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 Mentoring 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 Meetings, is open to underrepresented ethnic minority and female undergraduate students, with preference given to rising junior and senior level students.

Program Outline

Prior to the start of the meeting, mentee students are matched with a mentor and connected virtually so that they can begin communicating in advance of the Meeting.  At the start of the MRS Meeting, mentee and mentor pairs attend a breakfast or lunch program to network and explore establish mentoring guidelines as well as participate in a fun mentoring activity.

Throughout the week, they attend professional development sessions on topics such as poster design, science communication, resume and interview preparation, career paths, entrepreneurship, and many others.  They then apply the skills they have learned during a poster competition where they have a chance to win the title of best mentee poster presentation. Mentees also have the opportunity to visit the MRS Career Fair and participate in mock interviews and resume critiques.  Their mentor introduces them to professional contacts throughout the meeting, and they connect with graduate students and University Chapter leaders during the student mixer. 

Why Get Involved?

Program participation benefits 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, 724-779-2744 or email Mentoring@mrs.org.