What is CaMeW?
While there exist a handful of very successful programs for mentoring and encouraging female and underrepresented minority undergraduate mathematics majors and women entering graduate school in mathematics, at the time of the founding of CaMeW in 2007, there were no national programs to specifically assist women in navigating their final stages of graduate school. Workshop participants will benefit from a program tailored to meet their needs during this critical time in their career, as they transition from graduate school to the workforce. The goal of the workshop is to support women as they begin their careers as professional mathematicians in an organized fashion.
Each of us (the program directors and mentors) has been involved with mentoring programs at various stages in our careers and has found them to be incredibly rewarding. We recognize the need for women to be encouraged to discuss the stressful time in their lives when they are finishing their dissertation and making decisions about the beginning of their professional careers. While we have individually mentored friends and acquaintances as they finished graduate school over the last few years, we decided to reach out to more women and do so in a way that would bring graduate students together for support. As one of us was recently told by a friend who just accepted a tenure-track job, "I really, really appreciate all your help through this. I felt really alone here over the last couple of months, and it was so great to have someone to talk to who could offer good advice and understanding." Our short-term goal is to help each participant decide the right path for her and then to support her as she works toward achieving her first postdoctoral position. Long-term we expect that our participants will be more likely to remain in academia with the support of the CaMeW network and mentors who will be available throughout their career.
The three-day workshop will be a balance of small sessions during which participants will receive feedback on talks and prepared application materials and large group discussions during which faculty will present information about the job search process. Past participants have reported that the level of interaction and amount of personal feedback they receive in our workshop is unavailable elsewhere.
Depending on funding, CaMeW will occur annually. We will invite a diverse group of faculty to run workshops for and interact with finishing PhDs in order to offer varied perspectives on beginning and sustaining an academic career.