Who inspired your STEM career? #ThankATeacher

This week has been Teacher Appreciation Week, a time that I reflect on those special teachers and mentors who helped me along the way. Consider dropping a note (or tweet at #thankateacher) to your favorite teacher or mentor to let them know how much they helped you in your schooling or career. You can also make a donation to a K-12 classroom teacher on DonorsChoose.org in honor of that person.

Mentoring: Training in Disguise

January is National Mentoring Month to raise awareness about mentoring programs and to recruit people to serve as role models for youth in their communities. Anyone can be an effective mentor --- it just takes a caring attitude and a desire to guide your mentee towards success in life. Read the full article for ways to find volunteer opportunities and tips on becoming a good mentor.

Disclaimers on the Self-Mentoring Process

Since I started advocating for self-mentoring, I have received a few comments about how it’s a shame that someone would have to resort to the process of mentoring one’s self and that effective mentoring can not come from introspection alone. While I agree that stronger mentoring systems are much needed in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines, these remarks reflect an incomplete understanding of the self-mentoring process.

Congratulations on graduating from college…now what do you do with that STEM degree?

Maybe you are graduating from college but feeling a little uncertain about the future? Some of your friends may be headed to graduate or medical school and others may be starting jobs with pharmaceutical or biotech companies. It may seem that everyone else has a career plan, but you are not alone, and you have plenty of time to explore career options to put your science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) degree to use.

International Women’s Day: Call for Peer Mentorship by Women in STEM

International Women’s Day (IWD)—a celebration to honor the advancement and achievements of women—began in the early twentieth century to promote women’s rights and prevent discrimination in the workforce. Women have advanced considerably in the professional world, but recent highlights on unequal pay and the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines demonstrate the need to keep change moving forward. To accomplish these advances, women must act as peer mentors of other women in STEM.