Managing a lab

Rebecca Heald

I have entered a career stage in which mentoring has become as important to me as research. By engaging in the Life Sciences Initiative to enhance faculty diversity and inclusion, and as Associate Dean of the BEST Region, I hope to improve the situation for new faculty and make the Berkeley campus more inclusive and supportive of all our constituents.

Matthew B. Francis

I think one of the most difficult challenges Berkeley faculty face is time management. The competing demands of research, teaching, student mentoring, committee service, and family life can be completely overwhelming at times, and one must learn that not everything can be done to perfection. While I certainly don’t claim to have all of the answers, I am happy to discuss challenges and strategies with faculty who are developing their plan to navigate this challenging but rewarding career.

Rodrigo Almeida

I have been on the Berkeley faculty since 2006 and currently serve as Division Chair in my department (ESPM). I came to the US for my PhD, and I was not confident I belonged or fit anywhere until well past tenure; great mentors were instrumental in that journey.

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton

Consider me your one-stop shop if you have questions or concerns about navigating, relating, or working at Cal. I can point you in the right direction if I'm not able to help myself.

Martin Head-Gordon

I hope that I can be a useful sounding board for many of the challenges that young faculty face in trying to succeed at Berkeley. I will be happy to listen, to discuss, and to advise as best I can on any topic of interest or concern. While I have considerable experience in mentoring and advising, it is also enough to make me quite sure that I do not know all the answers!

Matthew Welch

When I started at Berkeley my mentoring relationships were mainly informal and my mentors were junior faculty friends in my department as well as senior faculty with whom I shared research interests. However, I now see that new faculty can benefit from a broader spectrum of mentoring and advising relationships.

Sanjay Kumar

I have been on the Berkeley faculty since 2005 and currently direct QB3-Berkeley. I chaired the Department of Bioengineering from 2019-22, where I oversaw multiple successful faculty/staff recruitment and retention cases and wrote many Chair's letters for merit, tenure, and promotion. In addition to formally mentoring junior faculty in my department, I have served on a number of department and campus ad hoc committees and written >50 external tenure and promotion letters. I look forward to drawing upon all of these experiences as I advise my faculty colleagues.

Noah Whiteman

I am thrilled to be on the faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California. Because of my personal history, I am interested in encouraging those from all backgrounds to join and enrich the scientific enterprise with their perspectives--this includes, of course, those with liberal and conservative political perspectives, those who hold religious views and those who do not, those from big cities or those from rural areas. I am a first-generation college student. I was the first openly gay faculty member in my department at the University of Arizona and I am also the first in my new department at the University of California, Berkeley. I have found academia to be an oasis: at each university where I have worked I came to believe that I belonged there. I look forward to the day when none of us is judged by non-merit based criteria, where none of us has to talk about rising above societal perceptions of income, ethnicity, religion, physical traits, accents, sexual orientation or gender, political opinions and where human diversity is embraced in all of its forms, at all levels in our society and in every place. Until that day comes, we need to talk about it.

Serena Chen

I have served as a primary mentor for graduate students for nearly 25 years. These graduate students have come from very diverse backgrounds, with equally diverse current circumstances, and a broad range of strengths, interests, and career goals. Over the years, I have also mentored and regularly offered advice to junior (and sometimes) senior colleagues. My approach to mentoring/advising is direct and pragmatic, but also compassionate.