New Mentoring Study Awarded CITRIS Seed Funding

Image of seedling

The Feminist Research Institute (FRI) is proud to announce that Associate Director Sarah McCullough and a team of fellow researchers from UC Berkeley and UC Merced were awarded CITRIS Core Seed Funding to study the impact of shared values and power on successful mentoring for women of color in STEM.

The CITRIS Core Seed Funding program supports nascent ideas in information technology led by University of California researchers. This year’s awarded projects include smart clothing for anxiety, augmented reality for visual impairment, and others. Read more about the other projects awarded seed funding this year.

Associate Director McCullough's project aims to study the characteristics of mentoring programs that benefit historically underrepresented groups in STEM, and increase their retention and continuation in STEM fields. A chasm often lies between what is taught in the classroom and what students need to be successful. Mentorship provides a vehicle for raising greater expectations by students and gauging whether a student is prepared to be successful in post-graduate academic endeavors or in the world of work. Unfortunately, mentorship remains a hidden pedagogy in undergraduate and graduate education, and beyond. 

This project will study the impact of a digital mentorship program, enabling mentees to gain professional development skills and garner career advice during COVID-19 given social distancing requirements and across geographic barriers.

"We think that the traditional model of mentoring may need changing to be more inclusive. What if, rather than creating pairs based only on industry and interests, we also took values in to account? Connecting over shared values, particularly around equity and connection, may allow for the formation of deeper relationships." - Sarah McCullough