OCS Site Mgmt, Getting to the Heart of it All: Connecting Gender Research, WIE Programs, Faculty, & Corporate Partners

Leveraging Social Network Data to Support Faculty Mentoring: Best Practices from NJIT ADVANCE
Nancy L Steffen-Fluhr, Regina Collins, Katia Passerini, Brook Wu, Anatoliy Gruzd, Mingzhu Zhu, Roxanne Hiltz

Building: Hotel
Room: Room A
Date: 2012-06-26 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Last modified: 2012-12-04


Women STEM faculty are frequently relegated to the periphery of the collegial networks that pass along information critical to career success. Marginalization makes it more difficult for these women to acquire tacit knowledge, find support for risk-taking, signal the value of their work, and accumulate social capital--deficits that add up to greater difficulty in P&T. Over the last five years, the NSF-funded ADVANCE Project at the New Jersey Institute of Technology has addressed these issues by supporting and analyzing NJIT faculty research collaborations. The project's goal is to develop predictive models of faculty career success as part of a novel, network data-driven approach to faculty mentoring. In this paper, we discuss the methodology ADVANCE has used to map changing gender patterns in faculty networks over the past decade (2000-2010). We explain how the network maps were constructed using co-authorship data mined from Google Scholar and Scopus and how network analysis tools were used to compare the career paths of those faculty members who soared up through the ranks easily ("Stars") and those faculty who crashed and burned ("Meteorites"). We focus on the final phase of the project in which ADVANCE is leveraging social network data to pilot a novel approach to faculty mentoring. We assess the initial response of mentors and mentees to two network visualization tools: The Research Interests Map that shows links between faculty who do similar or complimentary research but who may not know each other; and the Faculty Connections Visualizer that maps actual ties between faculty co-authors or co-PIs on grants. The first tool is useful in ensuring a good fit between mentees and mentors. The second tool allows faculty to compare their own professional networks, as they develop over time, to templates for success ("road maps") that ADVANCE has extracted from the longitudinal data.We conclude with a discussion of how other universities can use the NJIT approach to social network data on their own campuses to spot blockages in information flow, assess mentoring programs, and measure institutional transformation as it unfolds.


Women STEM faculty are frequently relegated to the periphery of collegial information networks, and their lower network "centrality" makes for difficulty in P&T. NJIT ADVANCE  researchers discuss how they have addressed this issue by developing predictive models of faculty career success as part of a network approach to faculty mentoring.

Full Text: PDF  |  PPT PDF