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School of Public Health promotes mentorship to advance health behavior research

A special journal issue co-edited by School of Public Health faculty highlights the impact of mentee-mentor research relationships

Mentorship is a reciprocal way of transferring knowledge and skills and is especially important to advance public health initiatives and research. The Texas A&M University School of Public Health is supporting mentorship by promoting science from research partnerships. Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, and Adam E. Barry, PhD, in the Department of Health Behavior, co-edited a special issue of Health Behavior Research that highlights research stemming from mentee-mentor relationships.

The issue features an article written by four international School of Public Health doctoral students from Bangladesh, China, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia that offers practical advice for mentors mentoring international students.

“International students studying in the United States have unique needs and expectations compared to non-international students,” one of the authors, Oluyomi Oloruntoba, said. “We offered strategies that mentors can use to more effectively connect with and mentor international students, which transcend research and academic skills to emphasize the importance of cultural and social contexts and bi-directional communication.”

“Mentorship is important at every stage of career and is critical to cultivate the next generation of scholars and advance the field of health behavior,” Smith said.

“Dr. Smith and I are dedicated to fostering the next generation of scholars,” Barry added. “We launched this special issue to both showcase scholarship resulting from mentored research partnerships and help encourage mentees to lead research projects contributing to the broader peer-reviewed literature.”

Health Behavior Research is a peer-reviewed journal and the official journal of the American Academy of Health Behavior. In total, this special issue features 24 manuscripts resulting from mentorship experiences. It includes 16 original research articles and briefs, 3 current issues, 4 commentaries, and 1 editorial. Beyond Smith and Barry co-editing the special issue, the School of Public Health had strong representation in this special issue with five faculty (Dr. Meg Patterson, Dr. Tyler Prochnow, Dr. Joseph Sharkey, Smith, Barry) and four students (Oluyomi Oloruntoba, Roaa Aggad, Tasmiah Nuzhath, Qiping Fan).

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