The institutionalization of systemic mentoring, as described in this report, was presented by Bagayoko at the Duke University National Conference on Mentoring. This description is intended to provide individuals and institutions with items, materials, programs, and processes worth replication. The Timbuktu Academy is funded by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR), NSF, and NASA.
The objectives of this project were to recognize, support, expand, and
hopefully institutionalize the student mentoring activities and program,
i.e., the Timbuktu Academy, led by Dr. Diola Bagayoko. He was one of the
first ten (10) individual recipients of the US Presidential Award for Excellence
in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (US-PAESMEM, NSF Grant
No. HRD-9612453). The project added immensely to the recognition of the
mentoring activities of Bagayoko and particularly of the importance of
mentoring. This recognition was accomplished through more than ten (10)
mass-media publications with a combined distribution list over 41,000 readers,
over half of whom were in academia (pre-college and college). The clearly
significant value added created by this award includes the following. (a)
Seven (7) papers and one (1) book published by Bagayoko and his colleagues
partly serve to place mentoring on a rigorous scientific basis.
(b) Using the knowledge base provided by these publications and
others, Bagayoko and colleagues expanded and institutionalized "systemic
mentoring" throughout Southern University and A&M College, in Baton
Rouge, with the active support of university administrators. (c)
In support of mentoring and of this expansion process, Bagayoko made twenty
three (23) presentations from fall, 1996 to fall 1998; they included thirteen
(13) national, seven (7) state-wide, and three (3) university-wide presentations
that respectively reached 785, 347, and 563 individuals (faculty, students,
parents, and others). (d) The journey continues with the replication
of the model of the Timbuktu Academy in the State, through the Louisiana
Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP), and at some institutions across
the nation. (e) Details on the aforementioned processes and publications
are available at the web site of the Timbuktu Academy, under "Virtual
Mentoring Institute." This mentoring resource base, partly a product
of this project, is one of the guideposts for our challenging and rewarding
journey of effective and systemic mentoring (http://www.phys.subr.edu/timbuktu.htm).
The following summary, in outline format, provides an overview of the major mentoring activities of Bagayoko and his many colleagues from the fall of 1996 to that of 1998. The reader is invited to visit the web site of the Timbuktu Academy for an expanded description of its objectives, paradigm, programs, activities, results (graduates and new knowledge), and funding sources (http://www.phys.subr.edu/timbuktu.htm). A recommended reading that establishes the scientific basis for high expectations for all students (or individuals) is "the dynamic of student retention: a review and a prescription." Education, Vol. 115, No. 1, pp. 31-39, Fall, 1994. This publication provides a motivational, design, and organizing principle of Bagayoko’s mentoring programs and activities.
The importance of the US-PAESMEM program will hopefully be apparent in this summary. This summary addresses the following points: the press coverage, the statewide recognition, the institutionalization of systemic mentoring at Southern University and A&M College (SUBR), and the enhanced 1996-98 mentoring activities of the Timbuktu Academy. Some emphasis is placed on the institutionalization of systemic mentoring at SUBR and a possible roadmap for replication.
Press Coverage & Recognition
In September, 1996, Dr. George Campbell, the president of NACME, noted the importance of appropriate dissemination of information on matters that count. Following his advice, I provided the award information, after the ceremony in Washington, to individuals, agencies, and organizations that support the Timbuktu Academy and to members of the press. As a result, the award program and my receipt of the US-PAESMEM were featured in a number of mass-media publications that included the following.
(2) The Daily Reveille, the campus newspaper of Louisiana State University (from which I earned my Ph.D. under the direction of a great mentor, the late Boyd Professor Joseph Callaway); circulation: over 25,000;
(3) The Advocate, the main statewide newspaper in Louisiana; circulation: statewide and beyond;
(4) SU Insider, the glossy newsletter published by the Office of the Chancellor of Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge (SUBR);
(5) Research Dividends, a glossy and statewide newsletter published by the Louisiana Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)– funded by the National Science Foundation and the Louisiana Board of Regents;
(6) The newsletter of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP), with a national distribution list;
(7) APS News, a monthly publication of the American Physical Society (APS); worldwide circulation estimated to reach 10,000 physicists around the world;
(8) The newsletter of the New York Academy of Science, of which Bagayoko is a member;
(9) Frontiers, a national newsletter published by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and that enjoys national dissemination; and
(10) Resource Magazine, a national publication of the American Society of Agricultural Engineering.
