FDC Mentor-Mentee Mixer Breaks the Ice Between Investigators and Trainees

By Marie Haughey, staff writer; photos by Richard Frederickson, staff photographer
Trainees, senior investigators, scientists, and administrative staff mingled at the FDC mixer.

Trainees, senior investigators, scientists, and administrative staff mingled at the FDC mixer.

The Frederick Diversity Committee’s (FDC) mentor-mentee mixer gave research trainees, senior investigators, scientists, and administrative staff a chance to meet and mingle over refreshments and games following the Spring Research Festival.

The approximately 35 attendees played Scientist Bingo and Heads Up, participated in a raffle, and took advantage of the “Selfie Station” at Nallin Farm Pond Pavilion 1.

“All [of the events] were designed to encourage interaction,” said Chanelle Case Borden, program analyst in the Center for Cancer Training. “We, the FDC, thought that an informal setting, with food and fun, was the best way to break the ice between the two groups.”

The event allowed trainees to network with investigators and government administrators and served as a way for trainees to meet potential mentors face to face before pursuing a more formal mentoring relationship. Now that the event is over, trainees can contact the investigators they connected with to discuss a relationship.

This was the first mentor-mentee mixer, but the FDC plans to hold such events every six months, as trainees join the National Cancer Institute on a rolling basis throughout the year.

“Those who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were able to make new connections. Hopefully they will spread the word so our next event is even more successful,” said Borden.

The FDC’s goal is to help trainees in their professional and personal development in three ways:

  1. By providing mentorship from investigators and experts that can enrich and grow their careers.
  2. By assisting with their exploration of career options.
  3. And by increasing networking opportunities with staff on the Frederick campus.

For those interested in joining or partnering with the FDC, please email ncifdc@mail.nih.gov.

Attendees pose for a group photo. Participants having some fun at the “Selfie Station.” Food and refreshments were served for all.