Message from the PI

Over the past four years, University of South Florida faculty have received $4 million in research grants from the Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation to maintain our momentum in fostering greater diversity in STEM doctoral programs.

We envision the Center will help institutionalize these gains, while catalyzing new faculty mentoring and graduate student success initiatives for the entire University.
If we are going to envision broader participation of underrepresented groups in engineering, computer science, and scientific disciplines, it is critical that students have faculty role models who they can relate to and emulate.

The goal of the Sloan Foundation University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) at the University of South Florida is to institutionalize best practices in graduate student success (recruitment, retention, mentoring, professional development, and career awareness) and inclusive excellence within STEM departments. Scholars received enhanced financial and academic support for retention and professional development activities.

Measurable objectives include:
1) utilize evidence-based strategies to recruit 60 underrepresented (URM) PhD students in Engineering and Marine Science;

2) establish multi-dimensional (MDM mentoring model (research mentor, academic/well-being mentor, near-peer, and alumni) to foster academic/social integration and post-graduate career awareness; and

3) implement a Professional Development Certificate for increased intellectual exchange , community-building, and student well-being among Sloan scholars and their peers on both campuses.

Dr. Jose Zayas-Castro  
Principal Investigator and Director 
Executive Associate Dean, College of Engineering
Professor, Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering