2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
Paper No. 210-11
Presentation Time: 4:45 PM-5:00 PM

E-MENTORING AS A TOOL FOR RETENTION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN THE SCIENCES

VELASQUEZ, Alejandra, Communications and Media, MentorNet, 1275 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, CA 95128, alexv@mentornet.net and PORUSH, David, MentorNet, 1275 S Winchester Blvd, Suite E, San Jose, CA 95128

MentorNet is a 12-yr-old non-profit organization devoted to helping women and underrepresented minorities achieve their career goals.

As the "E-Mentoring Network for Diversity in Engineering and Science," we meet this mission by providing students with a unique, Web-based program that matches them with mentors from the professional fields and then guides their one-on-one relationships over several months. We have created more than 25,000 of these pairs. In 2008 alone, we supported more than 300 pairswith proteges from more than 110 campuses and our mentors represented more than 1100 employers. In virtually all studies of the problem of retention, mentoring is described as a key component in success. MentorNet's e-mentoring program has been shown to be an effective tool in retaining women and underrepresented minorities while receiving extensive real world advice from a dispassionate, experienced member of their profession, including faculty members and academic researchers.

In 2008, the National Science Foundation awarded MentorNet a multi-year grant to extend our program and services to the geosciences. In this presentation we will (a) describe the details of our e-mentoring program; (b) share external research and our own data about the efficacy of e-mentoring in the other 66 STEM fields we serve; (c) present our plans for extending MentorNet programs to the geosciences, including our current partnerships and those we aspire to create.

Mentor is supported by program fees from our partner campuses, corporations, scholarly societies, professional organizations, government laboratories and agencies. We receive grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the NSF, SD Bechtel Jr Foundation, and others for special projects. Our college partners include Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, CalTech, USC, Columbia, Cornell, Drexel, Penn State, UC-San Diego, UC-San Francisco, UNLV, and 100 others. Our corporate partners include IBM, Intel, Texas Instruments, Hewlett Packard, 3M, Adobe, Agilent, Thomson-Reuters, AT&T, Bechtel, Medtronic, and others.

2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 210
Techniques and Tools for Effective Recruitment, Retention and Promotion of Women and Minorities in the Geosciences
Oregon Convention Center: B117/118/119
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 539

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