New mentor center supports women in EMS

September 24, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - A room in the basement of Ottensman Hall has recently been refurbished to accommodate the new mentor center designed for women in the engineering program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Formerly used as a machine shop and a workroom before its refurbishment, Room 045 will now be used as a central location for women involved in the engineering program to use for multiple mentoring functions.

The mentor center may be used as a study area and will accommodate computer access. A lounge area will also be available for students to meet as groups, study, or relax between classes. The mentor center will also feature a resource room containing books that cover topics such as professionalism, technical issues and outreach programs. Books that help students choose a field in engineering, along with information for following a career after graduation will also be available. The mentor center will also function as the main office for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) organization. Each of the seven officers of the organization will be available in the mentor center throughout the week for a total of 14 hours. Those students with questions regarding the organization or engineering in general are welcome to visit the officers during their hours. Last, but not least, the mentor center will be used as a storage area for the tools used in the tool program.

Although the purpose of the mentor center is to focus on supporting women in the college of engineering, mathematics and science (EMS), all students are welcome to visit and facilitate the center.

An open house to celebrate the birth of the mentor center will take place in 045 Ottensman Hall Sept. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All students, faculty and community members are welcome to attend. Students will be on hand to answer questions and refreshments will be available. During the open house, posters outlining the women in engineering program and the toolboxes used for the tool program will be on display. Information regarding outreach activities and the comprehensiveness of the UW-Platteville engineering program will also be available at the open house.

"The mentor center is a work in progress," director of Women in Engineering and Engineering Advising Tammy J. Salmon-Stephens said.

Funding for the mentor center was made available through donations from Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) and Alliant Energy. Salmon-Stephens is currently working on grant proposals to obtain more funds for continued growth and improvement of the new mentor center.

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