New Study Aims to Identify Best Practices in Mentoring to Increase Diversity in STEM Fields

Angela Byars-Winston,  professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been selected to head an ad hoc groups of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, a standing committee of the National Academy of Sciences. The new committee will conduct a two-year study to determine if mentoring programs can increase racial and gender diversity in STEM fields.

The group will identify different models of mentoring in STEM fields, pinpoint the most effective practices, and critically evaluate both available and needed metrics to study and evaluate effective mentorship for both mentors and trainees to make the mentoring relationship more powerful and beneficial.

“We really want to advance the application of evidence-based mentorship. We know that a good deal of mentoring in STEM fields is done without intentional preparation, and often based on mentors’ past experiences of how they themselves were mentored for better or for worse. This study seeks to elevate the current state of academic knowledge, and to elevate the practice and study of effective mentoring in STEM,” says Dr. Byars-Winston.

Dr. Byars-Winston holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Arizona State University. She conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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  1. Dr. Byars-Winston,
    I’d like to learn more about the study that you are undertaking. As a member of the Bridge Builders Foundation, I would like to have our organization included in the study. The foundation ( has been supporting scholars for 36 years, through scholarship and mentoring. We would like to be more effective and could benefit from the observations of an outside agency or organization with experience in mentoring young scholars of color who are considering STEM related careers.

    Theodore L. Irving, AICP

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