it; moreover, Elman even shared copies of some of his blank typologies with me.

Anonymous said...

I've always found Michael Ross to be helpful and forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

Patrick Jackson is one of the friendliest and most helpful folks in the discipline.

Anonymous said...

Peter Katzenstein is rightly legendary among his students and anyone who has sent him something to read.

Anonymous said...

I second Peter Katzenstein. One of the nicest people in the field.

Anonymous said...

Bob Keohane at Princeton. I've always found him to be very helpful, interested, and generous with his time.

Anonymous said...

Lynn Eden is a wonderful mentor to many young scholars. She provided timely and insightful feedback on my dissertation when I was a pre-doc at CISAC. She's continued to be a source of encouragement and inspiration since then.

Anonymous said...

My interaction with Katzenstein, however limited, has led me to believe that he is definately a supporter of grad students who think beyond the mainstream. But to return to earlier comments, Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (and the middle name adds so much) has done A LOT to further the work of grad students and is an all around great guy. He's goofy but he's honest and earnest and lacks any of the pretentiousness of any major scholar I've met.

Anonymous said...

surprised Nick Onuf hasn't come up - he definitely was my biggest mentor

Anonymous said...

Nils Petter Gleditsch, president-elect of ISA and editor of the Journal of Peace Research. He's been a massive help getting things reviewed and published, and was the first person outside my department to take an interest in my stuff. I'll always be thankful for that.

Anonymous said...

Regan's top notch. My interactions with him have all been helpful and fruitful.

Anonymous said...

I second Nils Petter Gleditsch--he's extremely supportive of graduate students and is generous with his comments. I agree with all of the comments about Pat Regan, as well.

Anonymous said...

Lynn Eden is terrific. Alexander George was also a great mentor and a really nice man.

Anonymous said...

Pat James is ridiculously good w/outsiders and offers great help and advice. He's a fantastic person and scholar.

Anonymous said...

Bill Clark at U Mich has been a HUGE help to me and actually I consider him to be a mentor. He's a great scholar and loads of fun to drink beer with.

Anonymous said...

While I have not worked with him as an outsider, I know Peter Rosendorff has helped a lot of people in a number of different ways including getting them jobs. He's a fantastic guy, has an incredibly sharp mind, and, like Bill Clark, is loads of fun to drink beer with.

Anonymous said...

i concur in the comments about pat james. and i would also add robert art. pat and bob are two outstanding "field managers" in IR. they are generous in their time, care about helping people, and sage in their advice. i would mention one other person who has been a terrfic outside mentor for me (and others): john mearsheimer. john cares deeply about our profession and the people in it.

Anonymous said...

i concur about pat james. and i would put robert art in the same category. they both are outstanding "field managers" who devote a great deal of time and energy to helping others in this profession. both are caring individuals, and both a deeply concerned about the well-being of our profession. i would also put john mearsheimer in this category. he has gone way beyond the call of duty many times to help me in my career. and i know he has done the same for others.

Anonymous said...

Naeem Inayatullah - takes students ideas' seriously, and is fantastic at providing written feedback on papers and chapters in record time.

Anonymous said...

I definitely concur on Hein Goemans and Bob Keohane - both of them are phenomenal. I would add Cindy Williams, Peter Feaver, John Aldrich, and David Soskice to the list. All of them go beyond the call of duty in one way or another. Really top-notch, all of them.
And to those who are having a hard time finding a mentor: no matter how difficult it is, find SOMEONE who will go to bat for you. It is really important and worth investing the time and effort to find someone who will help you when you need it.

Anonymous said...

Branislav Slantchev! He's awesome!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely concur about Pat James. In addition to mentoring, Pat also puts in the hours (and hours, and hours, and hours...) of thankless, boring work needed to keep interest sections going, to develop conference programs, etc. Also agree with Mearsheimer. It doesn't matter if you are not a structural/offensive realist or even if you are not any kind of realist. John cares deeply about the profession and about the young/mid career scholars who constitute our discipline's future. He has been very generous with his time and advice to many non-Chicago apprentice scholars. Fred Greenstein can be daunting when you first approach him, but he is kind, thorough, attentive, and honest without being dismissive. Ditto for Richard Betts. Betts deserves a gold star in the IR mentoring hall of fame based on the tremendous impact of SWAMOS alone! Early in my career, Larry Berman tracked me down at a conference based on a portion of a draft paper of mine from a different, earlier conference attended by one of his colleagues. He didn't know me from Adam and the ink was barely dry on my diploma, but he provided me with thoughtful comments and encouragement. I've lived off of that for years. I've never worked with Katzenstein, but listening to all my constructivist and cultural friends talk about his mentorship is enough to make me consider completely redirecting my research agenda just for the chance to benefit from his generous guidance.

Anonymous said...

Pat James. One of the smartest scholars in the field and one of the most fun to be around! Such a diverse array of research interests! He always finds time to help and offer suggestions/comments on your work.

Anonymous said...

Robert Art of Brandeis has helped many young scholars in ways both great and small, sometimes in ways unknown to them. He has been a wise counsel to many. He also acts to make justice happen. Is a good person being overlooked by the job market? Bob moves to fix it. He has made our field a far better community. I wish we could clone him.

Anonymous said...

Tom Weiss at the CUNY Grad Center is extremely supportive, always looking for new talents and developing them. Despite the millions of things he's doing, he finds the time to help us. The ISA would do well having him as the next President.

Anonymous said...

Giacomo Chiozza has been a wonderful mentor. He's one of the nicest and smartest professors in IR today.

montidatta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I agree about Zeev Maoz. I am not even associated with UC Davis, and just happened to meet him at a couple of professional gatherings - and he was incredibly helpful, nice, and absolutely willing to listen. A teacher in the best sense of the word.

Anonymous said...

Add another to the Pat James list. Phenomenal mentor and amazing guy. I'd say loads of fun to drink a beer with, but he's more a wine guy, so loads of fun to drink a beer with while he drinks wine!

Anonymous said...

Ole Holsti. The man is a class act. He goes way beyond and above the call of duty to help others in the profession.