Shippensburg University female STEM faculty to participate in mentor network
By AMBER SOUTH
Novice and veteran female faculty in science, technology, engineering and math fields at Shippensburg University will team up to increase representation and advancement of women in academic STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers.
The mentoring network is hosted by Science, Technology, Engineering, Math-University Partnership for the Advancement of Academic Women in Pennsylvania — also known as STEM-UP PA.
Participating in the network with SU are Elizabethtown College, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, and the Innovation Transfer Network, a network of 16 Pennsylvania higher education institutions. Faculty taking part in the mentoring network will be paired up across participating institutions based on goals and other characteristics.
Support and sharing insight on balancing a career and personal life are major purposes of the mentoring network, said organizer and SU math professor Kate McGivney.
Through a structured relationship and periodic lunch discussions and core workshops, mentors and mentored will have opportunities to discuss career advancement.
“We want to help newer faculty stay in the profession by pairing them with people who are a little bit further along in their careers,” McGivney said.
STEM-UP PA is the result of a National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant. Organizers proposed the program as part of the grant application process and received the grant about a year and a half ago, McGivney said.
McGivney was the principle investigator on the grant. She said that while other proposals were similar to STEM-UP PA, institutions behind them were research-oriented.
“Ours are primarily teaching-focused universities,” she said.
The mentoring network is one of three components of STEM-UP PA, McGivney said. There are also programs on leadership development and recruitment of women in STEM fields.
McGivney said it is too early to tell what final participation in the mentoring program will be like, but she is pleased with turnout for the other components. There was a group this fall for leadership development, and a workshop in the fall in Harrisburg on recruiting diverse faculty drew attendees from institutions throughout the region, she said.
Faculty can apply to mentor or be mentored at www.stemuppa.org. Nominations for mentors can be made at the same site.
Amber South can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 262-4771.