Boozhoo (Hello), my name is Dr. Wendelin Hume. I am a faculty member celebrating 25 years in the Department of Criminal Justice as well as an affiliate of the Women and Gender Studies program. I am also a proud member of the McNair program. I have served on and off (usually on) as a McNair mentor and at least annually as a McNair instructor for over a decade, nearly two. I am always very pleased when I am selected by students to serve as a mentor. I find working with students one-on-one on their research, and helping them hone both their ideas and their thinking skills, is both an honor and enlightening.
Those who run the McNair program on the UND campus do an excellent job of selecting worthy students who are anxious to learn and of providing adequate feedback to the mentor so we can perform our roles as well as possible. Being a mentor involves meeting with your mentee at least once a week if not working with them more often. The mentee is responsible for scheduling meetings as well as for bringing hourly log sheets wherein they share the work that they have done and the conclusions that they have drawn. Consistently meeting with the student provides both structure and content which I think benefits both the mentor and the mentee.
My latest mentee is Jason Cooper. I met him a couple of years ago now when he was in one of my Criminal Justice classes. I noticed his drive, his questioning mind, and his burgeoning desire to go to graduate school and so I actually wrote one of his recommendation letters to get him into the McNair program. Fortunately, for both of us, he was selected and I have had the privilege of working with Jason for the past year and a half. Jason has a strong interest in understanding the mindset of those that are deviant. In particular he has been most interested in studying serial killers. While working with Jason I have seen his ability to read for understanding improve. His research has also allowed him both to look at what many professionals and the public thought they knew but may not be true (just ask him about his myth busting research poster at the last McNair forum). Lately he has focused on trying to discover that which we still do not know (just ask him about the reliability of the original Macdonald triad in predicting adult aggressive behavior and sociopathy – particularly homicide).
Not only has Jason grown in his skills as a researcher but he has grown in his own self-confidence and is now providing leadership in several student organizations including our chapter of the national criminal justice honor society (Alpha Phi Sigma). He plans on earning his master degree in Sociology beginning Fall 2016. Thanks to the support of the McNair administrators and staff, as well as the support of his McNair peers, and I hope as well in part to me – Jason has a very bright future ahead of him.
If you are either a qualified and dedicated student or faculty member interested in joining the McNair program, I strongly suggest you do so. The consistent application of your research skills will improve them. The consistent working with inquiring minds will improve your mind as well. It takes time and effort, but it is well worth it. Miigwech. (Thank you.)