Master Mentoring Program

Master Mentoring Program

The Medical School Master Mentoring Program is designed to provide additional support to faculty as they work to successfully pursue their intellectual passions, advance in their academic medicine careers, and become future leaders at the University of Minnesota.

In 2017, the Master Mentors executed an online survey with designated department mentoring leads to gather insight on mentoring needs within the Medical School.

The Master Mentoring Program will engage a small, diverse, and carefully selected cohort of senior faculty mentors who have a commitment to, and exemplary success in, mentoring other faculty.

Individual Faculty Support

For individual faculty, early- or mid-career: Master Mentors will engage in short-term consultations to provide guidance in the following areas (including but not limited to):

  • building a community of mentors
  • identifying and accessing resources
  • overcoming professional challenges and cultural barriers
  • increasing scholarly output
  • expanding networks
  • establishing a desired level of work-home integration
  • career advancement opportunities

Departmental Support

For departments/divisions and other faculty groups: Master Mentors will provide advice and support in assessing and expanding current mentoring programs to enhance their effectiveness, and assisting in establishing new mentoring models.

OFA Support

For the Office of Faculty Affairs:

  • Meet with all new faculty members (predominantly in small groups, individually as needed) within the first six (6) months of their start dates to assess "fit" and level of engagement with their assigned mentors; recommend resources, people, programs, etc. to support their initial academic goals
  • Obtain data on efficacy of individual mentoring and group mentoring programs across the Medical School
  • Determine strategies for refining mentoring programs and make recommendations to the Office of Faculty Affairs
Biographies of the Master Mentors:

Iris Borowsky, MD, PhD

Iris Borowsky, MD, PhD

Iris Borowsky, smiling at the camera.

Dr. Iris Borowsky is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and Director of the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health. Dr. Borowsky’s area of expertise is in the prevention of interpersonal and self-directed violence among children and adolescents. In recent years she has focused much of her attention on areas of professional development and mentoring for learners of all levels. She established a primary care research fellowship, which has been continuously funded since 2004. She has mentored over 100 medical students since becoming an Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM) facilitator in 2007. In 2013 Dr. Borowsky was honored with the Miller-Sarkin Mentoring Award from the Academic Pediatric Association, which recognizes the contributions of an APA member who has provided outstanding mentorship to learners and colleagues.

You can read more about Dr. Borowsky’s academic responsibilities here.

William Roberts, MD, MS

William Roberts, MD, MS

Photo of Dr. William Roberts, smiling at the camera.Dr. William Roberts is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and faculty in the University of Minnesota St. John's Hospital Family Medicine Residency and the University of Minnesota Program in Sports Medicine. He is the editor-in-chief of Current Sports Medicine Reports; past president of the American College of Sports Medicine; a charter member of the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine; a founding member of the International Institute of Race Medicine (formerly American Road Race Medical Society); medical director for the Twin Cities Marathon; and chair of the Minnesota State High School League Sports Medical Advisory Committee.

You can learn more about Dr. Roberts's academic responsibilities here.


Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, PhD

Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, PhD

Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, smiling at the camera.

Dr. Margaret Semrud-Clikeman is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She is the Director of the Division of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience. Throughout her career, Dr. Semrud-Clikeman has been active in supporting the academic and professional development of learners of all levels. She currently mentors several early-career and junior faculty members in her division. She has also mentored over 130 students at various stages of their careers. Her work in other institutions has included chairing several Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations, and teaching courses on career development for doctoral-level students. Dr. Semrud-Clikeman is currently mentoring beginning professionals in Uganda and Malawi as part of a grant project on cerebral malaria. She has received several awards for her research into the neuropsychological and neuroanatomical bases for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorders. 

You can read more about Dr. Semrud-Clikeman’s academic responsibilities here.

Stanley Thayer, PhD

Stanley Thayer, PhD

Stanley Thayer, smiling at the camera.

Dr. Stanley Thayer is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology. His laboratory studies the effects of drugs on neurodegenerative processes and has been continuously funded by the NIH for over 25 years. Dr. Thayer has extensive experience mentoring scientists at all career stages. He currently trains graduate and postdoctoral scientists, serves on junior faculty mentoring committees and participates in the post-tenure review process in his department. Dr. Thayer coordinated a successful pilot program to enhance mentoring of junior faculty in the basic sciences. This program included a mock study section that allowed junior faculty to observe how NIH review committees evaluate and score grant applications. Additionally, he has chaired his department’s promotion and tenure committee for seven candidates.

You can read more about Dr. Thayer’s academic responsibilities here.

Kathleen Watson, MD

Kathleen Watson, MD

Kathleen Watson, smiling at the camera.

Dr. Kathleen Watson is a professor in the Department of Medicine, in the Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Watson has spent a majority of her career as a clinician educator developing the clinical, leadership and professional skills of medical students and residents. For eleven years she served as the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. She developed the Faculty Advisors program for medical students, providing long-term mentoring relationships, identifying strengths and gaps and tailoring resources and advice to students, and promoting personal and professional development. Dr. Watson previously served as the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director for eight years, and currently mentors junior faculty within her department.

You can read more about Dr. Watson’s academic responsibilities here.

    Connect With A Master Mentor!

    To connect with a Master Mentor, please click on one of the buttons below. You will be prompted to complete a short needs-assessment form and will be contacted within five (5) business days regarding your request.

    Individual Faculty

    Department Unit


    These resources can be tailored to individual departments: