Team Grants 2009 - 2010
Political Science Department
The Political Science Department implemented a multi-dimensional and multi-layered Group Mentoring System (GMS) in which each of eleven new faculty members chose a mid-career or senior faculty mentor and an advanced graduate student mentor. In addition, the new faculty cohort hosted several external senior scholars from Swarthmore, University of Michigan, and Princeton, who gave public talks at UMass Amherst, met with faculty, and discussed professional development. New faculty also received funds to participate in seminars at nearby universities, such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale.
Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Department
The Scholarly Writing and Networking (SWAN) initiative brought together ten diverse, early-career faculty members in the Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Department. Participants attended bi-weekly writing groups; worked regularly with a dedicated departmental writing coach who tracked efforts on a SWAN blog and coordinated on-campus activities in support of scholarly writing; met with a senior, on-campus mentor/reader who reviewed draft manuscripts; and traveled to visit off-campus scholars.
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences/Center for Public Policy & Administration Grants Workshop
The CSBS/CPPA grant team supported a year-long, interdisciplinary fellowship program aimed at helping social sciences and public policy faculty develop effective grant proposals. As part of the project, six fellows attended grant workshop meetings, and invited an off-campus mentor to visit UMass Amherst, assist with the fellow’s grant application, and give a public talk related to the fellow’s research interests. The team also created a wiki to compile meeting notes and grant resources.
Mutual Mentoring for Mid-Career Women Associate Professors
This diverse, interdisciplinary group of seven recently-tenured female faculty members met in a year-long program of monthly seminars on mentoring and professional development. Participants selected on-campus mentors and traveled to meet with external mentors, met by audio conference with a scholar on mid-career faculty work satisfaction, conferred with a time management consultant, and helped pilot a focus group study of associate professors at UMass Amherst. They also met with their department chairs, school/college deans, dean of faculties, and provost to discuss expectations for promotion from associate to full professor.
Legal Studies Department
In order to foster mentoring and research productivity among scholars of all career levels, the Legal Studies Department implemented a “Law and Society” project that linked graduate students, post-graduate fellows, and junior and senior faculty with prominent law scholars. As part of this project, three junior faculty members established mentoring relationships and traveled to meet with external scholars at the University of Chicago, Rutgers University, and Boston College. In addition, departmental “Law and Society Days” were held in which scholars visited campus, gave a talk, and met with students and faculty. Faculty and post-graduate fellows used the disciplinary engagements to further their research collaboration.
UMass Amherst/Five College Asian Pacific American Studies
This interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team built upon their previous year’s grant by forming cluster groups focused on scholarly productivity, Gender/Migration/Diaspora/Citizenship studies, graduate student and early-career faculty career development, and tenure file preparation. Each cluster held retreats to promote collaborative work, and invited guest lecturers to support faculty writing, grant writing, and tenure preparation. In addition, team members hosted Five Colleges publishing and Reading Across Forms events.
Life Sciences Women Faculty
The Life Sciences team connected women across the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics by establishing a range of large and small group mentoring opportunities, including regular small group meeting forums; a visit, public talk, science seminar and mentoring meeting with Dr. Carol Gross, a prominent female scientist and mentoring pioneer from the University of California San Francisco; and a networking event for all female STEM faculty. Participants also received a small travel stipend to pursue career development opportunities.
Communication Department Pre-Tenure Writing Group
The Communication Department extended and enhanced its existing, informal pre-tenure writing group by hiring professional writing coaches and editors to advise the group and provide consultations on individual writing projects. They also invited prominent scholars and academic publishers from Columbia University Press, the University of Pennsylvania, and Washington State University-Vancouver to meet with graduate students in the department and give a presentation to the larger UMass Amherst campus community. In addition, the writing group continued to meet regularly and hosted an end-of-semester dinner to recognize their writing efforts.
Teaching Humanities in the Digital Age
The English and History faculty involved in the Teaching Humanities in the Digital Age project built a network of humanities educators interested in exploring teaching and research methods that utilize emergent digital technologies. The team hosted multiple digital humanities colloquia lunches, began work on a team website, produced a digital humanist podcast, worked on improving teaching through the use of digital tools such as tablet PCs, learned about new technologies at national conferences, and purchased equipment to support their digital projects.
Interdisciplinary MRI User Group
The Interdisciplinary MRI User Group used its grant to support Five College faculty who do human imaging research at Cooley Dickenson Hospital. They held monthly meetings at which faculty presented their MRI research; hosted a talk by prominent imaging researchers from the State University of New York Stony Brook and Yale University; established a three-stage process for reviewing grant submissions; and networked with imaging center directors and campus administrators to gather support for the funding of a dedicated Five College imaging facility. In addition, the group worked together across career stages to create processes for recruiting and handling research subjects, and training graduate and undergraduate students to analyze data.
African American Studies Faculty Cluster
The African American Studies Faculty Cluster extended the reach of their mentoring efforts by expanding their team to include new, under-represented, early-career faculty from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Five Colleges. The group hosted a new faculty networking reception featuring an interdisciplinary discussion of race, class and gender; held regular group mentoring meetings; and supported travel to the National Council for Black Studies and the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education.
Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
The Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Program created an inter-institutional Mutual Mentoring project with the Department of Africana Women’s Studies at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina. To build a network for both an established women’s studies program at a large public university in the northeast and a new program at a small, religiously affiliated HBCU in the south, the departments organized a networking meeting at the National Women’s Studies Association Meeting in Atlanta, where they began collaborating on a group-written article. The group also led a workshop on their project, and hosted a disciplinary panel, a local networking reception, and a seminar for graduate students.