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ASE 2019
Sun 10 - Fri 15 November 2019 San Diego, California, United States

Faculty Mentorship Lunch

The Faculty Mentorship Roundtable program aims to connect junior SE faculty with more senior mentors, and with peers at similar stage of their career. It is intended to provide a low-pressure atmosphere to foster building one’s support group and mentorship.

Participants will have the opportunity to suggest the topics they struggle with, ranging from research directions to career tips to “soft skills” (e.g., managing priorities, a quality process for hiring students, mentoring students to grow into tomorrow’s leaders, etc). Mentors will get to pass along their tips for success in software research and mentoring students.

The expected outcomes are:

  • Increase the feelings of community and belonging among junior faculty through positive interactions with peers and more established faculty
  • Exchange peer-best-practices in developing students, along with lessons learned from trial-and-error
  • Establish new connections and collaborations between junior and more established faculty
  • Grow the roundtable discussion group into a support group that will be a growth and accountability resource long after ASE’19
  • Create a culture of support, growth, and welcoming in the software maintenance and evolution research community.

This session follows the success of the Faculty Mentorship Roundtables from FSE’18 and ICSE’19. The main motivation is the desire of junior faculty to discuss career advice with members of the community that have had more time to experiment and learn, and openly discuss solutions on how to hire, train and develop the next generation of students to become tomorrow’s technical leaders. We will discuss proven methods to raise student leaders, for example the philosophy and legacy of David Notkin “Focus on the students, since graduating great students means you’ll produce great research, while focusing on the research may or may not produce great students.”

By identifying faculty who are willing and excited to share what they are learning, we aim to reduce the pressure on the young faculty and facilitate connections in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Faculty Mentorship Roundtable program will be held on two of the days of the main ASE conference (Thu and/or Wed). We will have roundtable discussions during the lunch period to make it maximally easy for all participants to schedule. We will strive to provide one roundtable for women only to make it easier for women faculty to address issues that are difficult in a gender-mixed roundtable.

Younger participants in the mentoring session will express which research areas they work in (and optionally which senior researchers they would like to meet) and what are the main struggles where they need advice. Based on these preferences, the organizers of the mentoring session will form the roundtable groups.


Faculty will apply to the mentorship sessions using a brief application process. We ask for the following information:

Stage in career (pre- or post-tenure faculty, etc.), What research area they work in, Whether they had a faculty support group in the past and how this engaged them, What are the main challenges they see they are not fully resourced to handle, and (Optional) Who they would like to meet with as a mentor.

Selection Process

We have only 20 slots available for faculty in this program.

Mentors in the program are selected initially by the organizing committee, based on recommendations from other faculty that attended similar events. We will expand based on requests from participants. Junior faculty will be selected by the organizers based on a combination of factors, including experience, stage of career, and their needs and challenges, as indicated above. We aim to select a diverse group, based on a need for mentorship.

Important Dates

Application deadline: Nov 04, 2019 EOD Anywhere on Earth.

Apply here:

Notification: Nov 07, 2019

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Thu 14 Nov

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12:20 - 13:40
Faculty Mentorship Lunch
Faculty Mentorship Lunch

Fri 15 Nov

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Dear Faculty,

What’s your plan for your personal and professional growth?

How do you get better at what you do?

Would you like to improve your relationships?

Would you like to hire great students?

Would you like to mentor and grow them into tomorrow’s tech leaders?

How do you prioritize the important over the urgent?

If you have been on a flight recently, the flight attendant announced before the plane took-off: “in the unlikely event of the cabin pressure dropping, first put on your oxygen mask before assisting other passengers.” You cannot give what you don’t have. You cannot help your students become the best versions of themselves if you don’t become the best version of yourself.

We need to first grow on the inside, on the personal, before we experience and sustain growth on the outside, on the professional. I used to believe that I will automatically grow through experience. But I am discovering that experience is not the best teacher, some of us just go through life, others grow through life. I am discovering that evaluated experience is the best teacher. Having the mindset to intentionally learn and grow from experience is what makes the difference.

I am surrounding myself with other like-minded faculty who are intentional and dedicated to grow ourselves. We have weekly roundtable discussions where we talk about how to become better people, better mentors for our students, better parents, better spouses (or significant others), better members of the society.

Iron sharpens iron. I invite you at ASE’19 to sit down with other like-minded faculty and share some of the peer-best-practices in a relaxed environment while you are enjoying a meal together. — looking forward to serving you, Danny Dig (and the Mentors)