Valerie Summet

Info for Students

I love meeting, mentoring, and working with students.  I enjoy watching students develop their passion and interests from their first course with us to their final Capstone project.  I get many requests from students.  This page is intended to provide some common information about the most common requests I get.

General Advice and Chatting:
Drop by my office any time during my office hours.  My office hours change each semester but can always be found outside my office door.  If you want to discuss something for a long period of time (more than 15 minutes) email me so we can set up a dedicated time.
Letters of Recommendation:
I get many requests for letters of recommendation, and I am usually happy to write them.  However, writing strong recommendation letters takes time, and I ask that students provide some information to help me write the strongest letter I can:
  • Book a meeting with me to discuss why you need the letter and the scope of the letter(s) you'll need.  This helps me get an idea of how to tailor your letter.
  • After our meeting, please email me your statement of purpose (usually for applications to academic programs) or a sample cover letter (for job applications) and your resume.  These do not need to be final documents; drafts are OK.  These help fill in gaps and tell me things about you outside of your academic performance.  There is no need to send me your transcript if you are a current student.
  • In your email, please include a list of programs/jobs you are applying to, the date by which the letter needs to be submitted, and how the letter is to be submitted.  This list helps me keep track of what letters I need to complete.
  • Please allow 2 weeks the first time I write a letter for you.  After I've written an initial letter, I can usually update it quickly.  This deadline means you need to have the above materials to me well in advance.
  • I will send you an email as I complete each letter and submit it.  If you have not heard from me, assume I have not submitted your letter yet.  Do not be afraid to send me an email to ask for a status update or a gentle reminder.
  • Let me know what happens!  This is the only "payment" I ask for writing a letter.  I always want if you got the job or got into \the program.  Please drop me a quick email and fill me in! 
Research Supervision Requests:
Many students want to include a research experience during their undergraduate time.  At Rollins, we offer a variety of opportunities, and we can help you find opportunities outside of Rollins as well.

If you want to do research outside of Rollins, set up a meeting with me.  We can discuss opportunities, and I can help you set up a schedule for applying to national programs.

If you want me to supervise a research experience at Rollins, please set up a meeting with me to discuss your interests and goals. Generally, we should meet 4-6 months prior to starting a research project, especially one for academic credit.  Bring any project ideas, notes, and details you may have with you.  We must agree on a project and the scope for that project.  I will usually require a written agreement before beginning any project.  This agreement simply ensures that expectations on both our parts are clear.
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