Seminar Archive: HHMI Professor Isiah Warner on Mentoring

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HHMI Professor Isiah Warner

Seminar Topic:  Hierarchical Mentoring: An Academic Support System that Integrates Research, Education, and Peer Mentoring

Seminar Date & Time:  Thursday, January 27, 2011 @ 11:00am

Location:  MIT 66-110

Hosted by:  The Education Group

Professor Isiah Warner is Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives, LSU System Boyd Professor, Philip West Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University (LSU), and a member of the HHMI Society of Professors. Professor Warner visited MIT on January 27, 2011 and gave an inspiring seminar about his work at LSU to help talented at-risk students achieve success in the sciences. He has established a mentoring system for 9-12th graders and undergraduate students that provides much needed support for these students, helping them to develop their own mentoring and leadership skills while they also learn science. Professor Warners’s program has built a strong community at LSU, like a family of scholars. “That’s what it means to be a mentor,” Professor Warner says, “to really care about that person and how they do in life.”

Professor Warner told his listeners at MIT about his own upbringing in rural Bunkie, Louisiana, (population: 5000) where he spent his summers working in the cotton fields to earn extra money for his parents and played with his chemistry set when he got home.  Professor Warner explained that students from similar rural settings are now often the target students for his mentoring program, because these students often have limited experience with the university academic system. Professor Warner’s LSU HHMI and LA-STEM mentoring programs help students learn problem-solving skills, time management strategies, and support interdisciplinary learning.  The programs also help students with meta-cognitive understanding, helping them to “learn how they learn” and show them how to make connections between their studies and “real world” experience.  The programs have been remarkably successful in helping underrepresented minority students achieve success in science education.

Learn more about Professor Isiah Warner’s education-related work on his Society of HHMI Professors Web Bio.

View the slides from Professor Warner’s Seminar at MIT on January 27, 2011.

Left: Colleagues and fellow HHMI Professors Graham Walker and Isiah Warner catch up before the seminar. Right: Professor Isiah Warner presents an inspiring story to his audience at MIT.