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E Mentoring For Women Graduate Students In Engineering And Science

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovative Graduate Programs & Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.488.1 - 9.488.13

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Paper Authors

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Jennifer Dockter

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Carol Muller

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Jennifer Dockter, Ph.D., Director of Programs, Carol Muller, Ph.D., Founder and CEO

MentorNet, c/o COE, SJSU, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192- 0080


Mentoring is a frequently employed strategy for retention of women in engineering and science. The power of mentoring is sometimes poorly understood, and mentoring is not always effectively practiced, however. At its strongest, mentoring is understood as a powerful learning process, which assures the intergenerational transfer of knowledge and “know-how” on an ongoing basis throughout one’s life. Mentoring helps make explicit the tacit knowledge of a discipline and its professional culture, which is especially important for underrepresented groups.

MentorNet (, the E-Mentoring Network for Women in Engineering and Science, was founded in 1997 as an innovative large-scale electronic mentoring network; its signature One-on-One mentoring programs pair engineering and science students at colleges and universities with female and male professionals in industry, government, and higher education for email-based, structured mentoring relationships, lasting eight months at a time. Between 1998 and 2003, MentorNet matched more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students with e-mentors in its One-on-One mentoring program. MentorNet program design is guided by research and evaluation, and formative and summative evaluations have been conducted at the end of each year. One consistent finding is that graduate students in particular have benefited from these relationships. This paper will explore the benefits and outcomes of e-mentoring

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Dockter, J., & Muller, C. (2004, June), E Mentoring For Women Graduate Students In Engineering And Science Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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