IMPACT NSF Georgia Tech University and University of Colorado Colorado Springs


Welcome to IMPACT: Increasing Minority Presence within Academia through Continuous Training

Welcome to the collaborative IMPACT (Increasing Minority Presence within Academia through Continuous Training) program at Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and Morehouse College. The IMPACT program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation INCLUDES DDLP Award Number 1744500. The two-year INCLUDES DDLP IMPACT program synergizes mutual professional interests and technical expertise of Dr. Comas Haynes of Georgia Tech (PI), Dr. Rosario Gerhardt of Georgia Tech (Co-PI), Dr. Valerie Martin Conley of UCCS (Co-PI), Dr. Sylvia Mendez of UCCS (Co-PI), and Dr. Kinnis Gosha of Morehouse (Co-PI).



The Increasing Minority Presence within Academia through Continuous Training (IMPACT) program pairs emeriti/retired faculty in engineering with underrepresented minority (URM) faculty to engage in a new mentoring and advocacy-networking paradigm.

IMPACT seeks to address the lack of effective mentorship and advocacy for historically marginalized groups into and through the professoriate via goal matches focusing on shared sub-disciplinary expertise (e.g., tribology, engineering structures, polymer engineering) and professional aspirations-accomplishments (e.g., retention-tenure-promotion progression, technical-professional societal leadership, academic administration leadership).


A comprehensive team of majority and minority university investigators, ethnicity-themed engineering faculty groups, national engineering department heads organizations, and a leading national faculty retirement organization will form a core network to expand the seed delivery of this strategy to a national and multi-partner scope.

The primary measure of successful partnership will be the development of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) among partners that documents a common agenda finalized during the launch pilot. This will include key elements such as agreed upon vision and mission statements, markers or indicators of progress, and confirmed areas of contribution for each partner.


Program Expansion and Pilot Research Goals

• Conduct a survey of project partners’ efforts in engaging emeriti/retired faculty and in supporting URM faculty.
• Create an inventory of possible goal matches for which URM faculty may be seeking mentorship and related lists of supports emeriti faculty could offer.
• Establish a publicly available Web Portal, which will be used to solicit interest in IMPACT participation, facilitate goal matches, and share progress on the INCLUDES effort.
• Twenty “Goal Matches” via a national sample of URM and emeriti faculty.


IMPACT Kick-Off Meeting Video

The INCLUDES launch pilot expands on a successful trial funded by the National Science Foundation (15-7680) Office for Broadening Participation in Engineering (NSF BPE) under Collaborative Awards Numbers 1542728 and 1542524. The program began in Fall 2015 with the intent of serving as an innovative strategy to complement prevailing approaches that support career mentorship opportunities of URM engineering faculty via mentorship by renowned, emeriti faculty. Under this award, eleven early- and mid-career URM faculty were matched with seven emeriti faculty based on technical expertise with a focus on career development, sponsorship, and coaching. The NSF BPE award was led by Dr. Comas Haynes (Georgia Tech, PI), Dr. Rosario Gerhardt (Georgia Tech, Co-PI), Dr. Valerie Martin Conley (UCCS, Co-PI), and Dr. Sylvia Mendez (UCCS, CO-PI).