Genome Center Academic Coordinator Receives Mentoring Award

Arpana Vaniya poses for the camera
Arpana Vaniya, an academic coordinator at the West Coast Metabolomics Center, has just received the Million Women Mentors Trailblazer Awards. Courtesy photo

“You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Arpana Vaniya, quoting Sheila Boyington. “This really resonates with me when thinking about mentoring and why I continue to do it.”

Lucky for many UC Davis students, Vaniya continues. The Academic Coordinator at the West Coast Metabolomics Center has just been honored with the Million Women Mentors Trailblazer Awards. Million Women Mentors, an initiative of StemConnectors, is a national and global movement to spark the interest and confidence in women and girls to pursue STEM careers and leadership opportunities through the power of mentoring.

“Over the years I have mentored more than 25 mentees who were either grad students, high school students, rotations students and visiting scholars in the (Oliver) Fiehn Lab,” Vaniya explained. She said that when she mentors a student, she strives to build a real relationship, “because without trust, a mentor/mentee relationship can only be so successful.”

Continued Vaniya, “Grad school is hard enough, so I try to help them as much as possible.”

When asked why she believes UC Davis is a good place for mentors/mentees in STEM, Vaniya praised the university.

“UC Davis believes that mentorship is a priceless investment in students and institutional success. UC Davis provides so many mentoring resources, workshops and seminars. You can learn how to become a better mentor/mentee, what is a good strategy to efficiently mentor, what a mentee should (consider) when seeking a mentor, and more currently, how to mentor virtually.

“To me, Vaniya added, “this shows that they are invested in supporting mentor/mentees relationships at UC Davis.”

Vaniya was honored at this week’s virtual 2020 Million Women Mentors Summit.