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Developing an Effective Mentoring Program for Early-career STEM Faculty: Lessons Learned from the First Three Years of an ADVANCE PAID Program

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division: Faculty and Gender Issues

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.490.1 - 26.490.14



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Paper Authors


Laila Guessous Oakland University

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Laila Guessous, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering at Oakland University (OU) in Rochester, MI. Her research and teaching interests lie in the areas of fluid mechanics and heat transfer, with an emphasis on computational methods. She is the program director for the NSF-funded AERIM REU program at OU, as well as a co-PI on the Oakland University WISE@OU NSF ADVANCE Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) grant.

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Kathleen Moore Oakland University

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Julie Walters Oakland University


Bradley J. Roth Oakland University

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Brad Roth is a Professor of Physics and the director of the Center for Biomedical Research at Oakland University. His research interests include the mathematical modeling of bioelectric, biomagnetic, and biomechanical phenomena. He is coauthor of the 4th edition of the textbook Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, and is a coPI for the NSF-funded Women in Science and Engineering at Oakland University (WISE@OU) Program.

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Leanne DeVreugd Oakland University

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Leanne DeVreugd is the Program Assistant for the Women in Science and Engineering Program at Oakland University (WISE@OU). She manages all aspects of this ADVANCE grant-funded program. Leanne received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Oakland University, completing her Master of Public Administration in 2011.

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Jo Reger Oakland University

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Jo Reger is a professor of sociology and the director of Women and Gender Studies at Oakland University. She serves as an internal reviewer for the WISE@OU NSF ADVANCE grant.

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Developing an effective mentoring program for early-career STEM faculty: Lessons learned from the first three years of an ADVANCE PAID programAbstract:Three years ago, the XX program at YY University, funded by an NSF ADVANCE Partnershipsfor Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) grant, set out to identify andimplement strategies that would increase the recruitment, retention, promotion and jobsatisfaction of women and underrepresented faculty in STEM departments. To help identify keyareas of concern among the STEM faculty, a climate survey and subsequent focus groupmeetings were conducted. With no formal faculty mentoring programs in place or active in anyof the STEM departments, it hence came as no surprise that a majority of female and maleSTEM faculty indicated the need for more mentoring, particularly in the area of research. Thebenefits of mentoring in the workplace have long been documented in the literature, yet early andmid-career faculty at YY University were generally left to fend for themselves unless they werefortunate enough to identify helpful faculty in their departments on their own. The XX programhas hence set out to develop a multi-faceted, effective and sustainable mentoring program forfaculty in STEM. An unusually high percentage of women in the 2012 cohort of new STEMfaculty (5 out of 8) presented the XX program with a unique opportunity to test out differentmentoring models and have a lasting impact on this and subsequent faculty cohorts. One-on-one,peer-to-peer and group mentoring activities were organized, first for the 2012 cohort and thenexpanded to include the 2011, 2013 and now 2014 STEM faculty hires. Some of these activitiesinclude one-on-one review of practical grant-related information, peer-review of internal andexternal proposals, workshops and a luncheon series that brings together the early-career facultyin an informal setting and allows them to interact with critical university leaders, senior STEMfaculty from other departments and with each other. Given the still relatively low number ofwomen faculty, invitations to these activities have been extended to all early-career STEMfaculty and attendance has been very good. XX has received enthusiastic, positive feedback fromthe faculty participants and has been successful at creating a comfortable cross-disciplinarynetwork in which these critical STEM faculty can thrive. This paper describes the cohortmentoring initiatives that XX has undertaken, as well as results of subsequent satisfactionsurveys administered to the faculty involved. Efforts to make the program sustainable after theNSF funding expires will also be discussed.

Guessous, L., & Moore, K., & Walters, J., & Roth, B. J., & DeVreugd, L., & Reger, J. (2015, June), Developing an Effective Mentoring Program for Early-career STEM Faculty: Lessons Learned from the First Three Years of an ADVANCE PAID Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23829

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