SUNY Poly Foundation to Develop Mentorship Program Supporting
First-Year Female STEM Students
Effort made possible by $10,000 Women’s Fund grant

The SUNY Poly Foundation is developing a mentorship program comprised of faculty,
staff, alumni and local female professionals, who will serve as advisors to first year (FY) female students enrolled in the university’s STEM programs. The initiative, funded by a $10,000 grant from the Women’s Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, will focus on students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, providing impactful support, and improving retention.

“A STEM education can have a transformative effect,” said SUNY Poly President Dr. Winston Soboyejo. “As a four-year state institution that remains an innovative academic leader and economic driver in the Mohawk Valley region, SUNY Poly takes great pride in helping to elevate the lives of all people that call this wonderful area home. This program will not only provide great support to first-year female students enrolled in our STEM programs, but increase the likelihood of their success, which benefits us all.”

“SUNY Poly is incredibly grateful for the support of the Women’s Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Andrea LaGatta. “This grant allows us to transform lives by helping our students on their path to achieving their dreams.”

“We are excited to work with SUNY Poly to provide mentoring support for local STEM students,” noted Michele Sheridan, co-chairperson of The Women’s Fund Grant Committee. “We believe that providing financial assistance to this program will help women succeed in these important areas of study and that they will ultimately make a positive impact in our communities.”

Students impacted by this new initiative are enrolled in the following SUNY Poly programs: Network and Computer Security, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Technology, Interactive Media and Game Design, Electrical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Information Science, Computer Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering and Engineering Technology, Applied Math, and Biology.

The grant from the Women’s Fund will support professional development training opportunities for faculty, staff and external mentors; employ a part-time coordinator to oversee the program, which will include recruiting mentors, organizing programs, collaborating with campus partners, program assessment and student follow-up; provide networking opportunities for the mentors and mentees; and purchase program supplies, materials and equipment.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the program or becoming a mentor, email