Women STEM faculty: Volunteer to mentor in online program to encourage involvement in STEM

Case Western Reserve University has joined institutions such as Cornell University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University and Stanford University in leading a program to encourage women to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. The program, titled WitsOn (Women in Technology Sharing Online), is a six-week online program that connects undergraduate students pursuing STEM degrees with female mentors from industry and academia.

Women faculty members in STEM fields are encouraged to join the program and become a support member. Each week there will be a nationally known lead mentor who will be recorded answering questions posed by participating students as well as several dozen support mentors (female faculty, graduate students and technical professionals) who will also answer students’ candid questions directly. The minimum commitment would be a one-hour conversation using the online learning tool.

Mandatory training sessions will take place this week, led by Maria Klaw, president of Harvey Mudd College, and Piazza, an online learning platform. Each program is identical, so interested participants can attend any one that is convenient; click the link below to register for the preferred training session. If you cannot make the mandatory training dates, training will be available at another time.

The deadline for faculty to become support mentors is Wednesday, September 26, 2012. Women faculty in STEM fields should have received an email from Lynn Singer, deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs, asking them to join as mentors. If you have not received the letter or haven’t registered yet, email Karen Angemi, director of the President’s Office for Harvey Mudd College (kangemi@hmc.edu), and include your institution, the year you received your degree, your field of study and preferred dates (including weekends) to participate. You will then be assigned a specific day and time for participation.

In addition, department chairs can nominate women graduate students in STEM who might also be mentors.

For more information, read a recent New York Times article or visit piazza.com/witson.