Oh, one interesting thing about press coverage is that it has its way of not only spreading the word, but also of making the "star" wonder what he/she has done lately to earn this attention! (B. F. Skinner was right about the "power of positive reinforcement.")
The above coverage was critical in conveying not only the importance of the award, but also that of mentoring – as intimated in the subtitles of this outline.
Special State-Wide Recognition
The Louisiana Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation of Teachers (LaCEPT) and the Louisiana Systemic Initiatives (LaSIP), with the active support of the staff of the Board of Regents, recognized Bagayoko for the US-PAESMEM with a magnificent plaque shaped like the map of Louisiana, during the annual conference of LaCEPT in early 1997.
Institutionalization of Systemic Mentoring at SUBR
Perhaps the most significant, far-reaching development in Bagayoko’s mentoring activities consists of his contributions to the institutionalization of systemic mentoring at SUBR. These contributions, undoubtedly, benefited from the authority "vested" in him, in matters of mentoring, by the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (US-PAESMEM).
Several circumstances contributed to this institutionalization. They include the generally nurturing environment one can find on most Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses. Another key factor has been the lead role of SUBR in the implementation of the NSF supported Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP), for which the State Board of Regents is the grantee and a major provider of funding. As spelled our in the award instrument for LAMP, its objectives include: (LAMP is one of approximately 25 "Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation.")
(In a thinking and progressive organization, positive initiatives may be proposed by any group of competent and dedicated constituents.) The alternative is to have groups blame each others for the ills while most of them seem to be "majoring in the minors."
constituents (faculty, students, staff, administrators, funding agencies, etc.) often place
themselves in jeopardy. (It takes an entire university to mentor a student, including that
student! Sagacity is needed to prevent this reality from serving as the scapegoat for the few,
if any, who may not want to contribute their shares!)
Please refer to http://www.phys.subr.edu/ for details. The Timbuktu Academy, every summer, provides extensive academic enrichment and mentoring services to seventy (70) middle school students in its Summer Science Institute for Middle School; forty (40) high school students in its residential, intensive programs known as the Summer Science Institute (for 20 11th graders) and Challenge 2000 (for 20 10th-12th grade students together); twenty (20) high-achieving high school graduates in its Summer Bridge Institute at the Timbuktu Academy. The year-around, systemic undergraduate mentoring program of the Academy serves 100 scholars and affiliate students. (The Scholars, around 50, received direct financial support pursuant to funding by ONR and NASA.) The Graduate Research Excellence at the Timbuktu Academy (GREAT) is the newest mentoring program of the Academy. It started in 1996 and is funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents.
In addition to enhancing the regular mentoring activities of the Academy, the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring made possible two distinctive extensions of the Academy.
The first one consisted of volunteering the services of the Academy and of LAMP to assist NAFEO in the implementation of the High Tech Expo for undergraduate students. Due in part to our assistance that was gladly accepted by NAFEO, undergraduate students had a full day of technical presentations at the 1997 and 1998 NAFEO conferences in Washington, D.C. Well over 20 papers were presented and over 50 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the day-long scientific/engineering activity, each of the past two years. In 1997, Dr. William McHenry, the former AMP director at NSF, engaged, for 45 minutes, the participants in lively discussions on preparing for graduate school, applying for graduate school, funding for graduate studies, and doing research. In 1998, Dr. Hicks, the current AMP program director, similarly spoke to the attendees.
The second development consisted of our co-sponsorship of a state-wide science and mathematics competition for high school students across the state of Louisiana – from all ethnic backgrounds. This annual competition, initiated on April 7, 1997, is named after a former president of the Southern University and A&M College System, Dr. Dolores R. Spikes. Five hundred fifty (550) high school students participated in day-long written examinations in algebra, calculus, trigonometry, physics, biology, chemistry, etc. A ceremony was held to recognize the students with the highest scores in the various categories. One of many messages that were loud and clear was that "it is cool to learn science and mathematics."
