Duke Energy Foundation Grant Supporting E-Mentoring Program

Monday, May 11, 2020
Image shows a group of more than 30 EMERGE field trip participants sitting on stairs. Teachers are at the top of the stairs.

EMERGE, a one-year pilot of an e-mentoring program, includes field trips for Rose-Hulman mentors and Indiana ninth-grade girls to showcase some of the many career options available in engineering and medicine.

The Duke Energy Foundation has provided a $12,500 grant to support Rose-Hulman’s EMERGE e-mentoring program that will encourage ninth-grade girls in the Vigo County School Corporation to select careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The goal is to help increase diversity within those professions.

Junior and senior Rose-Hulman female students will establish social networks with female VCSC students throughout the upcoming school year as part of the college’s PRISM educational internet portal that’s enhancing Indiana K-12 educational initiatives. EMERGE uses sustained mentoring within a cohesive, supportive, and near-age community in hopes of improving student retention, increasing academic achievement, developing situational communication, and promoting career aspirations.

A previous two-year pilot program with Rose-Hulman mentors for approximately 100 ninth-grade girls conducted at two Indiana high schools produced excellent outcomes, according to PRISM director Patricia Carlson. She reports that field trips to Indiana medicine and health care companies, mini-courses on life sciences and biomedical engineering, and PRISM’s online learning modules were especially effective in making the students aware of possible STEM career choices.

“Our goal is to nurture persistence and academic achievement in economically/culturally disadvantaged female learners,” says Carlson.

The Rose-Hulman grant is part of $382,000 provided by the Duke Energy Foundation to support Indiana K-12 programs focused on STEM, experiential and summer reading.

“These extraordinary education organizations are essential to the well-being and success of our state in these difficult times,” stated Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy state president for Indiana, in a company press release. “We are grateful for the work they do to serve our communities and recognize that flexibility in applying these funds is needed during this time of uncertainty.”