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Mentoring Women Faculty in STEM: A Multi-pronged Approach

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Faculty Career Development

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.932.1 - 25.932.12



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Paper Authors


Jenna P. Carpenter Louisiana Tech University

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Dr. Jenna P. Carpenter is Associate Dean for Administration and Strategic Initiatives in the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University. She is also Wayne and Juanita Spinks Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Office for Women in Science and Engineering. Dr. Carpenter serves as PI for Louisiana Tech's NSF ADVANCE Program and is on the Board of Directors for WEPAN, as well as SWE Advisor at Louisiana Tech.

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D. Patrick O'Neal Louisiana Tech University

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D. Patrick O’Neal is an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Engineering program, which is part of the College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University. Prior to moving to academia in 2005, he led several industrial nanomedicine-based development projects as PI on NSF (SBIR), NIH (STTR), and NIST (ATP) grants. With a research focus in biomedical optics, he has published peer-reviewed articles in basic cancer research, biomedical electro-optic instrumentation, clinical cancer therapies, and mathematical techniques for dealing with complex biological systems. Based on experiences instructing courses like Biomedical Engineering Senior Design and his previous experience in the medical device industry, he has developed a strong interest in optimizing gender interactions and productivity in engineering projects and is serving as co-PI on a five-year NSF ADVANCE project.

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Lori L. Bakken University of Wisconsin, Madison

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Lori L. Bakken is Associate Professor in the School of Human Ecology Interdisciplinary Studies and Evaluation Specialist, UW Cooperative Extension.

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Mentoring Women Faculty in STEM – a Multi-Pronged ApproachUniversity X established a mentoring program for women faculty in STEM departments three years agoin an effort to improve retention, as well as provide professional development and leadership training.Officially managed out of the dean’s office, the program includes a formal mentoring program whichpairs women with senior mentors outside their department. Following best mentoring practices assuggested by research, the program has included initial training of both mentors and mentees, monthlye-newsletters and listserv notices, formal recognition of outstanding mentors, as well as externalassessment, all of which have contributed to the program’s success. Opening the formal mentoringaspect to all tenure-track faculty has assisted in garnering widespread support for the program and infirmly institutionalizing it. Monthly lunches for women faculty at the campus faculty club (supported bythe dean’s office) have provided additional opportunities for professional development and leadershiptraining, as well as coverage of topics such as lab management, worklife balance, and gender issues forwomen in STEM. Moreover, the networking opportunities afforded by the monthly lunches havecontributed to a stronger sense of confidence and encouraged peer mentoring among women facultywho participate. The initial target group has expanded to include collaborators in other disciplines,faculty whose research focuses on gender and STEM, as well as colleagues from areas such asentrepreneurship and social science who face many of the same issues as women faculty in STEM.Lastly, hosting well-known external speakers for small, on-campus workshops focused on topics such asleadership, negotiation, climate, and diversity, has further elevated the status of both the program andof participation in the program, as well as delivered outstanding professional development training.This paper will review the program, including feedback from external assessment, and makerecommendations on aspects of the program that are transportable to other campuses.

Carpenter, J. P., & O'Neal, D. P., & Bakken, L. L. (2012, June), Mentoring Women Faculty in STEM: A Multi-pronged Approach Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21689

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