Mentoring Matters!

The first paper from our PROGRESS (PROmoting Geoscience, Research, Education, and SuccesS) Program is out in PLOS ONE!

Dr. Paul Hernandez (WVU) and Dr. Brittany Bloodhart (CSU) led our team to interpret the findings after just one year of our matched pair study examining the effects of same gender mentoring on the recruitment and retention of undergraduate women in earth and environmental science fields. In particular they examined participants’ (all undergraduate women interested in a STEM field) professional identity, persistence, and motivation:

Fig 2 (Hernandez et al. 2017). Regression-based bootstrapped mediation models show a direct effect of faculty mentoring support (binary) on deep interest (outcome) and an indirect effect of faculty mentoring on persistence intentions (outcome) through science identity (mediator). R2 = proportion variance explained, β = standardized regression coefficient. *p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.

The super exciting thing about these results is that they show that informal mentoring (peer to peer and faculty to student) matters and that female undergraduates who report having multiple mentors are more likely to identify as a scientist and express interest in continuing in STEM!