The 50/50 Mentoring Program, initially developed as part of the NSF ADVANCE Making WAVES Initiative, is focused on increasing supports for early and mid-career faculty from underrepresented groups at UMass Lowell.
There are two interconnected goals of the program:
- To foster strong extra-university mentoring opportunities for Underrepresented Minority (URM) faculty and
- To highlight and validate an expanded range of career paths that can lead to success in an effort to shift the general culture around mentoring advice.
UMass Lowell (UML) faculty members selected to participate in the program are invited to make a connection with an established scholar who is a potential personal and professional mentor. Funding is provided for the faculty members to host a visit from the mentor to the UML campus, during which the mentor is invited to deliver a unique 50/50 lecture. Half of the lecture is devoted to the speaker’s technical, educational, and research interests; the other half is devoted to describing their career path, detailing, for example, navigating family commitments, challenges overcome, and/or the influence of mentors.
The 50/50 lecture itself is advertised widely to the campus community to highlight varied pathways to success. After the day of the visit, funding is provided for follow-up interactions between the UML host and mentor, during which the UML faculty member can benefit from the mentor’s experience and networks.