Starfleet Academy Report - August 2020
Commanding Officer: Sarah Hemenway
Crew Posting Level: 7
Senior Staff Posting Level: 6
Overall Ship Health: 7
Ship Status: The Challenger is busy, but not anywhere near where it was a few months ago. It looks pretty solid and continues to be one of the strongest ships in the club. There have been a few senior staff members teetering on AWOLs and I hope to get that reigned in a bit in future months.
Spotlight: Kieron Hoult has been a reliable poster, always up for a new side sim to stay busy, while participating extensively in the main sim. Steve Johnson joined us as CE this month and he’s jumped in with two feet to help push the main sim forward as well as mentor his new cadets.
Executive Officer: Daniel Lerner
Crew Posting Level: 8
Senior Staff Posting Level: 8
Overall Ship Health: 9
Ship Status: Another strong month for the Challenger. DH posting is very good. Cadets are progressing. The turnover is… the usual for an Academy ship. At the end of July we had six rostered cadets, two of them had not yet posted. At the end of August we have 10 rostered cadets, two of whom have not yet posted. Given that we can accommodate twelve cadets without applying the Academy’s policies for increasing our size, we are ending the month with an almost maxed out roster.
The sim continues to be entertaining. My prediction last month came true - my character has been relieved of duties. Right now the crew is diligently investigating the situation to determine whether the XO has been framed.
Finally, we welcomed back Steve Johnson in August, who took over as Chief Engineer after Dustin stepped down for a break.
Spotlight: While I don’t always do a spotlight on an Academy ship, it’s says something about the Challenger when the cadets start to develop new posting techniques that hadn’t occurred to the rest of us. Jason Wolfe has started using hyperlinks between posts to show when his character has moved from one location to another location in the main sim. Here is an example: https://www.star-fleet.com/core/acad/challenger/posts/97683/. Therefore, this month I am giving a spotlight to Jason.
Gamemaster: Geoff Joosten
Crew Posting Level: 9
Senior Staff Posting Level: 8
Overall Ship Health: 8
Sim Overview: The crew have made their way through most of the investigation, finally turning up a suspect other than the XO. All the departments are scrambling to put together the case to exonerate the Commander and bring the murder to justice.
In all honesty the sim should wrap up in no more than another month, month and a half which is right on schedule. This batch of cadets is making great headway and it is fun watching them grow.
Spotlight: Jason Wolfe continues to impress me with the length and detail of his posts. He is clearly a skilled writer and will go far in the main fleet.
FComm’s Comments: The Challenger seems very solid, even with the incredible posting rates calmed a bit. The new cadets seem to be performing, with only three having yet to post. Over all, the Challenger is doing quite well!
Mentor Coordinator’s Report:
The Mentor Coordinator is expected to provide monthly reports on the following metrics, monthly:
It is necessary for me to provide context for this portion of the Academy report, as I do not believe information on the mentor program in general has been provided in this way before - or at least not consistently. My major task for the past month has been unifying all of the different spreadsheets and mentor lists into one. I am currently in process of touching base with everyone listed as having been a mentor to see if a) they are still a mentor b) if they want to continue/resume being a mentor and c) what ships they’re available to mentor on, as well as general feedback and recommendations for others they would suggest as good mentors. This is still in process, so the numbers provided below are very likely NOT accurate. I am providing them as a rough context and to set precedent for the Mentor Coordinator providing this info in this report.
If you are a mentor, you would have received a link to a survey to fill out. If you are a mentor, and have not received this, please check your spam or get in touch with me on Discord. These surveys are brief, and very important in helping me to get things all in order. I am using these to find out who has active mentees, and I’m also touching base with mentors via e-mail or Discord if needed to check the status on some old Mentor assignments from 2017 to see if they’re still active.
Because every Academy DH is an ex-officio mentor, and cadets ex-officio mentees, they are NOT included in this report. If there is desire to reflect these in the future, I can do so. Currently the Academy ship is not my focus, and I will look more into that later after the Mainstream Mentorship Program and Command Mentorship Program are adequately within compliance and organized.
