A key part of our mission at the University of Toronto involves offering positive support to our colleagues, students, and community members, and many of our projects and programs start with this motivation. Positive mentoring relationships are critical to success – mentors provide encouragement, model respect, and help connect students with valuable networks, among other benefits. Our student mentorship programs have developed robustly in recent years. For example, our podcast creates a community of instructors and students in conversation about innovative teaching practice.
In 2020 students in our Online Teaching Resources Fellowship Program gathered and annotated online resources relevant to teaching in our field; these are now available as a Buddhist Studies Research Guide through U of T Libraries.
Students and faculty in our programs have collaborated with international translators, scholars, and students on expanding the Conversations about Reading Tibetan video series and building our online Tibetan courses.
Our students have also worked with faculty at other institutions on compiling resources for the Women in the Study of Asian Religions initiative, and on the forthcoming Buddhism, Race, and Racism project.
The Buddhist Studies Complaint Collective series #stepforwardbs features discussions of the academic culture of our field and our Communities of Care page offers a brief selection of resources for supporting mental health in teaching and learning.
In 2020, we also started producing the “How Do You Do It?” series, in which we are asking scholars in Buddhist Studies to record short videos demonstrating how they manage various tasks critical to working in our field. Here we are featuring voices of people in our field talking about the nuts-and-bolts aspects of our work, sharing a variety of practical skills that are not often taught in courses, and exposing aspects of how scholarship takes place that are not easily visible in the end-products of our publications.