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Connect. Empower. Transform.
The Hub, Issue No. 7, 1 September 2021
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Getting to Know Our Participants

Since the pilot round of mentoring started in April, our mentees and mentors have been busy getting to know one another. In this seventh issue of The Hub, I am pleased to update you on what our participants have been doing since April.

To gain first-hand insights into how our participants are doing and what they have been up to, I invite you to take a look at our new collection of video clips featuring some of our star participants, such as United States-based mentors Prof. Dr. Sekazi K. Mtingwa (United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission) and Dr. Ruben Fair (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory). This collection will be regularly updated with new additions. I am also happy to debut our new Global Talent Mentoring video, which beautifully summarizes our program in two minutes. I hope you will enjoy the chance to see and hear what we are all about!
Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger
Next, I am pleased to highlight interviews that our team had with two remarkable individuals who are opening doors for those who want to pursue careers in STEMM: Prof. Dr. Sekazi K. Mtingwa, distinguished high-energy and nuclear physicist and Global Talent Mentoring mentor and endorser, and Dr. Xenia Beyrich-Graf, senior vice president of chemical synthesis research at BASF, a German multinational chemical company and the largest chemical producer in the world. We would also like to present some news items of note featuring another one of our mentors, Dr. Ruben Fair, and an interview I recently gave with The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.

Best wishes,
Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger

Check Out Our New Videos!

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We have specially created some videos that we are excited to share with you! Our new promotional video, viewable on our homepage, captures the core aspects of what the Global Talent Mentoring program is all about.
We have also created a collection of participant testimonials that is being updated regularly. Want to hear directly from participants about how their program experience is going so far? Then check out these videos! We are proud to showcase some of our amazing participants and look forward to expanding our collection of testimonials. We have greatly enjoyed watching these videos and hope you will find them interesting, too!

Training and Supporting Our Mentees and Mentors

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As we move into our fifth month of mentoring, you might be wondering what the participants have been up to. In addition to the mentees and mentors getting to know each other and establish a mentoring relationship, one important aspect of the program is training. Training mentees and mentors is important because it provides tools for personal developmental growth, gives all participants a common understanding of what is expected of them by their dyad partner, and helps each participant get the most out of their mentoring experience.

Our research team has developed several training units on topics such as getting to know each other, aligning expectations, and goal setting. Training units are tailored to mentees and mentors separately, so that each group can most effectively apply the information. Training units are not only informational, but also provide prompts for participants to put into practice what they have learned. More training units are in development and will be distributed to participants during relevant stages of their mentoring journeys.

In addition to supporting participants through training, each mentee and mentor has a program representative specially assigned to them who is personally responsible for monitoring their progress and answering any questions. Representatives are knowledgeable about the program and platform functionality and are available to help participants with any needs they may have by way of message or video call. We are happy to accompany our participants on their long-term path to excellence in STEMM!
In each newsletter, we highlight supporters of Global Talent Mentoring. This month, we are featuring two STEMM experts who are supporting younger generations of STEMM experts by paving the way for them to pursue their own careers in STEMM. You can find the complete features about their inspiring stories and work on our website.

Leaving a Legacy and Opening Doors

The Honorable Prof. Dr. Sekazi K. Mtingwa Shares His Inspiring Physics Journey, What Mentoring Means to Him, and How He is Giving Back to the Next Generation of Young Physicists Around the World
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MIT and Princeton graduate. Stints at Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory. Multi-award-winning physicist who studied and worked under the tutelage of too many other award-winning scientists to name. The Honorable Prof. Dr. Sekazi K. Mtingwa has a resume that anyone would envy, yet no one would ever know it from his humble, unassuming nature. The high-energy and nuclear physicist is currently a technical judge for the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and principal consultant of Triangle Science, Education, and Economic Development (TriSEED Consultants) in North Carolina (United States). A man wearing many hats, Prof. Dr. Mtingwa is also involved in several other physics endeavors, not only at home in the United States, but also in Africa and other parts of the world.
Among these is his role as a mentor for Global Talent Mentoring. Engagement specialist Christin Graml had the pleasure of chatting with Prof. Dr. Mtingwa about his groundbreaking physics research, the importance of mentoring in his life, and the work he is doing to benefit young physicists long after he is gone.
Several individuals have made a great impact on your life and career. Was there anything that really stands out about their support or mentorship?
Yes, absolutely. Growing up as an African-American physicist has been extremely tough. The common thing, I think, with all of my mentors is that they believed in my ability to excel—my mother, my high school teachers, and then several individuals during my time in college and throughout my career. When there were so many others who would try to damage my self-esteem, these people would show me that I could do it. They also created opportunities for me. Another thing that I think is very important is that a number of my mentors discussed their own experiences with me. The Nobel Laureate, Prof. Leon Lederman, used to tell me, “In life, you have to learn how to work around people. Some people are just not worth going through. You have to work around them.” I learned a lot from these people in terms of their own experiences. They were also all very encouraging. So, I think that my mentors’ belief in my ability to excel and their encouragement were so important. These individuals helped me a lot, not only from an educational standpoint, but also with intangible life lessons that can’t necessarily be taught in the classroom.

