UMass ADVANCE Announces Mutual Mentoring Grant Recipients

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UMass ADVANCE is pleased to announce the selection of four new teams for mutual mentoring grants, which support UMass faculty who come together to build inclusive communities over the 2021-22 year. UMass ADVANCE mutual mentoring groups are funded up to $6,000 a year.  Priority mentoring areas for these competitive grants include projects aimed at helping faculty build inclusive mentoring communities, engage in collaborative research teams and participate in shared decision-making. ADVANCE evaluated proposals in collaboration with the Office of Faculty Development, which also offers a mutual mentoring grant program.

“We were delighted to receive so many excellent proposals this year. Supporting these mutual mentoring initiatives led by faculty contributes to UMass ADVANCE’s mission of collaboration and equity,” said Laurel Smith-Doerr, principal investigator for the UMass ADVANCE federally funded program. 

The UMass ADVANCE grant is funded by a five-year (2018-23) $3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support gender and intersectional equity for faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The UMass ADVANCE program draws on the power of collaboration to support equity among faculty by gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity and nationality.

The mutual mentoring teams funded by ADVANCE this year include:

Aiding Math-Physics Educational and Research Experiences (AMPERE) seeks to bridge substantial disciplinary gaps between local faculty in pure mathematics and theoretical physics; enabling better communication, co-mentoring of students and post-docs, and research collaborations. This team is led by Jennie Traschen in physics and includes team members Owen Gwilliam, Paul Hacking, Alexi Oblomkov, Franz Pedit and Martina Rovelli from mathematics and statistics and Ben Heidenreich, David Kastor, Tigran Sedrakyan and Romain Vasseur from physics.

Foundations of Anti-Racism in Mathematics and Statistics (FARMS) seeks to build a solid antiracist foundation within the University of Massachusetts Amherst mathematics and statistics department. This project will serve as a starting point towards building a community and culture of anti-racist department practices. The team is led by Adena Calden from mathematics and statistics and includes team members Krista Gile, Maryclare Griffin, Mike Hayes, Annie Raymond, and Ted Westling also from math and statistics.

Mentoring Up and Down: Meeting the Mentoring Needs of Early Career Faculty of Color seeks to: 1) develop the mentoring networks of junior faculty of color, and build strategies for mentoring up and down, 2) educate senior faculty on the needs of early career scholars of color, and 3) make recommendations to strengthen departmental supports provided to early career scholars of color. The team is led by Maria Galano from psychological and brain sciences and includes team members David Arnold, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Elizabeth Harvey, Tara Mandalaywala, Evelyn Mercado, and Maureen Perry-Jenkins also from psychological and brain sciences.

Navigating (Mini-)Tenure in the Time of COVID-19 seeks to support assistant professors from underrepresented groups in successfully navigating the (mini-)tenure process, especially in light of the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This team is led by Camille Barchers of landscape architecture and regional planning and includes team members, Sade Bonilla of education Policy, research and administration, Maria Galano of psychological and brain sciences, Ximena Gomez of history of art and architecture, and Enrique Suarez of teacher education and curriculum studies.