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Team Grants 2011 - 2012

Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS)
The CLACLS team brought together UMass Amherst tenure-track faculty with senior faculty and graduate students from UMass and the Five Colleges to address career tensions between the disciplinary expectations of one’s home department and the responsibilities of working in the broader field of area/ethnic studies. As part of this grant, the CLACLS team selected a cohort of pre-tenure faculty called “Fronteras Fellows,” who worked with distinguished external mentors from New York University, Yale University, University of Washington, and University of Florida, as well as organized a series of public lectures, workshops, and networking events. CLACLS also shared the perspective of retired scholars in the field though two public career talks, titled “Distinguished Careers in Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies.”

Department of Nutrition
In order to create a productive internal and external network of mentoring partners, pre-tenure faculty from the Department of Nutrition engaged UMass Amherst faculty at all career stages through a series of group meetings focused on developing research programs, writing grants, improving teaching, and improving work/life balance. The team also invited senior internal and external scientists and grant program officers and/or specialists to meet with them on campus, critique proposals, and expand their off-campus mentoring networks. They also hosted a public talk on community-based research by prominent scholars from University of Maine and UMass Medical School.

Department of Chemistry
The Department of Chemistry team provided pre-tenure faculty participants with group peer lunches and informal mentor-mentee "paired" lunches in order to broaden their mentoring networks and exchange teaching and research best practices. Discussions covered a range of topics, including lab management, self-promotion, initiating new research directions, grant writing and administration, large lecture management, team-based learning, and teaching with interactive technologies. Peer and paired lunch meetings were designed to give participants the opportunity to address more individual career development needs. In addition, monthly lunch presentations were scheduled in which both pre-tenure and seasoned faculty "pitched" their nascent research grant proposals, with peer faculty providing specific feedback to guide the proposals’ further development prior to submission.

Department of Public Health
The Department of Public Health team supported the mentoring and career development of pre-tenure faculty by creating an interdisciplinary network focused on research development and work-life balance. Activities included “chalk talks” on faculty research proposals, mock National Institutes of Health (NIH) study section review panels, a seminar series on grants and career development, the recruitment of outside scientists to review and critique grant proposals, the distribution of modest travel stipends so pre-tenure faculty can attend local and national grant-writing workshops, and research assistant support to pre-tenure faculty in the development of grant proposals.

Five Colleges Junior Faculty in History Writing Group
This team of pre-tenure faculty was comprised of historians from the Five Colleges who specialize in African American studies; Native American Indian studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies; labor studies; environmental studies; and cultural studies. Through regular meetings to discuss writing progress and challenges, the team provided peer mentoring and support to advance each member’s book-length project. The team members also worked with a developmental editor to prepare their manuscripts for publication.

Fostering & Adoption Science Support Team (FASST)
The FASST team is an interdisciplinary network of scholars and professionals focused on building community, sharing resources, and supporting faculty research on adoption and fostering. As part of their grant, the team completed a needs assessment to determine the adoption and fostering needs of Five College faculty; made connections and collaborate with leaders in the field through a series of public events; identified viable psychological, social, and biological research and funding opportunities; and worked on a database for UMass researchers as well as a survey of kinship, foster and adoption placement in Massachusetts.

Institute for Computational & Experimental Study of Language (ICESL)
The ICESL grant team supported interdisciplinary collaboration among UMass Amherst “cluster hires” (i.e., cross-departmental hires) and other on-campus scholars of communication disorders; computer science; languages, literatures, and culture; linguistics, philosophy; and psychology through a series of professional networking meetings. In addition, pre-tenure faculty invited within- and cross-department mentoring partners to regular lunch meetings, and attended a local conference in a discipline not represented in their home department.

School of Nursing
In order to address the development needs of nursing faculty and students, the School of Nursing established a comprehensive mentoring program featuring mentoring dyads of pre-tenure and senior faculty; professional conference attendance for mentors and mentees; monthly networking gatherings on topics such as career goals and work/life balance; the development of a mentoring best practices packet and a mentoring guide for future faculty; as well as interviews, surveys, and focus groups to solicit student input on mentoring strategies for all levels of undergraduate and graduate programs. The team was recognized as an exemplary model at the Mentor/Mentee Recognition Eastern Nurse Research Society conference, and is currently working on a student-inspired mentoring program.

Supporting Faculty of Color through Tenure and Beyond
This team strengthened the connection between pre-tenure faculty of color at UMass Amherst and the Five Colleges (most notably, Mount Holyoke College) and broadened their disciplinary networks by creating several peer mentoring opportunities. The team organized a large Five College networking reception in October and hosted a series of on-campus workshops on time management, writing, mentoring, and solo success, which were conducted by Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore, Executive Director of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity and author of The Black Academic's Guide to Winning Tenure Without Losing Your Soul.

Women of Color Faculty Group (Blacklist)
“Blacklist” was comprised of ten female tenure-track faculty across disciplines who came together regularly for small group workshops, peer mentoring meetings, and community building social gatherings to support their progress toward tenure and promotion, as well as enhance their capacity as leaders on the UMass Amherst campus and in their fields. In addition to these activities, each faculty participant selected a senior faculty mentor from her field (on- or off- campus), and received a small stipend to travel to her mentoring partner’s campus, or bring him/her to UMass Amherst.


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