Archives—January 2018

Environmental Engineering PhD Transition Mentoring Seminar

CEE 5992 Seminar

Date: January 22, Monday

Time: 3:05 pm – 3:55 pm

Location: GLRC 0202

Presenter and Affiliation:  Prof. Eric Seagren, Michigan Technological University


Presentation Title:  “A Pilot Program for Female Ph.D. and Postdoc Mentoring Teams at TUM and Michigan Tech”



The overall goal of this co-operative work between Prof. Eric Seagren (Michigan Tech) and Prof. Jörg Drewes (Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany) is to study and implement mentoring interventions focused on a critical transition point for women in the STEM pipeline, the transition from the Ph.D. to a faculty, or other high-level, position. Specifically, the collaboration has been focused on developing a pilot program for mentoring female environmental engineering PhDs/Postdocs using a group-based mentoring approach. The goal is to provide the mentee with a diversity of opinions to meet the various needs of the Ph.D. student or postdoc. The teams consist of the mentee, the mentee’s advisor, a female faculty/research staff member from the mentee’s department, and possibly another faculty member who understands the personal and social background of the mentee. Working together, individual mentoring plans are developed by the committee. The critical professional guidance provided by postdoctoral mentoring plans has been shown to be a key indicator of a successful postdoctoral outcome, and can increase the independence, productivity, and satisfaction of postdocs. Several key components are incorporated in development of the mentoring plans: (1) self-assessment, (2) relevant activities, (3) regular meetings, and (4) periodic evaluations. During the spring and fall of 2017, pilot mentoring teams were formed by Profs. Seagren and Drewes for a trial cohort of female Ph.D. students and post-docs at Michigan Tech and TUM. The methods and results of this pilot program will be shared with Profs. Drewes’ and Seagren’s colleagues, and opportunities will be provided for the German and U.S. mentees to interact and share experiences, opportunities, and challenges.