In this interactive session, Becky Wai-Ling Packard will share research on the strategies that have been effective when striving to improve the persistence of students in STEM, including ways particular programs have avoided key pitfalls or otherwise strengthened their implementation by addressing tensions inherent in design. Dr. Packard will also discuss the importance of assessing the distribution of mentoring resources (and workload) across the department, school, and/or university, and how mentoring contributes to climate for students and faculty alike. While mentoring from more intense, formalized programs is important, so is mentoring that comes from smaller, informal interactions, and aligning our resources across the university.

Becky Wai-Ling Packard, PhD, is a professor of psychology and education at Mount Holyoke College and a U-M alumnus. She is a 2018-2019 NCID faculty fellow. For the past 20 years, Dr. Packard’s research has focused on the mentoring and persistence of students from diverse backgrounds in higher education and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. She has focused on the experiences of first-generation college students, students of color, community-college transfer students, non-traditional students, low-income students and women.

The NCID Research and Scholarship Seminar Series features scholars who advance our understanding of historical and contemporary social issues related to identity, difference, culture, representation, power, oppression, and inequality. The series also highlights how research and scholarship can address current and contemporary social issues.