How many active mentors in the club? 12.
How am I defining ‘active’? It’s a conservative definition. If someone has filled out the survey AND reflected that they wish to continue being an active mentor, they are included here. One person received a mentorship assignment th but has not yet completed the survey at time of writing and was excluded. Four other individuals have not responded to the survey or the contact attempts and are not at this time considered to be active. I am hopeful this will change.
How many active mentoring assignments at date of report writing? 2 cases are reflected as Assigned, 1 case is reflected as open. 16 are reflected as closed. I am checking on the status of 7 cases.
A note on Assignments reporting. I will use the language and approach generally of social services in this program. Cases are either Assigned, Open, or Closed. Assigned means a mentor has been assigned and is in the process of making contact (or has made contact attempts but received no response). Open means the mentee has acknowledged the communication and the relationship has begun. Closed means the relationship has ended. I am hoping to begin tracking outcomes soon.
What ships currently have no active mentors?
I e-mailed those ship Captains on the date that this report is being written (9/3/2020) and asked them to provide recommendations as to who may be a good mentor for the ship. Some ships where the only mentor assigned is the ship’s GM or CO also received e-mails.
Problems to be addressed?
We have a plethora of mentors which are only on ships that are not accepting new members. There are actually a lot of ships that do not accept new members right now - it is the majority of ships in STF. Some have mentors, some don’t. Specifically, there are mentors assigned to the Manhattan, Athena, Odin, Saracen, Sentinel, Europa, Constellation, and Viking that will not be assigned mentees on these ships.
The mandate of the mentor coordinator is to ensure that every ship that accepts new members has a mentor, so I do not especially care if ships do or do not accept new members. However, I do care about being able to utilize everyone who wants to be a mentor. For that reason, I am considering adjusting the mentor program to focus more on writing area or role than ship assignment. I have begun collecting the areas that mentors enjoy writing (Security, Science, Medical, Engineering, and then for CMP DH, XO, CO). Obviously, this would be a slight paradigm shift for the program, but is not unprecedented, as such relationships occur already.
Such a change would not require any rule changes as there is nowhere that I can find where the expectation that a mentor and mentee be on the same ship is codified, it has simply been practice - and for good reason. I am hoping to explore this with some mentors in the future in a limited pilot experiment to see what problems may arise from it. Obviously it would require more work than the traditional mentor relationship as essentially the mentor would need to read all or part of a ship they are not on to fill this role effectively.
I would also like to explore the idea of time-limited mentorship in specific circumstances, such as returning club members who may feel that they need some support, but not the full blown Academy repeat. It seems like the mentor relationship is expected to just sort of continue until it peters out - that means it is very hard (probably impossible) to conduct good tracking of outcomes. Why are outcomes important? It tells us what we’re doing well and what we’re not doing well. We can use that to make better supports and make the program more useful for mentees and more doable for mentors. That said, the mentor/mentee relationship should be very personal, so my goal is to make resources available but have a light touch on any mandates.
Other areas that I am working on:
I am planning to make recommendations to slight adjustments to Academy Mandates 15 & 19. Additionally, I would like to reformat the various mentorship pages across the club and unify them so that they’re more useful. I would especially like to better utilize resources and supports for mentors.
Another goal of mine is to establish regular contacts with mentors who have assigned mentees, to check in and see what resources or supports they need. I do not anticipate this being monthly. Most likely quarterly, and being likely in the form of a Discord DM in the style of social work supervision. Basically, that means being a mentor to the mentors and helping to connect to resources, as well as getting good updates on progress.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions. Thank you!
I wasn’t entirely sure how best to compile this report, but here it is! Things at the Academy are going well, it looks like! I and Joe have some plans regarding updating the Campus MOTD, and we’ll be sharing more about that next report. Here’s hoping September goes well!
-Dave Eads, AcdmtGo back to the list
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