ACM Joins MentorNet Partnership to Expand Career Resources
Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession
Virginia Gold Terri Forman
ACM JOINS MENTORNET PARTNERSHIP TO EXPAND CAREER RESOURCES
ACM Student Members Worldwide Matched One-on-One with Mentors
NEW YORK, N.Y., September 18, 2007 – ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) today announced that it is joining with MentorNet, the e-mentoring network for diversity in engineering and science. The partnership’s goal is to provide ACM’s 20,000 Student Members from around the world with individual guidance from professionals in industry, government, and higher education. The new partnership will also allow ACM Professional Members to become mentors to students enrolled in the MentorNet Program. This ACM membership benefit, which uses MentorNet’s One-on-One proprietary technology to match student interests with mentors’ specialties, is offered without charge to ACM Student and Professional Members.
“The MentorNet Program will help ACM unite computing professionals and ACM Student Members to provide our students with valuable advice and feedback on issues related to academic success, career choices, and getting started on a successful professional path,” said ACM CEO John R. White. “We believe this new service will give ACM Student Members a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”
White pointed to a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows the computing profession experiencing healthy growth for software engineers, managers, network systems analysts, and other specialties. “We know that the kind of individual mentoring offered through MentorNet provides the personal attention that helps students discover their passions, expand their opportunities, and succeed in this dynamic field,” he said.
The MentorNet Program emphasizes expertise in engineering, technology, math, science, and computing. It enables ACM Student Members, referred to as protégés, to develop personal email relationships with specialists in their chosen fields. It also provides tailored coaching messages, MentorNet Community publications, Web-based discussion groups, and special events and promotions. Eligible protégés can be undergraduate or graduate students, post-doctoral candidates or untenured faculty.
“This partnership enables ACM and MentorNet to reach many more students and professionals in computer science and engineering around the world, and to engage them in beneficial mentoring relationships,” said Carol Muller, MentorNet’s founder and CEO. “MentorNet’s One-on-One program provides an easy way for students to learn more about the value, applications, and practices of computing. Entry to the MentorNet program levels the professional playing field with access to high-level personal resources and expertise available to all who seek them.”
Reactions of Mentors and Protégés
Responses from both mentors and protégés who have participated in the program have been consistently positive. Elaine Weyuker, a Fellow in the research division of AT&T Labs, recounted her recent experience with a protégé. She said the relationship “often causes me to think about my own assumptions, and to look at things in new ways.” Weyuker, who chairs ACM’s Committee on Women (ACM-W) reported that she and her protégé, Yan Gu, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Computing, have become “a team, discussing both professional and personal issues,” and that despite their differences, “we have a lot in common.”
For her part, protégé Gu, a native of China, pointed to the tips Weyuker provided on how to pass qualifying exams, and recommended resources for women in the field. “With Elaine to consult with about problems at graduate school, I can avoid unnecessary mistakes and focus more on my academic goals,” she said.
“I wish I had a mentor when I was pursuing my studies in computing,” said Gabriel Silberman, senior vice president at CA, Inc., a computer software company, who also participates in the MentorNet program. Silberman, a former member of ACM’s Executive Committee, now heads CA Labs. He said his relationships with his protégés have given him the opportunity to provide valuable information to help them with difficult career decisions at a critical time in their lives.
A Silberman protégé, Yuval Cassuto, agreed that their relationship “was an exceptionally useful resource.” He is a student at the California Institute of Technology’s Department of Electrical Engineering. “In a community where only provable achievers are considered for jobs,” Cassuto observed, “the opportunity to present my skills and expertise to a person of influence has added a valuable, prominent contact to my professional network.”
For more information on the ACM MentorNet Partnership, please visit
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery http://www.acm.org is an educational and scientific society uniting the world’s computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.
MentorNet http://www.MentorNet.com, headquartered in San José, California, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working to further the progress of women and others underrepresented in scientific and technical fields through the use of a dynamic, technology-supported mentoring network. MentorNet aims to advance individuals and society, and enhance engineering and related sciences, by promoting a diversified, expanded and talented global workforce. In partnership with colleges and universities, corporations, government labs and agencies, and professional societies, MentorNet is international in scope, serving students and professionals from all over the world. MentorNet was recognized in 2001 with the (U.S.) Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation, IBM, AT&T, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Foundation, Texas Instruments, and Alcoa Foundation.
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