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Advance Peer Mentoring Summits For Underrepresented Minority Women Engineering Faculty

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

ADVANCE Grants and Institutional Transformation

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.129.1 - 15.129.20



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Paper Authors

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Christine Grant North Carolina State University


Jessica Decuir-Gunby North Carolina State University

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Jessica T. DeCuir-Gunby is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at NC State University. Her research and theoretical interests include race and racial identity in education, African American academic achievement, emotions in education, and critical race theory. Dr. DeCuir-Gunby has served as a statistical consultant on numerous projects including the GenScope Assessment Project, a project designed to assess the use of technology on high school students' learning of genetics. She teaches courses in Educational Psychology, Adolescent Development, and Mixed Methods Research. She is a co-PI on an NSF ADVANCE Leadership grant.

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Barbara Smith North Carolina State University

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Barbara Smith is the Executive Assistant Director of the PURPOSE Institute located at North Carolina State University. She has 13 years of experience in Corporate America in the areas of finance, marketing, investment portfolio management and leadership. She has worked as a high school teacher in addition to providing mentoring to students at the level of K-12. Her role is to coordination and management of a variety of initiatives including the Peer Mentoring Summits, College-wide Faculty Development initiatives in the College of Engineering

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


( “Navigating Your Journey on the Academic Sea”; NSF ADVANCE Conference, Over 60 URM Women Engineering Faculty @ Caltech Photo credit: B. Paz)

Abstract As they progress in their engineering faculty careers, Underrepresented Minority Women (URM) women are very familiar with unique issues at the intersection of race and gender (DeCuir- Gunby, Long-Mitchell, & Grant, 2009; Ranson, 2005; Ronen & Ronen, 2008). This familiarity results from their own personal experiences in the Academy and provides a broad set of responses ranging from leaving the professoriate to a single-minded pursuit of success no matter what obstacles are presented (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, 2007; National Research Council, 2006). Efforts have focused on preparing women with innovative approaches to confront and overcome any challenges through a combination of peer, cross cultural and technical mentoring. Supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Leadership Grant, the authors convened three Peer Mentoring/ Professional Development Summits articulated by Women of Color for Women of Color for over 90 URM women faculty to eliminate the potential “show-stopping” aspects of the journey to tenure (and beyond) . This paper reports the outcomes of this series of summits, the impact on the demographics of engineering faculties and the critical next steps in the process.

Overview Underrepresented Minority (URM) women faculty have emerged as successful leaders in the engineering academia in a growing number of universities across the United States. Increased exposure of this group raises the conversation in academia to a new level and creates partnerships based on scholarship with diversity as an added benefit. There are, however, still unique challenges and opportunities. The representation of URM women faculty at the Top 50 institutions (based on research expenditures) is not reflective of demographics due to a combination of selection/self selection processes and hidden biases in the academia (Nelson, 2007). As they progress in their faculty careers, Underrepresented Minority Women (URM) women are very familiar with unique issues at the intersection of race and gender (DeCuir-


Grant, C., & Decuir-Gunby, J., & Smith, B. (2010, June), Advance Peer Mentoring Summits For Underrepresented Minority Women Engineering Faculty Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16218

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