NextProf Nexus workshop prepares next generation of engineering faculty
The path to a successful academic career can be long and filled with unexpected challenges — earning a Ph.D. or postdoc fellowship is just the first step. That’s why Berkeley Engineering has partnered with the colleges of engineering at the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech to sponsor the NextProf Nexus mentoring workshop, held this week in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
One of the program’s chief goals is to diversify the next generation of engineering academic leaders with students from underrepresented communities in higher education. It aims to give senior-level Ph.D. candidates, postdoctoral researchers and young scientists the tools they need to thrive in their academic careers. Students from traditionally underrepresented groups were encouraged to apply for the program, and all applicants were asked to commit to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion as part of the acceptance process.
This year’s in-person event included seven members of the Berkeley Engineering community, who learned about the academic job market, met potential mentors, attended panel discussions and heard about building successful research programs. Current faculty searches were also announced, including those at the three partner institutions.
Dean Tsu-Jae King Liu joined Berkeley Engineering faculty members Scott Moura, Grace O’Connell, Lydia Sohn and Karl van Bibber as speakers to discuss such subjects as the need for a diverse faculty, the search process overview, crafting a diversity statement, making a difference, negotiation and funding opportunities for faculty.
“Berkeley Engineering is delighted to be part of the NextProf Nexus program,” Liu said. “Because diversity of thought leads to greater creativity and better engineering solutions, we want to foster and support a greater diversity of engineering faculty and researchers. This is necessary to ensure that the future that engineers design and build will be equitably safe, healthy and sustainable for all members of society.”
Berkeley Engineering will host the NextProf Nexus workshop in 2022.