APS News

June 2019 (Volume 28, Number 6)

COMPASS Points to Effective Mentoring Practices

By Leah Poffenberger

From April 25 to 27, physics and chemistry faculty came together for a workshop aimed at improving career mentoring for students in the physical sciences. APS, the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA)’s Cottrell Scholars Collaborative joined forces for the event, hosted at the American Center for Physics (ACP) in College Park, Maryland.

The Career and Occupational Mentoring for the Professional Advancement of Science Students (COMPASS) Faculty Workshop paired up 30 early to mid-career faculty members from institutions around the country. In 10 sessions over three days attendees received guidance on career mentoring, promoting professional development, and changing departmental culture at their respective institutions.


Physics and chemistry faculty met at the American Center for Physics to attend a COMPASS workshop on mentoring.

Crystal Bailey, APS Head of Career Programs, spoke at the first session about the importance of being an effective career mentor. She emphasized the need for mentors to consider industry options when guiding students towards future careers. Physics education researcher and Rutgers University professor Geraldine Cochran presented on culturally-aware mentoring to address equity and inclusion within the physical sciences.

Other speakers and the participating Cottrell Scholars at the COMPASS workshop challenged attendees to research the current professional development opportunities available to their students and create a plan to improve these programs at their respective universities.

APS and ACS provided logistics support to the conference by finding expert speakers, while APS hosted the workshop at ACP and funding came from RCSA. The workshop was an effort organized by the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative, a program instituted by RCSA for early career faculty members in chemistry, physics, and astronomy to promote innovation in teaching at a university level.

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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondent: Alaina G. Levine
Publication Designer and Production: Nancy Bennett-Karasik

June 2019 (Volume 28, Number 6)

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Articles in this Issue
Better Biological Imaging with Nuclear Physics
COMPASS Points to Effective Mentoring Practices
John Hopfield and Eli Yablonovitch Named Benjamin Franklin Medalists
What Next for Gravitational Wave Detection?
First Black Hole Image: In A Nutshell
Cell-sized Robots Start to Explore the Microscopic World
Goldwater Foundation Names its 2019 Scholars
RMP Celebrates 90th Anniversary at Plenary Session
APS Office of Government Affairs
Education and Diversity News
This Month in Physics History
FYI: Science Policy News from AIP
Letters to the Editor
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