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Event Date

Student Community Center, Multipurpose Room

Mentoring students from diverse backgrounds

Professor Alex Rudolph
Department of Physics and Astronomy
California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona)

Lunch will be provided, please RSVP

Workshop description: This 2-hour workshop will cover topics related to mentoring students with backgrounds different from one’s own, particularly underrepresented minority and woman students, though the strategies discussed can be applied to other groups as well (LGBTQ+, disabled students, etc.). 

Diversity along a range of dimensions offers both challenges and opportunities to any mentor-mentee relationship. Learning to identify, reflect upon, and engage with diversity is critical to forming and maintaining an effective mentoring relationship.

The goal of the workshop is to help mentors gain the knowledge and skill to:

  • Recognize some of the biases and prejudices they bring to the mentor-mentee relationship
  • Implement concrete strategies for addressing issues of diversity
  • Engage in conversations about diversity with their mentees
  • Recognize how they can influence their mentees‘ decisions to commit to careers in science
  • Improve their multicultural competency

To actually achieve these objectives takes more than a 2-hour workshop, but the workshop will introduce key ideas and give participants an opportunity to explore, engage with, and discuss information and scenarios designed to set them on the path to becoming better mentors to all their student mentees.

Recommended reading before the workshop: 

In order to benefit fully from the workshop, all workshop attendees are requested to complete the following before they arrive: 

  • Write a brief description of how you and one of your mentees (current or past) are different
  • Read the articles to be found in the following Dropbox folder:
    • Benefits and Challenges of Diversity
    • Mentoring Across Cultures
    • The Mentoring Buck Stops Here
  • Come prepared to join in a valuable discussion of these articles

Please RSVP to indicate any dietary preferences and ensure that we have enough food.

Brief Bio:  Dr. Alexander Rudolph is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona), where he has been on the faculty since 2005. He received his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in 1982, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1988. Before joining the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona, he worked as a faculty research associate at the University of Maryland, a National Research Council Fellow at NASA/Ames Research Center, and was on the faculty of the Harvey Mudd College Physics Department from 1994-2001. He also spent a year teaching high school science and math.

Dr. Rudolph is a national leader in promoting the participation of under-represented minority (URM) students and women in physics and astronomy. He is director of two statewide California programs, Cal-Bridge, a CSU-UC PhD bridge program, and CAMPARE, a summer research program, with the shared mission of creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups to participate and advance in astronomy and physics, and to increase their numbers in PhD programs in those fields.