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⚠️ Information and Updates Regarding COVID-19's Impact on the College of Agricultural Sciences

Characteristics that help people learn

Characteristics that help people learn include:

Confidence – a sense of control over your research and graduate program

Curiosity – the feeling that learning new things is a positive experience

Intentionality – the desire to be effective, to have an impact, and the ability to be persistent in that goal

Self-control – the ability to manage your time and actions to make progress in your program

Relatedness – the ability to understand and be understood by others you work with

Communication – the ability to exchange ideas, feelings, and concepts with others

Cooperativeness – the ability to balance your needs with others in the group


Components of resilience included:

A strong, supportive relationship with an effective sponsor.

A positive role model and mentor.

An environment where your talents and abilities are being recognized and nurtured.

A sense of control over your own life.

Being invested in and part of a larger community.


Your major advisor may be both your sponsor and your mentor, but you should also seek out others to fill these roles because no one person will be able to offer you all of the advice and support you will need to succeed in science. It is important to know the differences between a role model, mentor, and sponsor. A role model is someone who has characteristics or a career that you wish to emulate. A mentor is someone who aids you in learning specific concepts. A sponsor is a senior colleague who helps promote your career. While in graduate school, you will also serve as a role model, mentor, and possibly even a sponsor for undergraduate students and beginning graduate students. Serving in these roles will help you better understand what you need to look for in your own role models, mentors, and sponsors.

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