Future Faculty Workshop

On July 20-22, 2014, the seventh Future Faculty Workshop for Diverse Leaders of Tomorrow, organized by MIT Department of Chemistry Professors Timothy Swager and Jeremiah Johnson, was held at the Endicott House in Dedham, MA.

The aim of this popular 2-day workshop is to provide mentorship to aspiring underrepresented minority students who have ambitions to become independent academic researchers in the areas of chemistry, and chemical engineering, as it relates to polymer science, materials science, and supramolecular science.

Eighteen eminent professors from around the country were in attendance to provide mentoring with a student/faculty ratio of less than four. The six previous workshops were held at: MIT (2008), Carnegie Mellon University (2009), UMass Amherst (2010), MIT (2011), UCSB (2012) and GIT (2013).

Led by Professor Swager, the workshop’s impact since its inception in 2008 has increased, and the number of applications has close to doubled. 

The workshop is unique in its narrow scientific focus and thus allows for detailed technical engagement as well as future networking within the subfield.  MIT’s leadership in this workshop has been critical to its success, and Professor Paula Hammond, Department of Chemical Engineering, and Professor Christine Ortiz, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, have served as mentors with Swager in all seven of the workshops. 

This year, MIT Professors Michael Rubner, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Jeffrey Van Humbeck, Department of Chemistry, and Jeremiah Johnson, Department of Chemistry, also provided mentorship.  To-date, ≈ 20 participants have successfully competed for faculty positions.

The 2014 workshop was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, 
MIT’s Center for Materials Science and Engineering, and Harvard’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.