In the past ten years our departments have observed enormous growth in under-represented minorities (URM) and first-generation college students, as well as those with financial constraints. We have also encountered a number of students in our classes with raw mathematical talent and a strong desire to learn math. Unfortunately, some of them are not prepared to succeed in college, unaware of the many opportunities available to them or, even worse, lack confidence in their ability to succeed.

Despite the challenges above, a number of mathematics faculty in our area have been successful in engaging students in research, obtaining funds to support the projects, and mentoring, inspiring, and motivating these students as they face their day-to-day difficulties.

In this workshop we will learn about these successful experiences, sources of funding, how to better utilize existing resources, and how to submit a successful grant application. In particular, we will also talk about our own challenges. Faculty at undergraduate institutions have a heavy teaching load, so how can we find the time and funds for our own research while still getting involved with students that need so much from us?

The workshop will have a plenary talk, a special talk, and three panels organized as follows:

Plenary Talk: Phil Kutzko, founder and director of the Math Alliance.

Phil Kutzko’s mentoring activities are not limited to mentoring individual students. He was instrumental in building a community that fosters mentoring at the University of Iowa and now, through the Alliance, at the national level. Phil will talk about the institutionalization of the values of mentoring in the context of a welcoming and inclusive department that transcends the efforts of individuals and become permanent.

Special talk: Ron Buckmire, Program Director at the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education.

Undergraduate Research Panel:  Tamas Forgacs (Fresno), Kathryn Leonard (Channel Islands), Min-Lin Lo (San Bernardino), Ramin Vakilian (Northridge).

Resources Panel: Cindy Weyls (Channel Islands) Hispanic Serving Institutions Grants, Belisario Ventura (San Bernardino) LSAMP grant, M. Helena Noronha (Northridge), Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI).

Mentoring through Critical Points: Ricardo Cordero (Cal Baptist) and Roberto Soto (Fullerton).