Publications and Presentations
Bagayoko published seven (7) papers and one (1) book that are directly germane to systemic mentoring and the related teaching and program development activities. These publications, while grounded in research and the current sum of knowledge, were primarily concerned with providing "empowering information" to students, parents, teachers, faculty members, and others as opposed to demonstrating the author’s scholarship! Delivering "educational extension" services, analogous to the phenomenally successful "agricultural extension" services, was the aim. The formal publications noted below are a minute portion of the extensive dissemination of mentoring information, by the Timbuktu Academy, to over 10,000 individuals from 1996 to 1998. Important mass-media publications are not included.
From the fall of 1996 to the fall of 1998, Bagayoko made twenty-three (23) presentations on mentoring. They included 13 national, 7 state-wide, and 3 university-wide presentations that respectively reached 785, 347, and 563 individuals (faculty members, students, and others.) As a rule, these presentations acknowledge NSF support (US Presidential Award) and the support of the Timbuktu Academy by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR). They do not include the tens of presentations to the pre-college and college scholars of the Timbuktu Academy and to their parents and relatives. These Academy presentations reached 2-3,000 students, parents, teachers, and faculty members per year.
The saga of mentoring at the Timbuktu Academy and at Southern University and A&M College (SUBR) sheds light on some pivotal constructs whose importance cannot be overemphasized. The US Presidential Award allowed us to synthesize these constructs and to map-out relatively simple strategies that can empower individuals and institutions to replicate the holistic and systemic mentoring activities of the Timbuktu Academy, of SUBR, and of others.
In a family, a school, a department, a college or university, an agency, a corporation, or a research laboratory, it is pivotal that the reasons, necessity, and benefits of "what is to be requested from people, i.e., "systemic mentoring," be established rigorously. Publications of the Timbuktu Academy provides such reasons, necessities, and benefits for mentoring from K-graduate School and beyond. (Please see Education, Vol. 115, No. 1, pp.31-39, 1994 and at http://www.phys.subr.edu/timbuktu.htm under Virtual Mentoring Institute.) Further, biographies make a solid case for mentoring. They unfailingly note critical decisions and efforts that benefited from the experiences, rich repertoire, and wisdom of mentors. The subtitles of this report identify some essential benefits of mentoring.
Once the needs and benefits are amply known and thoroughly understood, then we believe that the expressions in Italics, in (1) through (10) above, provide fundamental steps for promoting systemic mentoring. We cannot over-emphasize the importance of the two publications noted above and of similar ones. Genuine knowledge is not only the organizing principle of our thoughts and activities in research but also in mentoring!
Our strong appeal to the reader to consult the referenced publications stems from the need to know and understand the "creation of educational, research, and professional value added" from K through graduate school and beyond. The integrated law of human performance or of practice, we submit, should be known by ALL. Indeed, it demonstrates, rigorously, that all individuals can learn and discover. It further shows that what an individual does learn or discovers is partly determined by his "exposure, resources, support system (i.e., mentoring), adequate efforts or practice over extended periods of time." Failure to understand this point may be a pervasive and implicit roadblock to "educational excellence." This is particularly true when one has some students, parents, teachers, faculty members, etc. who mistakenly believe that a lack of some "innate ability" is the easy "excuse" for their inaction. We proved that effort partly begets and certainly enhances abilities, not just the results of their applications! (Education, Vol. 115, No. 1, pp. 31-39, 1994 and "Mentoring: A strategy for increasing minority participation," available at http://www.phys.subr.edu/timbuktu.htm under "Virtual Mentoring Institute.")
Bagayoko published seven (7) papers and one (1) book that are directly germane to systemic mentoring and to the related teaching and program development activities. These publications, while grounded in research and the current sum of knowledge, were primarily concerned with providing "empowering information" to students, parents, teachers, faculty members, and others as opposed to demonstrating the author’s scholarship! Delivering "educational extension" services, analogous to the phenomenally successful "agricultural extension" services, was the aim. The formal publications noted below are a minute portion of the extensive dissemination of mentoring information, by the Timbuktu Academy, to over 10,000 individuals from 1996 to 1998. Important mass-media publications are not included.
PUBLICATIONS (Scholarly work on mentoring, teaching and learning, educational research; for, what is not recorded is likely to be lost and likely not to be replicated)
7. Reflections on Mentoring. Proceedings, July, 1998 National Workshop on the Workforce for the 21st Century, Washington, D.C., Renaissance Hotel. (Publication to appear in 1999.)
