In late June 2004 a workshop was held at Stanford University on the subject of mentoring for academic careers in Engineering. For two days (20-22 June) the workshop provided a forum on the needs, goals, methods, and best practices for mentoring engineering students interested in an academic career, for young faculty beginning such a career, and for recently tenured faculty. The emphasis was on mentoring members of underrepresented groups in academic engineering, especially women. The workshop was jointly supported by the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (PAESMEM) through the National Science Foundation and by the School of Engineering at Stanford University. Workshop funding was largely devoted to providing local housing and sustenance for the workshop. Participation was by invitation and application. There were no registration or other fees.
20% of the University of Washington
EE Faculty

Participants included experienced mentors along with recent graduates and students who were considering, had begun, or had decided upon academic careers. Faculty in leadership positions were invited along with those emphasizing research and teaching. The workshop consisted of invited presentations, proposed presentations by participants that were accepted by the Organizing Committee, panel discussions, and informal discussions. There was an admitted bias towards EE/CS because of the constitution of the Organizing/Program Committee and the initial group of people involved, but it was not official and we welcomed all engineering disciplines (and other related disciplines where there was interest). The participants were primarily from electrical and computer engineering, but a variety of areas was represented from business schools to medicine.

The workshop consisted of three sessions on each of the two days. Each session focused on a specific topic and most began with brief (10 minutes) presentations by members of a panel followed by questions and discussion. Box lunches were provided for lunch on both days, and there were informal discussions and refreshments following the afternoon session. There was a reception following the final session on Monday.

The workshop had two primary goals. The obvious one was to provide an opportunity for mentors, mentees, and mentoring facilitators to educate each other and have fun doing so. Judging from feedback received during and following the workshop, this goal was successfully met. One woman professor observed that it was rare for her not to be the only woman professor at a meeting, and even rarer to be in the majority. Several male graduate students remarked on the educational value of for once being in a minority, of not having almost every one else look just like you. Without risk of overstatement, the workshop was unique in its composition, activity, and enthusiasm and it left a lasting impression on the more than seventy participants. It added connections to several personal networks and it has resulted in the formation of at least one new university organization for women in electrical engineering.

The second goal was a deliverable: to produce proceedings of the workshop, including summaries of the talks and discussions. Most of the presentation slides are posted on the Web at
http://paesmem.stanford.edu/, but from the beginning it has been our plan to produce written proceedings of the workshop to make the presentations and discussions available to a wider audience. Our hope was to produce a document distilling the best practices, resources, family issues, and other important issues raised during the two days. This is that document. The workshop organizing committee served as both session chairs and participants in the workshop and together form the editorial committee. The proceedings are a combination of the material presented in the slides and comments from the session chairs, presenters, and participants. There are also two single author chapters written by workshop participants on the specific issues of the imposter syndrome and on statistical studies of academic families.


We thank all of the workshop participants for the contributions and energy. Particular thanks to the panel members and all those who sent written comments to add to the writeup. Particular kudos to Veronica Wadey and Todd Coleman for their extensive comments. Thanks to the Stanford Conference people for their help with housing and catering. Thanks to Natasha Newson and Kelly Yilmaz for their help with local arrangements and their assistance to participants and to Kelly and Deirdre O'Brien for their proofreading help with these proceedings. Thanks to the White House and the PAESMEM program of the National Science foundation under Grant HRD0227685 and to the Stanford School of Engineering for funding the workshop and making it available to graduate students and junior and senior faculty. Thanks in particular to the PAESMEM Program Director, Dr. Marilyn Suitor, who provided enthusiastic support and advice. We would also like to thank Dr. John Cozzens of the NSF who has been a friend and mentor to most of us on the editorial committee and who has supported both our technical research and personal development. He has been a long time supporter of quality and diversity in research. Many thanks, John!
Eve Riskin, Mari Ostendorf, Pamela Cosman,
Michelle Effros, Jia Li, Sheila Hemami,
Robert M. Gray

May 9, 2005