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To provide historically underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students in physics with professional development and resources, the NMC pairs Black/African, Latinx, and Indigenous students with mentors.
The mission of the APS National Mentoring Community is to address the minoritization and marginalization of people in physics by providing personal and professional development to mentors and mentees, matching mentors and mentees, and providing resources to mentees.
The APS NMC program envisions a future in physics and related fields in which no one is marginalized or minoritized on the basis of race or ethnicity. To help achieve this vision of justice and fairness, the program centers the experiences of students from Black/African, Latinx, and Indigenous seeking degrees in physics and related fields.
APS defines marginalized as a person or group whose experiences are ignored or pushed to the periphery of a larger group or society.
APS defines minoritized as a group of a smaller number than another group or other groups as a result of policies or practices of people in the majority group. For example, being a racial minority in a region due to immigration policies that do not allow (or limit) people of a certain racial group immigrating into the region.
Those who enjoy a collection of helpful relationships and connections — multiple sources of mentoring — are more productive, successful, and content with their careers than those without such a rich “constellation” of mentors. While students may often have a primary faculty mentor, they may also be mentored in different ways by other faculty, postdocs, graduate students, college or university staff, former teachers, family members, peers, or non-academic scientists. These “constellation” mentors can collectively provide a wider range of possibilities for the student's future.
Recognizing the value of these constellation mentoring relationships, the APS National Mentoring Community encourages and facilitates mentees to connect with multiple mentors within the NMC.
The APS National Mentoring Community believes that students, especially those from historically marginalized and minoritized backgrounds, bring a variety of skills, strengths, and life experiences to their educational experiences. As such, we use the Cultural Wealth Model from T.J. Yosso, PhD, as a theoretical framework for supporting mentees and training mentors.
The TEAM-UP Together Scholarship Program (TUTSP) supports Black students getting their bachelor’s in physics and astronomy.
This list of resources has been gathered to help DACA students navigate the educational opportunities available to them, including sources of advocacy and support for DACA students.
Through this initiative for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous undergraduate students, you can find the resources and mentoring you need to succeed in a graduate program.
NMC Mentor Rohana Wijewardhana (L) and NMC Mentee Madelyn Leembruggen (R).
My association with the APS NMC played a pivotal role in changing my attitude about supervising undergraduate research. My mentee’s first poster win, based on her summer research, was at the APS National Mentoring community meeting in Houston in 2016. Since then she has co-authored three papers with our research group, currently working on a fourth one and won a number of poster contests at various locations. She owes part of her success to her participation in the APS NMC.
– Rohana Wijewardhana, University of Cincinnati, NMC Mentor