Templates and Tips

Sample Social Sciences Final Evaluation

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Specific instructions for how to write a final evaluation can be found in the Final Evaluation Template. For those interested in seeing an example, here we have a past final evaluation written by a Hugo mentor. All names have been redacted to preserve the privacy of Hugo mentors and mentees.

Final Evaluation for Student X

Mentorship Overview

During the course of this mentorship, we discussed and analyzed a range of topics related to the environmental impacts of agriculture, food policy, and local food systems. More detailed meeting notes are in Hugo’s Shortlist portal and in emails. The main areas we covered include:

  1. how agriculture impacts the environment, humans, and animals,
  2. how our food systems succeed and fail,
  3. how social systems might interact with food systems, including how we frame and perceive interventions in environmental problems,
  4. how these many complex systems interact,
  5. how policy might ameliorate some of these impacts,
  6. the strengths and weaknesses of local food systems.

This combination of surveying and analysis set the groundwork for the final project, a set of interviews with farmers on Long Island’s North Fork about the challenges they face, as well as how they think about environmental impacts. The questions Student developed were focused and clear, and yielded rich responses.

The start of the fall semester put the project on pause for a bit, and we determined a plan in early November. I consider this an unfortunate convergence of busy schedules – Student was interested in advancing her project but also wanted to fully commit to it in a focused form that was difficult together with other obligations. While the final project is not complete yet, we outlined and discussed a concise policy memo addressing the environmental and economic challenges for farmers in Long Island. The aim is to complete this memo this month.

Student Evaluation

Student more than met all of her content learning goals, manifesting a high competence, sincere interest, and ability to connect content from months ago to applied topics.

She is a wonderful mentee to work with, and her curiosity and diligence is paying off educationally. I appreciated, in conversations about local food, how she would recognize the (admittedly small) environmental impacts of certain modes of non-industrial local agriculture like tilling. This didn’t distract her from her core interest, but rather showed that she can identify the wrinkles to any real world problem. This is the result of a well-developed ability to see a variety of perspectives, as well as an ability to integrate content across a wide range of fields (in this case, soil science and economics).

Student is quite competent in seeing how systems connect. She chose her final project in part because she sees both the promise and challenges to local agriculture, and the frequent tension between doing right by the environment while running a business.

Both integrative and systems thinking, and acknowledging complexity (rather than minimizing or dismissing it) are important skills, fundamental to navigating our complex world. Student is already quite good at these sorts of thinking, and I would encourage her to continue to develop them.

I see Student thriving in a variety of possible contexts. I would love to see her maintaining her inter- and multi-disciplinary interests, as well as her deep curiosity. I normally recommend either small liberal arts colleges or research universities for mentees, but Student will thrive in both (even though there are important differences that we discussed).

While this report concludes the formal component of the mentorship, we will meet at least once more to review her final project. I am happy to meet with Student again to reflect on the mentorship experience, offer further readings, and discuss her next steps. This mentorship was productive and rewarding, and I look forward to hearing updates about Student’s next steps.

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