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Peer Mentoring Among Female Biomedical Engineering Students Can Be Extended To Other Engineering Disciplines

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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

BME Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.982.1 - 9.982.5

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Semahat Siddika Demir

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

Peer-Mentoring among Female Biomedical Engineering Students can be Extended to Other Engineering Disciplines

Semahat S. Demir

Joint Biomedical Engineering Program, University of Memphis & University of Tennessee 330 Engineering Technology Building, Memphis TN, 38152-3210, USA Adjunct Faculty of Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Işık University, Istanbul, Turkey


Abstract— Mentoring is significant personal and professional assistance given by a more experienced person to a less experienced person during a time of transition. Transitions from high school to university, from university to graduate school are difficult. Organizing and administering mentoring programs in schools or in professional societies provide good recruitment and retention of female students in engineering. Biomedical engineering (BME) is the engineering discipline that has the highest percentage of female degree recipients and tenure/tenure-track teaching faculty as seen presented in “ASEE Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges, 2001 Education. Engineering Education by the Numbers”. Thus there is a great potential for female role models, mentors and mentees in BME. Recently, I have a developed a mentoring program for women at the Joint Graduate Biomedical Engineering Program of University of Memphis (UM) and University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UT). Currently our program focuses on peer-mentoring and community building. We follow the book "Giving Much/Gaining More: Mentoring for Success" by Dr. Wadsworth for our meetings and activities to provide a support and discussion group, and environment to women in their transition time of the BME graduate studies. Our future goal is to expand our mentoring program to female students in our engineering school since we believe that the women in BME are excellent role models, mentors and mentees to women in other engineering disciplines.

Keywords: mentoring; support groups; women in engineering; professional development.


Based on the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges, 2001 Education, the percentage of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees awarded to women is the highest for biomedical engineering (BME) discipline [1]. The bachelor’s degrees awarded to women in engineering was 19.9% [1]; BME

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

Demir, S. S. (2004, June), Peer Mentoring Among Female Biomedical Engineering Students Can Be Extended To Other Engineering Disciplines Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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