6. "Early Guidance Pays Off: Mentoring students in science, engineering and math promotes success." Diola Bagayoko, Resource Magazine, American Society of Agricultural Engineering, published by the Nat. Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED), Vol. 5, No. 4, page 29, April, (1998).
5. "Southern University to Launch Ph.D. in Science/Mathematics Education" Diola Bagayoko, published in LaCEPT Report, a biannual magazine publication of LaCEPT, Winter 1997-98.
4. "Towards a Framework for the Assessment and Evaluation of Mentoring Processes and Results." A contributed paper for the Second National Symposium for the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, Washington, D.C., September, 1997. (Available on the web at http://www.phys.subr.edu/timbuktu.htm, under "Virtual Mentoring Institute.)
3. "The Timbuktu Academy." Proceedings, first National Symposium for the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, Washington, D.C., September 1997.
2. "Mentoring: A Strategy for Increasing Minority Participation." Proceedings, National Conference on "Exploring the Role of Social and Behavioral Science Careers in the 21st Century; New Orleans, LA, April 18-19, 1997. (Available at the above specified web site; publication to appear in early 1999.)
1. "The Power Law of Performance and Cognitive
Condensation for Mastery Teaching and Learning,"
D. Bagayoko, Fall, 1996 (a 33 page document on noted subject). (Available at the web site of the Timbuktu Academy http://www.phys.subr.edu/timbuktu.htm)
PUBLICATION (Book co-authorship, with Prof. Ora Plummer as the first author): "Writing for Success: A User-Friendly Manual for Effective Communication." Publisher: McGraw-Hill, ISBN No. 0-07-154196-9 (1998). The primacy of languages as vehicles of thought and the needs of our students dictated the writing of this book that addresses technical communication.
From the fall of 1996 to September, 1998, Bagayoko made twenty three (23) presentations on mentoring. They included 13 national, 7 state-wide, and 3 university-wide presentations that respectively reached 785, 347, and 563 individuals (faculty members, students, and others.) As a rule, these presentations acknowledge NSF support (US Presidential Award) and the support of the Timbuktu Academy by the Department of the Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR). They do not include the tens of presentations to the pre-college and college scholars of the Timbuktu Academy and to their parents and relatives. These Academy presentations reach 2,000-3,000 students, parents, teachers, faculty members, etc. per year.
23. July 29-30, 1998. US Workforce Development Workshop, organized by the National Science
and Technology Committee (NSTC) and the White House Office of Science and Technology (OST), Washington, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C. Presentation: Developing National Resources, US Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Mentoring. Audience estimated at 110 national leaders.
22. May 12, 1998, SUBR’s Planning Week, Cotillion Ballroom, Student Union. Panel Presentation: "Systemic Mentoring and Student Retention." (The presentation and accompanying handout placed systemic mentoring on a rigorous scientific basis, underscored the intrinsic need for mentoring for enhanced student retention.) Audience of 400 faculty and staff members.
21. May 13, 1998, SUBR Planning Week, Cotillion Ballroom, Student Union. Speaker at the grant-writing workshop: the development of responsive and competitive proposals; funding to be acquired is for basic and state-of-the art equipment and resources for the integration of new knowledge, telecommunication and Internet technologies, and of reform-imbued new models into teaching, mentoring, and learning. Audience: 143 faculty and staff members—from 8 am to 12 Noon. )
20. April 17, 1998, 12th Student High Tech Expo, 23rd National Conference of the National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO) in Higher Education, Washington Hilton and Towers, Washington, D.C. Chair of Presentations, Editor of Technical Abstracts, and Speaker:
"Writing a Technical Paper and Making a Technical Presentation—a guide for students." Audience: 50.
19. March 19, 1998. Baton Rouge Hilton Hotel, 1998 Statewide Research Conference of DOE/EPSCoR and of the Louisiana alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP). Plenary, keynote address by Bagayoko on "Strengthening the Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (SMET) Pipeline."Audience: 50 faculty members and students.
18. February 21, 1998, Baton Rouge Hilton Hotel, Louisiana, USA. New Theories, Discoveries, and Application of Superconductivity (NEW3SC) International Conference: Invited. Keynote Address: "New theories, discoveries, and applications of super-mentoring," "D. Bagayoko. Audience: 70 physicists from around the world.
