INSTITUTION: PAESMEM Nomination of the Penn State Women in Engineering

Project: Research project

Project Details


Pangborn Abstract PAESMEM Mentoring for Academic Career Development Study and Action Workshop ABSTRACT The power of mentoring and role models is generally acknowledged and are critical career development tools for women in engineering faculty careers. Yet, because women are severely underrepresented on engineering faculties nationwide, many junior and mid-level engineering faculty women lack positive female role models and mentors and are too often overlooked or left out of crucial information loops. The successful senior women who are the potential mentors have little time or experience of successful mentoring. What is needed is a mentoring model, or methodology, that provides the necessary support for junior and mid-level women faculty, mines the experience of senior women faculty, and respects the time demands that are a reality for all productive engineering faculty members. It is necessary to design ways in which successful mentors can have sustained contact with junior faculty while not overburdening the mentors themselves. The proposed Mentoring for Academic Career Development Study and Action Workshop, led by Penn State's Council of Senior Engineering Faculty Women will bring together senior women from universities and industry to identify effective practices in faculty mentoring as well as problems in developing good mentoring programs. The goal will be to develop a realistic model and guidelines for mentoring junior and mid-level faculty women. Inclusion of successful industry women will allow the workshop to include industry practices and experiences in the deliberation. Workshop objectives are to: o Create a realistic model, based upon experience, practice and on-going research, of how mentoring can be provided in a comprehensive way to junior faculty women. o Build on existing Penn State workshops for career development for faculty women o Improve the mentoring experiences of all participants o Identify a set of research questions for future investigation into mentoring for engineering faculty women o Publish and broadly disseminate workshop outcomes The workshop will include pre-assessment surveys, pre-work and readings on current literature, and pre- and post-conference interactions-all designed to set up a productive dialogue. Postconference assessment will also be conducted. Intellectual Merit The PAESMEM Mentoring Study and Action Workshop aims to broaden current understanding of the challenges of mentoring in the Academy to benefit three important audiences - junior and mid-level faculty women, senior faculty women and administrators. The proposed workshop will result in published guidelines in paper and electronic format. The workshop assessment will provide basic information for researchers in academic mentoring. In the long term, this workshop will create a new dialogue about effective mentoring that can be implemented in the high pressure world of engineering faculties. It is anticipated that the findings will be relevant to other STEM professionals. Broader Impact The findings of the workshop have the potential to provide engineering faculty with the tools for developing an effective mentoring model for engineering faculty women, a group underrepresented in engineering.

Effective start/end date9/1/053/31/10


  • National Science Foundation: $23,000.00


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