You are one of the distinguished mentors at Global Talent Mentoring. What do you think is the most important aspect of the Global Talent Mentoring experience?
The most important aspect of Global Talent Mentoring is that it connects professionals to students in the far reaches of the world, even students that are far from any major city or major university. Many of these students have dreams, and Global Talent Mentoring is extremely important in connecting those students to top professionals to give them hope that they, too, can become a top professional one day.

Please click here to read our complete interview with Prof. Dr. Mtingwa. His testimonial can be viewed on our website.

We Stand Up for Each Other

Dr. Xenia Beyrich-Graf, Senior Vice President of Chemical Synthesis Research at BASF, Explains How Her Company Promotes the Talent of Female Executives—and Why Mentoring Plays an Important Role in This
When it comes to talent development, BASF is a leader. The world’s largest chemical company by sales is particularly concerned about promoting female employees. With its 30/30 project initiated in 2020, the German multinational company has committed to increasing the number of female managers worldwide to 30% by 2030. In a company with 110,302 employees in more than 80 countries, this is a big undertaking. As senior vice president of chemical synthesis research at BASF, Dr. Xenia Beyrich-Graf is helping BASF to reach its 30/30 target. An executive and member of the division-specific women’s network “Women in Research,” Dr. Beyrich-Graf has promoted equal opportunities for more than ten years.
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At BASF, mentoring programs play an essential role in achieving this goal. In collaboration with the BASF Diversity and Inclusion team, the company also supports Global Talent Mentoring’s pursuit of excellence in STEMM. We are thrilled that BASF experts in technology and biology have been supporting our female STEMM talents as mentors since the start of mentoring in April of 2021. So what does custom-made talent development for women at BASF look like in practice? Which people and measures helped Dr. Xenia Beyrich-Graf pursue her own career in STEMM? The doctor of chemistry gave Global Talent Mentoring researcher Elke Krüsmann exciting insights into her everyday life and her wealth of experience.
By 2030, BASF wants to increase the proportion of women in leadership positions to 30% worldwide. At the end of 2019, the proportion of female managers stood at 23%. Which measures is BASF taking to achieve this target?
Firstly, the target has been broken down to all hierarchy levels and is being monitored regularly. To drive the change, we introduced unconscious bias training to achieve more inclusive leadership and better decision-making. We offer tailor-made coaching and mentoring programs for our female talents. We support flexible working models and have created part-time leadership positions. Under the umbrella of Women@BASF, we have several women’s networks, such as Women in Research and Women in Production. Last but not least: BASF runs the largest child-care facility for under-3-year-olds in Germany.

Closing the gender gap in STEMM and using digital technology to educate and support STEMM exchange practices for young people in Europe and around the globe is one of our goals at Global Talent Mentoring. What do you think about this approach?
It’s excellent. This is the right thing to do. We need to convince young women that choosing a career in science and technology opens many opportunities for self-development and for changing the world for the better—which is a great motivator for women!

Please click here to read our complete interview with Dr. Beyrich-Graf.
In the News

Career Milestone for One of Our Mentors

Dr. Ruben Fair, one of our star mentors, has recently been named the new head of the ITER Department at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) located in Princeton, New Jersey (United States). Dr. Fair is an electrical engineering and superconductivity researcher who has previously worked at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) and General Electric. His testimonial can be viewed on our website. We congratulate Dr. Fair on this career milestone!
Ruben Fair
In the News

Interview with Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger on Mentoring

In an interview with The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring, Program Director Prof. Dr. Heidrun Stoeger discusses her work in mentoring research and evaluation and highlights the work of the Global Talent Mentoring team.
Click here to read the full interview entitled “Profiles in Mentoring: A Conversation with Dr. Heidrun Stoeger on Online Mentoring for Girls in STEM, the ‘Mentoring Paradox’ and the Need for Ongoing Program Evaluations.” The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring is an online publication sponsored by MENTOR National, a Boston-based organization created with the goal of improving mentoring practices and increasing mentoring support for youth in the United States.
Volunteer as a Mentor!
We accept new mentor volunteers year-round. If you are a STEMM expert (PhD or equivalent R&D experience) and would like to mentor an exceptionally talented youth in STEMM, please fill out our Mentor Volunteer Form to register.
Spread the News!
Please share The Hub with your friends and colleagues so that they can also become a part of our growing network. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at
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Global Talent Mentoring
Global Talent Mentoring is part of the World Giftedness Center, a program of the UNESCO-affiliated Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation for Distinguished Academic Performance (Dubai, UAE).