Building connections: Mentorship at CDS
Mentorship is a huge part of learning and building your skill set in any field. Many students at CDS have professed that the mentorship they have received has been just as important to their education as traditional instruction. That is why we are so proud to see CDS Moore-Sloane Faculty Fellow Elena Sizikova has begun her effort to mentor Masters, undergraduate and high school students in the area of data science. While this effort will only just be beginning with the coming spring semester, we spoke to Elena about the role of mentorship in her life and her plans for the future.
CL: How did your effort to mentor students in data science come about?
ES: All throughout my career, I was really fortunate to have a network of supportive mentors. I found that role models and mentors, people who are a few steps ahead of you that can offer practical advice, are crucial for making more informed choices about my career. As an academic, I strongly believe that mentoring students is part of growing a new generation of STEM scientists and bringing more diversity by providing the necessary tools to succeed. Also, it is a way for me to share my experiences with others and support young and aspiring researchers.
CL: What about mentorship speaks to you? What is the most satisfying part of it?
ES: Mentoring allows we to interact with students, work on cutting edge research problems together, and see them learn and succeed. The most satisfying part for me is that the students learn something new that is interesting to them and also of practical use to their future careers.
CL: What are the plans for the future of this effort in the spring and beyond?
ES: I plan to continue mentoring students both in spring semester and beyond. In particular, I would like to dedicate more time to the NYU CDS Undergraduate Research Program (CURP) and similar efforts aimed at increasing representations of underrepresented minorities in data science, and in particular, offer more research opportunities with a research connection to biomedical and health data.