Jennifer Linderman, professor and director of the ADVANCE Program, received the 2019 Women’s Initiatives Committee’s Mentorship Excellence Award from AIChE on November 11 at the 2019 AIChE Annual Meeting.
Since starting her career at the University of Michigan in 1989, Linderman has been dedicated to helping her graduate students to identify and develop tools and strategies to accomplish their goals. Her students appreciate her accessibility, openness, and support for multiple aspects of each graduate student’s life and career goals. Today, she has a variety of former students in many academic and non-academic positions around the country. Linderman received the Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award in 2017 from the Rackham Graduate School at Michigan.
“Professor Linderman is an outstanding mentor who truly cares about her students. She not only challenges us to become better research scientists, but she also motivates us in our career pursuits and in times of difficulties. Through meeting many of her former students, who now work both in academia and industry, I saw the legacy she has built and the impact she has had in the field. I am confident when I say that all her students think this was a very well-deserved award. We could not be prouder of her,” says one of her current students.
In recent years, Linderman has been involved in programs for mentoring faculty and students at the college- and university-level, often providing valuable assistance to women or underrepresented minorities.
She helped create the NextProf workshops in the College of Engineering at Michigan in 2012, a program that encourages outstanding and diverse graduate students and postdocs from around the country to consider academia. These workshops offer mentoring on a variety of topics, including: considering academia as a career; work-life balance in academia; elements of a strong faculty application; interviewing for a faculty job; choosing the right institution; and getting a research group started. Linderman chaired the workshop several times and gave a talk in the most recent offering in fall of 2019 in Atlanta at Georgia Tech.
As Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the College from 2014-2016, she developed and launched a Bridge to the Doctorate program within the College of Engineering. This program brings a diverse student population into master’s programs to provide the mentoring and research experiences that will ultimately enable them to move into doctoral programs.
In her current position as director of the ADVANCE Program, Linderman runs a mentoring program for new assistant professors. New faculty in participating schools and colleges each receive a “launch committee” – a group of four senior faculty who meet together with them once monthly for their first two semesters. Past participants have indicated that this program was vital to launching their careers at U-M.