Developing a Network of Support

MERISTEM’s Develop Group is working to improve retention and promotion of faculty from historically excluded groups by creating a multifaceted mentoring network. Building on DU’s Mentoring and Onboarding Across Rank and Series (MOARS) symposium implementation team as well as successful mentoring strategies piloted by other NSF ADVANCE universities, Develop will create a structured mentoring program that acknowledges the variety of ways faculty need support.

Intersectionality and Mentoring

DU Develop has a special focus on the impact of intersectional identities on faculty’s efforts to progress their careers. As part of mentor training, Develop will work to address the systemic issues that lead lead to HEF—including women, especially women of color—bearing heavier burdens related to mentoring, teaching, and service than their peers.

DU Develop Activities

  • Mentor Liaisons

    The DU-DEVELOP Mentor Liaisons have been essential in getting the MERISTEM Mentoring Programs off the ground and running. By exploring and implementing innovative approaches to mentoring, they’ve developed two new mentoring programs for STEM faculty at DU this year: the New STEM Faculty Mentoring Program and the Peer Micro-Mentoring Program (described in the sections below).  

    In addition, the mentor liaisons arrange for training opportunities for DU STEM faculty, serve on and support the DU-DEVELOP subgroup of the DU-MERISTEM grant, and administer a “faculty mentoring fund” to help support mentors and mentees. 

    Mentor Liaisons (current): 

    Michelle Knowles, Associate Professor, Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry 

    Leslie Hasche, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work, Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging 

    Mentor Liaisons (former):  

    Erica Larson, Assistant Professor, Dept of Biological Sciences 

    Robin Tinghitella, Associate Professor, Dept of Biological Sciences 

  • New Faculty in STEM Mentoring Program

    DU-DEVELOP has created a mentoring program to support faculty in STEM fields in their 1st – 3rd years at DU. We are recruiting current faculty to join our mentoring pool (called the DEVELOP-MENTors) and early career faculty to join as mentees. Mentors do not need to be historically underrepresented, and we encourage faculty from all lines and STEM-related fields to participate.  All mentors will be offered training to help them approach mentoring using an equity-minded lens, better understand challenges of historically excluded faculty in STEM, and best navigate common mentoring challenges. Mentors and Mentees will be supported by DU MERISTEM faculty and staff leaders. If you are interested in joining the DEVELOP-MENTors pool or being a mentee in this program, please contact the DU MERISTEM Grant Coordinator, Brenda Nix ( Also, check out/join the STEM Mentoring Community Teams page.   


    What we ask of the mentors:  

    • Organize a mentoring group of 2-4 early career faculty, meeting monthly. Funds provided for coffee/lunch.  
    • Meet with the DU-MERISTEM grant team in spring (1-hour). 
    • Join the DU-DEVELOP team for panel topics: quarterly (3 x 1-hour meetings/year).   
    • Participate in mentor training (approximately 6 hours/year)  
    • Stipend: $500 


    What we ask of the mentees:  

    • Join a mentoring group of 2-4 early career faculty, meeting monthly.  
    • Join the DU-DEVELOP team for panel topics: quarterly (3 x 1-hour meetings/year).   
    • Participate in surveys 
    • Participate in mentee training (approximately 6 hours/year) 
    • Stipend: $500 
  • Peer Micro-Mentoring Program

    The MERISTEM DU-Develop Team is excited to fund peer micro-mentoring opportunities for small groups of two to five faculty in STEM fields to support mentoring activities. The goal is to promote creativity and opportunity for mutual mentoring that is designed and directed by you to best meet your needs. Mentoring can focus on a range of priorities, such as getting to know DU, excelling at teaching and research, understanding the promotion and/or tenure process, developing professional networks, or creating work/life balance. Example activities could include, but are not limited to:

    • Supporting for off-campus meetings with mentors or for topical support (i.e., writing retreats)
    • Honoraria to external mentors
    • Departmental workshop or talk
    • Editing or coaching services
    • Networking opportunity that builds off an existing DU events

    Funding up to $1,000 will be available with rolling application deadlines of:

    • May 10, 2024, for Summer or Fall 2024 Activities
    • October 1, 2024, for Winter Activities, and
    • March 1, 2025, for Spring Activities

    The application will be a brief 4 pages that contain partners, goals, activities, connections to current DU mentoring programs, and a budget. For more information on how to apply, visit the MERISTEM DU-Develop Website or join one of our upcoming ‘drop-in’ informational sessions

    • Tuesday, April 9th 12:30 pm- 1:30 pm
    • Wednesday April 10th, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

    Hybrid Location for both: at ECS-Small Conference Room 557 & Zoom:

    Click here for RFP and Application for the Peer Micro-Mentoring Program

chemistry lab

Apply for the Peer Micro-Mentoring Program

Click Here

"It's about faculty feeling a sense of belonging, fit, and that they can thrive at DU. I don't just mean as a faculty member, but that also that there's a place for them as a whole person. And that they could commit to the work that they care about, be successful personally and professionally. Many successful DU faculty credit peer mentoring, like the Women in STEM group, with helping them stay at DU. We're hoping to expand and support that kind of ongoing work."

Alison Staudinger, former MERISTEM ADVANCE Grant Co-PI and former Director of Faculty Development and Career Advancement



Faculty Support Resources at DU

The following are initiatives and programs that originated before DU-MERISTEM and created its foundation. DU Develop builds from and is in coordination with these efforts.


    Mentoring and Onboarding Across Rank and Series Symposium Implementation Teams

    MOARS grew out of the DU Symposium, an event hosted by the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and the Faculty Senate with the goal of engaging in collective problem solving. MOARS promotes a more cohesive mentoring of all faculty, regardless of their rank or series. 

    View the MOARS Teaching/Professional Faculty Site

    View the MOARS Tenure Track Faculty Site

  • Faculty Fellow and Community of Practice

    Faculty Fellow for Mentoring Initiatives & Mentoring Across Identity Community of Practice

    Dr. Heather Martin joined the VPFA’s office as Faculty Fellow of Mentoring Initiatives (FFMI) in 2021. As FFMI, her mission is to collaborate with faculty mentors from across ranks and series on research-based mentoring initiatives that enrich faculty experiences, cultivate community, and promote faculty wellbeing.

    Starting in Spring 2022, Dr. Martin convened a community of practice, a group of faculty-mentoring leaders for a six-month exploration of cross-identity mentoring at DU. Associate deans, directors, and other campus leaders were asked to identify faculty mentoring leaders in their areas, and fourteen faculty were selected based on their recommendations.

    Over six months, faculty participants will engage various mentoring approaches discussed in the literature and locate innovative work happening on other campuses—including mentoring dyads, communities, circles, and various other approaches that attend to intersections of gender, race, and identity. The Community will share best practices, ideate new approaches, and foster cross-pollination across disciplines, ranks, series, and lines.

  • Mentoring Model

    Teaching and Professional Faculty Lifecycle

    The MOARS Teaching and Professional Faculty group developed the Teaching and Professional Faculty Lifecycle as a tool for mentors and mentees as they consider the various stages of a faculty member’s career. The interactive timeline provides resources on a variety of topics as well as a general timeline to help faculty and their mentors with career planning.

    In 2022–2023, as part of "R1 Our Way," DU faculty are invited to take part in compensated work to implement and assess this mentoring model. Learn more on the VPFA website.

DU Campus

For more info, contact MERISTEM Grant Coordinator Brenda Nix.

Email Brenda Nix