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GRAD-EXCEL Peer Mentorship Program

The GRAD-EXCEL Program is designed to promote early success in first-year doctoral students, through coaching and engagement with a community of advanced doctoral peer mentors. Each incoming doctoral student will be guided by a GRAD-EXCEL Peer Mentor (matched by research discipline) as they acclimate to UC Merced and their graduate studies during their first academic year. 


GRAD-EXCEL Peer Mentors

GRAD-EXCEL mentors provide a great service to their mentees while developing leadership skills that will enhance their own professional development. Mentors will gain mentoring skills and experience in individual and group settings, increase their knowledge of Graduate Division resources, and interact with various UC Merced faculty, staff and students. 

Graduate peer mentors will serve as mentors for incoming doctoral students participating in the 2019-2020 GRAD-EXCEL Program. They will guide incoming doctoral students as they navigate  their first-year experience. Graduate peer mentors will receive a $250 fellowship for participation each semester.

Responsibilities and Expectations

  • Check-in with mentees prior and throughout the program on a regular, bi-weekly basis 
  • Guide mentees as they acclimate to life at UC Merced and the graduate program culture
  • Share experiences to orient incoming students into their first year of graduate school
  • Report any concerns regarding mentees' progress or well-being
  • Attend and participate in the following programmatic activities in support of your mentees:
  1. GRAD-EXCEL Mentor Training (Mandatory)
  2. Meet Your Mentor - Kick-Off Event, Tuesday September 24th
  3. Monthly Mentors & Coffee Events: 
    • Monday, February 10th from 9:00-10:00am in COB2-290
    • Wednesday, March 4th from 9:00-10:00am in COB2-290
    • ​​​​​​​Thursday, April 2nd from 9:00-10:00am in COB2-290 - CANCELLED
  • Encouraged to participate in all GEARS professional development workshops


Face-to-Face Mentor/Mentee Meetings

Graduate mentors are encouraged to meet face-to-face with each of their mentees on a regular, bi-weekly basis. Please see below for helpful strategies to help achieve early success in developing your mentor/mentee relationship:


Peer Mentor Monthly Summary Logs

GRAD-EXCEL Peer Mentors will provide written feedback to program staff through the Peer Mentor Log Form. Feedback from mentors will be shared with GRAD-EXCEL program staff and graduate group faculty advisors to the mentors.


Peer Mentor Program Contact

For more information or questions regarding the GRAD-EXCEL Peer Mentorship Program, please contact the Graduate Resource Center at