UMaine EMPOWER program hosts workshop

The Enhanced Mentoring Program with Opportunities for Ways to Excel in Research (EMPOWER) held a workshop for mentors and mentees, and other UMaine faculty interested in serving as mentors under the program on May 20, bringing to a conclusion the program’s inaugural year.

Adapted from a similar program developed and successfully implemented at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), EMPOWER has a special emphasis on supporting the professional attainment of faculty who are underrepresented in their academic areas. The program launched at UMaine last year.

Led by one of the architects of the IUPUI program, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development Etta Ward and Director of the IUPUI Graduate Mentoring Center Randall Roper, the workshop focused on sharing resources and demonstrating best practices for mentoring. Topics covered included equity and inclusion, building relationships, mentoring action plans, mentoring dialogues, mentoring tools, and creating individual development plans. 

“This workshop allowed participants to collaboratively reflect upon current mentoring programs, share insights and strategies with one another, and actively engage with new research-based resources designed to create impactful mentoring relationships,” says Danielle O’Neill from the Office of Research Development. O’Neill helped organize the workshop. 

The EMPOWER program has had a successful launch. During the academic year 2021-2022, a total of 28 mentoring pairs were supported, split evenly between the fall and spring semesters. 

The initiative supports UMaine and University of Maine at Machias faculty at multiple stages of career development in their quest to achieve significant professional growth and advancement, including in research and scholarly activity, and is offered by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School in partnership with the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost.

Mentoring is available for pre-tenure faculty to establish a research program, promote faculty as they expand their research, or for faculty set to begin a significant administrative assignment. 

Faculty interested in joining the program in the future should contact Senior Advisor to the President and Executive Director of Research Development, Jason Charland,

Written by Tilan Copson