Programs & Outreach

Broadening Participation in Materials Undergraduate Student Program

MRS is committed to building a diverse community of materials scientists, from students to faculty, industry and government professionals.  We believe that diverse talent can be developed with effective mentoring, interaction with role models, opportunities to present and discuss research projects in a professional setting, and network-building through positive involvement in organizations that promote materials research such as MRS. 

The Broadening Participation in Materials Undergraduate Student Program has a goal to bring more students from traditionally underrepresented groups to the MRS meetings as an avenue towards introducing them to the many disciplines in MSE, building their professional network, and providing career-focused professional development skills and opportunities.  

This program, held at MRS Spring and Fall Meetings, is open to underrepresented and female undergraduate students, with preference given to rising junior and senior level students.

Program Outline

The MRS Undergraduate Student Mentoring Program pairs undergraduate, underrepresented students (including women) with graduate student or postdoc mentors who help them navigate the next steps in their education and career.  Mentee and mentor pairs attend a breakfast workshop together at the MRS Spring and Fall Meetings to network and explore some aspect of mentoring. Topics may include poster design, science communication, resume and interview preparation, career paths, entrepreneurship and more.  These skills will be applied during mock interviews, resume critiques and a poster competition, where students are evaluated and critiqued by a committee of judges.

Throughout the Meeting, mentors support their mentee by attending programs, mixers and events along with their mentee, coaching the mentee on poster design and presentation, and introducing the mentee to their own contacts to assist with professional network-building.

Why Get Involved?

The Broadening Participation in Materials Undergraduate Program provides value to underrepresented minority and female students by:

  • Broadening their interest in materials research, developing their non-technical skills, and building their professional network.
  • Providing high-quality professional development sessions on a broad range of topics related to a professional career in MSE.
  • Offering opportunities for students to practice their poster presentations and gain recognition through a related competition among their peers.
  • Nurturing a network of diverse materials researchers to enhance career opportunities and experience sharing.

Contact

To learn more or to get involved, please contact Natalie Larocco, Volunteer Affairs Assistant, 724-779-2744 or email Mentoring@mrs.org.

Past Undergraduate Student Program Winners

  • 2017 MRS Spring Meeting
    The MRS Broadening Participation in Materials Program at the 2017 MRS Spring Meeting paired undergraduate, underrepresented students (including women) with graduate and postdoc mentors who helped them navigate the next steps in their education and career.  Mentee and mentor pairs attended a breakfast workshop together at the Meeting and additional onsite presentations which explored topics such as poster design, science communication and more.  These skills were applied during mock interviews, resume critiques and a poster competition, where students were evaluated by a committee of judges and awarded cash prizes. The three winners were (from left to right): Sherrie Huo, Third Place; Joseph Wong, First Place; and Lauren Ficarelli, Second Place.

    S17 Past undergraduate student program winners