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Lessons learned from efforts to develop mentoring programs for early-career STEM faculty after an NSF ADVANCE PAID grant
Funded by an NSF ADVANCE Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) grant between 2011 and 2016, the WISE@OU program at Oakland University (OU) set out to identify and implement strategies that would increase the recruitment, retention, promotion and job satisfaction of women and underrepresented faculty in STEM departments. After conducting a climate survey and several focus group meetings, it quickly became apparent that there were many needs across campus that needed to be addressed, not only within STEM and not only among women and underrepresented faculty. With no formal faculty mentoring programs in place or active in any of the STEM departments, it hence came as no surprise that a majority of female and male STEM faculty indicated the need for more mentoring, particularly in the area of research. Although the benefits of mentoring in the workplace have long been documented in the literature, early and mid-career STEM faculty at Oakland University were generally left to fend for themselves unless they were fortunate enough to identify helpful faculty in their departments on their own. This paper discusses WISE@OU’s initial efforts to organize one-on-one, peer-to-peer and group mentoring activities across STEM departments, then goes on to describe a faculty mentoring model that was implemented within the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Lessons learned and challenges will also be discussed.