Michigan Tech, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Western Michigan University and Wayne State University are partners on a 3.5-year $1.32 million project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Michigan Tech will partner with the other research universities in Michigan to test strategies designed to increase the number of domestic underrepresented minority graduate students pursuing careers in academia. The project will involve an extensive research component that will test the effectiveness of mentoring and community-building events on graduate students’ persistence toward a degree and interest in continuing on to a career in academia.
“I am very excited about this project because it will result in hard data that can be used to test the importance of mentoring relationships and a sense of community on graduate students’ experiences,” said principal investigator Jacqueline Huntoon. “I anticipate that by learning more about the graduate experience for students who are not members of the dominant racial/ethnic group, we will learn more about how to better meet the needs of all graduate students regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.”
This research project is strengthened by the fact that five very different universities will participate in the project. Their graduate deans recognize that the demographics of the US population are changing dramatically. The goal of the project is to ultimately diversify the ranks of higher education faculty so that they are more representative of the US population at large and can better meet the needs of students and employers. The project will ultimately help graduate schools across the country learn more about how to better serve students.
Craig Friedrich (MEEM), Shekhar Joshi (Bio Sci) and Chris Wojick (CEE) are co-principal investigators on the project.