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Cheryl-Lee-Howard Headshot

For more information, contact Mary Louise Healy at

On December 18, 2013, the Region II Steering Committee voted to rename the ‘Mentor Me’ program in honor of Cheryl-Lee Howard.

Learn more about Cheryl-Lee, and her sterling career in research administration.

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The Cheryl-Lee Howard Mentor Me Program is a mentoring program providing educational and professional development opportunities by and for the members of the Region which will strengthen and increase the number of new and emerging leaders in research administration actively involved in NCURA. Both the Mentee and Mentor must be NCURA members in order to participate.

The 2024 cohort for the Cheryl-Lee Howard Mentor Me Program has been announced! Congratulations to the following mentees and mentors:

  • Jenna Starr Bishop, University of Maryland, College Park with Mentor Hilary Mosher, University of Rochester;

  • Katherine Garcia-Ramos, Princeton University with Mentor Jennifer Harman, University of Rochester;

  • Anusha Naganthan, University of Rochester with Mentor Melissa Emanus, Downstate Health Sciences University, RFSUNY;

  • Taylor Prendergrast, University of Maryland, College Park with Mentor Magui Cardona, University of Baltimore;

  • Erin Pyrek, Cornell University with Mentor Gillian Silver, Morgan State University;

  • Rebecca (Becca) Steiner, Morgan State University with Mentor Jared Littman, New York Institute of Technology.

We look forward to their progress!


The Mentor Me Program provides a one-on-one, targeted approach to learning about the field of research administration and NCURA at both the regional and national levels. The program matches a Mentee with a Mentor who has complementary skills, background, and experience to assist them in identifying leadership and professional development goals and objectives. The mentee will benefit from the one on one pairing, but will also participate and draw from experiences of the group as a whole. A benefit of the program structure is connection with a group of experienced research administrators with a complement of skills.

The Mentor will also help the Mentee formulate a Leadership and/or Professional Development (L&PD) Plan, a critically important element of the Program. This Plan will include the identification of a Leadership Project, which will include a presentation at the Regional Meeting in the fall (2024 meeting November 10-13 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania).  Professional Development can include a career plan aimed towards promotion or for transition to a different position or on ways to improve a current position. This is a team effort between the Mentor and the Mentee.


Applicants should ensure availability for a pre-Regional Meeting retreat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania beginning the evening of Saturday, November 9, 2024.  All meals during the retreat will be covered by the Region; the mentee’s institution will be responsible for lodging the night of November 9.

Graduates of this program have found success both at work and using this program as a stepping stone to additional involvement in NCURA professional programs. Previous mentees have leveraged this program and the connections with other professionals to aid in promotion, volunteer in Regional and National leadership roles, leadership skill-building, presentation skill-building, job changes, enhancement of skills/knowledge, and to increase their professional network.

Following the program conclusion, exceptional mentees will have the opportunity to serve as future mentors and program leaders.  Additionally, all graduates of the program are expected to be available to lead Region II webinars on topics of their choice.

Roles and Responsibilities

Mentee will:

  • Develop and refine a Leadership and/or Professional Development Plan, in consultation with the Mentor, that includes measurable and achievable leadership and/or professional development goals and objectives

  • Be available, responsive and respectful of time commitments

  • Participate fully in scheduled phone meetings

  • Remain open to feedback from Mentor

  • Attend and fully participate in the Mentor Me Retreat held immediately prior to the Regional Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (retreat begins the evening of Saturday, November 9, 2024).

  • Seek opportunities to continually grow professionally, and to contribute to NCURA at the regional and national levels.  This includes:

    • Attending and presenting at the Regional Meeting (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania November 10-13, 2024), with or without the mentor

    • Volunteering for at least one shift at the registration desk at the Regional Meeting;

    • Presenting at least one Region II webinar (with or without the mentor) following the program’s conclusion

  • Obtain their institution’s written support, including partial financial support for travel to and attendance at the Region II meeting and the Mentor Me retreat, and time for their participation in this program for its duration.

Mentor will:

  • Assist Mentee in setting his/her goals and objectives

  • Help the Mentee devise and refine a viable Leadership and/or Professional Development Plan

  • Be accessible to Mentee based on a mutually agreed upon schedule

  • Participate in monthly calls with all mentors and mentees

  • Enthusiastically share information, skills and knowledge

  • Provide constructive feedback

  • Serve as a thoughtful listener and supportive advisor

  • Encourage opportunities for professional growth and volunteer contributions

Mentor Me Committee Will:

  • Develop Mentor Me Program, content and materials

  • Identify and recruit suitable Mentors

  • Match Mentors with Mentees

  • Help resolve issues and concerns

  • Monitor Program progress, including through monthly calls/meetings with all Mentors and Mentees

  • Provide programmatic guidance and helpful on-line resource tools

  • Annually evaluate the Mentor Me Program

  • Arrange all logistics for all cohort activities

Timeline - 2024 Mentor Me Cycle

March 13, 2024:  Nominations/self-nominations due
March 27, 2024:  Mentees are notified of selection.
April 2024 – January 2025:  Mentor Me program timeline
November 9-10, 2024: Mentor Me retreat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (immediately prior to Regional Meeting)

November 10-13, 2024: Regional Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

January 2025:  Program conclusion

  • What is the time commitment?

    • Ten (10) months.

  • How much does it cost?

    • Region II covers registration fees and meals during meeting hours for the Regional Meeting in the fall

    • Mentee/mentee’s institution is responsible for travel and lodging for the Regional Meeting in ​Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • How many slots are available?

    • Up to five (5) mentee slots per year.

  • How do I sign up?

    • Download Mentee Application: Word, PDF


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