April 2007 News Release
FOR RELEASE April 10, 2007
MINNESOTA MENTORNET LAUNCHED WITH 3M GRANT
(San José, CA) – A recent grant from 3M Foundation is helping MentorNet, The E-Mentoring Network for Diversity in Engineering and Science, to launch a new project "Minnesota MentorNet." Developed in partnership with the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State Colleges & Universities, the Minnesota Private College Council, the Minnesota High Tech Association, the Science Museum of Minnesota; and the 3M Foundation, Minnesota MentorNet supports opportunities for the state's undergraduate and graduate students in engineering, science, math, and technology to be mentored by professionals in their fields.
Seven institutions of higher education are already signed up as pilot sites for Minnesota MentorNet: Concordia College, Moorhead; Gustavus Adolphus College; Ridgewater College; Rochester Technical and Community College; the University of Minnesota; the University of Saint Thomas, and Winona State University. Other interested corporations and institutions of higher education will be able to join the effort as well.
"We're very pleased to be extending MentorNet as a resource for industry and higher education more broadly across the state of Minnesota," says Alex Cirillo of the 3M Foundation. "3M Company has had six years of experience with MentorNet's One-on-One e-mentoring program. We consider it a 'best in field' initiative and have had hundreds of 3M scientists and engineers participate as mentors."
Between 2002 and 2012, the overall number of Minnesota jobs is expected to increase by slightly less than 15 percent, while jobs in computer and mathematical occupations are expected to increase by as much as 33 percent. "Minnesota's future economic prosperity continues to grow more dependent on innovations in technology and science," says Kate Rubin, president of the Minnesota High Tech Association. "Every effort must be made to ensure that the high paying jobs of the future are created and stay here in Minnesota. MentorNet Minnesota is a big step in the right direction. The innovative partnership announced today will allow technology businesses to tap directly into the next generation of scientists and engineers in our state, paying special attention to expanding the traditional talent pool with a strong complement of diverse candidates."
"We are excited to be able to work with our colleagues across higher education and industry in Minnesota to launch this new project for MentorNet," says Carol Muller, MentorNet's founder and CEO. "Forging a strong alliance within the state will build awareness of the opportunity to connect engineering and science students directly with professionals in their fields to add to their learning and encourage their career interests."
Although MentorNet has had some presence in Minnesota for a number of years, Minnesota MentorNet strives to increase significantly both the number of Minnesota protégés from colleges, universities, and professional societies, and the number of mentors from industries and higher education institutions throughout the state. Those with science and engineering backgrounds across the state are encouraged to volunteer as mentors to share their experience and expertise with college and graduate students in their fields. Because MentorNet uses email as a primary form of communication, volunteering may take as little as 15 minutes a week, and has proven very rewarding for mentors as well as for protégés. The opportunity to focus on MentorNet connections within Minnesota allows for face-to-face connections between mentors and protégés if they choose to be matched with someone in the state.
About MentorNet - www.MentorNet.net
Founded in 1997 and headquartered in San José, California, MentorNet 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, 3M Foundation, IBM, Alcoa Foundation, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, and Texas Instruments.
3M is a $22.9 billion diversified technology company with leading positions in electronics, telecommunications, industrial, consumer and office, health care, safety and other markets. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn. the company has operations in nearly 200 countries. 3M Community Giving consists of product donations and cash grants by 3M and the 3M Foundation furthered by employee and retiree volunteerism. Over $37 million was given in 2006 to education, environmental and community organizations.
MHTA supports the growth, sustainability and global competitiveness of Minnesota's technology-based economy through advocacy, education and collaboration. MHTA is the only membership organization that represents Minnesota's entire technology-based economy. MHTA members include organizations of every size – involved in virtually every aspect of technology creation, production, application and education in Minnesota. MHTA works in partnership with AeA, which represents Minnesota’s technology organizations nationally. More information on MHTA can be found at www.mhta.org.
Founder and CEO, MentorNet
3M Public Relations
Director of Public Affairs,
Minnesota High Tech Association