Special Session

Diversity and Mentorship

Dr. Martha Grover, Dr. Rafael Fierro, Dr. Andrew G. Alleyne

Date & Time



Diverse research communities bridge different perspectives and complementary skill sets, which, in turn, leads to better problem solving and more creative solutions. Personal and professional development of researchers from underrepresented backgrounds is often influenced by an effective mentoring infrastructure that not only creates an inclusive environment but also facilitates exposure to opportunities for their career advancement. Therefore, it is imperative to identify and understand effective strategies that promote the advancement of researchers, both with regards to seeking and providing mentorship, so that a diverse research body populates all institutional levels.

The objective of this session is to address the relationship between diversity and mentorship and the beneficial impact one may have on the other. Under this topic, we will discuss several points including the following: 

  • The need for role models a mentee can identify with and get inspired by. 
  • How mentors from underrepresented groups, through their experiences, that can help mentees navigate challenging situations. 
  • The varied perspectives a diverse set of mentors can offer. 
  • How sponsors, in addition to mentors, play a crucial role on the advancement of someone’s career by offering opportunities, invitations, awards, etc. 


Organizers: Udari Madhushani and Maria Santos


Date & Time