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January is Mentor Month!

January 6, 2012

STEMconnector.org is teaming up with MentorNet to highlight mentoring’s crucial role in STEM education and careers all January long in support of Mentor Month! We’ll have weekly guest blogs from the likes of our own Edie Frasier and MentorNet’s David Porush to cover topics such as how mentoring programs are integral to recruiting more women to STEM careers, the need for more extra-curricular mentoring programs at the university level, how direct connections between professionals and higher education students can help professional development, and more. Check out our blog every monday at stemconnector.wordpress.com for these special blog posts. Also look for #MentorMonth on Twitter all January long for special tweets on Mentoring and STEM.

And in the meantime, did you know that STEMconnector.org Directory has 330 STEM organizations profiled that use mentoring as part of their STEM initiatives? From students in science competitions who seek guidance from a mentor to corporations that use mentoring to propel professional development, STEMconnector.org has got you covered! Here are a few of the many great organizations that are using mentoring to promote STEM:

MentorNet  is an organization that helps students in engineering and science achieve their career goals by matching them with mentors in industry. Already they’ve matched 30,000 protégés in engineering and science from more than 200 campuses and guided their one-on-one relationships to their personal mentors from thousands of employers, including their corporate sponsors. And on the flip side, if you’re looking for a protégé, MentorNet is definitely the place to go!

Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is a national environmental sustainability competition for grades K-12 that asks teams of students to identify an environmental issue at their school or one that has local, national and global implications and to provide a viable  solution.  Teams are required to have a mentor to guide them through all the steps of the competition. From applying for the competition to identifying an environmental issue and seeking a solution, mentors are crucial in encouraging their students think of innovative ways to implement sustainability plans for their communities. Not only do students win prizes in the We Can Change the World Challenge, but so do the mentors!  Mentors can win classroom grants, free NSTA conference registration and hotel accommodations, pocket video cameras, and more!

The AT&T Labs Fellowship Program (ALFP) offers three-year fellowships to outstanding under-represented minority and women students pursuing PhD studies in computing and communications-related fields. AFLP fellows are partnered with a technical staff member to serve as their mentor for the duration of the program. The program emphasizes personal interaction between the ALFP fellow and their mentor. For the typical recipient, this personal interaction with a mentor is often the most important component of the program. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, the fellowship pays all education expenses as well as a living stipend. Each recipient participates in a summer internship the first summer in the program, working in a research team at AT&T Labs Research. Yifan Sun is an electrical engineer who is participating in this fellowship. Her project, Frequency and Phase Recovery for High-Order Coherent Modulation, is trying to solve how to continually expand network capacity to keep up with the exponential growth in network traffic. Yifan’s work may even someday contribute to  AT&T networks capabilities.  Yifan’s mentor, Xiang Zhou, believes Yifan’s contributions are so impressive that her work will lead to patent or two!

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