Mentor-Connect Hosted Winter Workshop in New Orleans, LA

The Regenerative Impact of Mentor- Connect

Mentor-Connect Hosted Winter Workshop in New Orleans, LA

2Mentor-Connect: A Leadership Development and Outreach Initiative for the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) community in partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) hosted its annual Technical Assistance and Grant Writing Winter Workshop in New Orleans, LA at the Loews New Orleans Hotel on Wednesday, January 29 through Friday, January 31.

In attendance were, twenty-two college teams representing seventeen states and ninety participants including forty-five STEM faculty, nineteen grant writers, eleven mentors, five mentor fellows, two special guests, and eight Mentor-Connect/SCATE Center personnel. The team that traveled the furthest for the workshop was American Samoa Community College, located in Samoa, a United States territory. Other teams in the eighth cohort hailed from small, rural community colleges in North Dakota, Wyoming, Arkansas and larger, urban campuses in California, Illinois, and New York.

Over the three very intensive workshop days, Cohort Eight participants and others learned how to create and prepare successful proposals in an effort to increase their chances of receiving a grant from the NSF in the Small Grants for Institutions New to ATE track. Colleges are considered new to ATE if they have not received ATE funding in the past seven years. According to Emily Cash, Grants and Donor Relations Manager at Bismarck State College, [the workshop] was a great event, well-organized, and provided a ton of great information.”

4Topics, activities, and exercises covered included:

  • Day 1: Leadership Opportunity, Evaluation and Logic Models, Components of an ATE Proposal, and Writing a Competitive Proposal

  • Day 2: Mock Panel Review, Special Break-Out Session for grant writers and administrators, Transforming your Goals into a Work Plan, and Developing an Elevator Speech

  • Day 3: Defining Elements of Collaboration with your Mentor, and Delivering your Elevator Speech

Since 2012, Mentor-Connect has helped rural and urban two-year colleges — with large populations of students that have been historically underrepresented in STEM careers — build institutional capacity and faculty leadership skills through the process of preparing proposals to the NSF ATE program. 

6In addition to the aforementioned workshop, Cohort Eight participants will have periodic conference calls with their mentors and access to an online technical resource collection as well as will be attending a summer workshop, held in conjunction with the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference to continue to expand their knowledge about proposal development, NSF, and ATE. Mentor-Connect also plans to hold two webinars this year on projecting budgeting and specifically completing forms for an NSF ATE proposal.

Mentor-Connect is an ATE-funded project of the South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence at Florence-Darlington Technical College, housed in the Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing and Technology.

For more information about Mentor-Connect, visit our website at


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1003733. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Copyright © SCATE Center of Excellence. All rights reserved. All material on this website is provided at no-cost under the Creative Commons License, “Attribution—Non-Commercial—Share Alike"