17. January 30-31, 1998, 5th Annual LaCEPT Statewide Conference, LSU Union, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Session Chair and Panelist: "The Less That is More, Implication of TIMSS for undergraduate Education and Teacher Preparation." 3/30/98, 2:15 to 3:30 PM. Audience: 20 physics faculty members.
16. January 16, 1998, Ascension Seminar on Curriculum Reform. Presentation: College Connection Panelist to address high school to college transition issues. D. Bagayoko. Audience: 20 pre-college teachers.
15. December 1-4, 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana. 13th National Conference of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). Invited presentation: "Mentoring, An enabling process for quality learning,…" D. Bagayoko. Audience: 200 faculty and staff members.
14. August 7, 1997. Rehabilitation Capacity Building, Region VI Consortium: Grant Writing, Technical Assistance, and Follow-Up Workshop, Parkway Hilton Hotel, Dallas, Texas. Invited Presentation: "Mentoring and Grant Writing." Audience of thirty (32) faculty and staff members from HBCUs.
13. July, 1997. 1997 MainSTey National Workshop. Baton Rouge Hilton Hotel, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Invited Presentation: "MENTORING: An enabling Process for Quality Learning."
Audience: thirty (30) science faculty members from HBCUs.
12. May 23, 1997. 1997 MainSTey National Conference. Baton Rouge Hilton Hotel, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Audience of twenty five (25) faculty members from HBCUs. Invited Presentation: "MENTORING: An Enabling Process for Quality Learning."
11. April 28, 1997. Regional Workshop on Grant Writing. This workshop was partly co-sponsored by the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring- -for the focus on proposal development for students and junior faculty mentoring projects. Audience: one hundred twenty (120) university faculty and staff. Invited Luncheon Speech/Presentation: "MENTORING: for Students and for Faculty Members."
10. April 18, 1997. National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored National Conference on the Role of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Alliances for Minority Participation (AMP) Programs. Invited speaker at the plenary session: "MENTORING: A Strategy for Increasing Minority Participation." Audience of about one hundred (100).
09. April 11, 1997. National Conference of NAFEO. Session Chair, for six hours, of College High Tech Expo presentations by students. Eight SUBR students presented at this session co-sponsored by LAMP and the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring. Audience: a minimum of eighty (80) college students and faculty members.
08. April 5, 1997. National Beta Kappa Chi Conference at the Baton Rouge Hilton Hotel, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Presentation: "The Model of the Timbuktu Academy." Audience: 15.
07.April 3, 1997. National
Convention of the National Science Teachers Association, New
Orleans Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. Chair of the Session on the Systemic Educational Reform Efforts of the Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP). Audience: 10 teachers and faculty members.
06.February 7, 1997. 1997
National Conference of Quality Education for Minorities (QEM)
Network. Chair of the Session on Student Mentoring and Educational Reform Models that Work, Washington, D.C. Audience: 30 faculty members.
05. February 7, 1997. Annual meeting of the Louisiana Academy of Science (LAS), Alexandria, LA. Presentation (D. Bagayoko and T. Williams - Graduate Student): "A Comprehensive Approach to Student Mentoring." Audience: 20 faculty members and students.
04. January 31, 1997. Annual Conference, Louisiana Collaborative for Excellence in the Preparation of Teachers (LaCEPT). Panelist to discuss "Educational Reforms as Applied to the Teaching and Learning of College Physics." Audience: Twenty five (25) faculty members.
03. November 25, 1996. State-wide DOE/EPSCoR Conference, Doubletree Hotels, Metairie, Louisiana: Invited Presentation: "Creating Educational Value Added. Who is Responsible?" Audience: Eighty (80) students, federal and university researchers and staff members.
02. November, 13, 1996. Retention 2000 National Conference, University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland. Presentation: "Expectations, Motivations, and Student Retention." Audience of Eighty Seven (87) teachers, school and college personnel.
01.September 25, 1996. Renaissance
Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.. Presidential Awards
for excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring, Mentoring for the 21st Century: A symposium. Panelist for a Plenary Session on "Developing Effective Mentoring Models." Audience: Over Sixty Five (65) National leaders, Awardees, university officials.