Pre-Conference Speakers

Do you want to go in-depth with a particular aspect of mentoring?


We invite you to consider registering for One of these great Pre-Conference Workshops that will be offered concurrently on Monday, March 11 from 8:30-11:30A.M. (before the official start of the conference at noon)

For just an additional $125, you can receive a high-quality professional development experience to enhance your mentoring work!


"Mentor Development for the Health Sciences"

Mentoring is a critical aspect of academic training and research progress, yet is often learned and perfected only through trial and error. this evidence-based workshop provides an intellectual framework to accelerate the acquisition of mentoring insights and cultivate effective mentee-mentor relationships. Facilitators will lead participants through proven curricular activities that strengthen key mentoring competences. Participants across diverse academic career stages and disciplines will learn new approaches from each other as they work through mentoring challenges, reflect upon their mentoring experiences and refine their individual mentoring style. In this 3-hour session, participants will gain confidence working with diverse students and add to their toolbox of mentoring strategies.


Kelly Diggs-Andrews, PhD is the founder and CEO of Diggs-Andrews Consulting, LLC, a consulting and media company whose goal is to broaden accessibility to science careers through science outreach, diversity training and professional development.

She is also an NRMN Master Facilitator, where she leads both in-person and virtual workshops for research mentors across career stages and disciplines nationwide. She has led trainings at national scientific conferences for the American Society of Microbiology, the Society for Neuroscience, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, and others as well as numerous colleges, universities, and medical institutes. Her curricular expertise includes: Entering Mentoring, Facilitator Training for Entering Mentoring and Culturally Aware Mentoring.

Dr. Diggs-Andrews earned her BS in Biology from Alabama State University (2005) and her PhD in Biology and Biomedical Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis (2010). She was also the recipient of the NIH-Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, Chancellor's Diversity Graduate Fellowship, and a National Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Supplement. In her previous role, she served as the Education and Mentoring Fellow with the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and spearheaded an NSF-funded program to develop ASM’s mentoring capacity to advance investigator-educator collaborations and interdisciplinary research as well as broaden participation of underrepresented individuals in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.



"Bridging Difference: A Guide to Building Cultural Competency in Mentoring"

To maximize effectiveness of mentoring, all organizations must learn to understand, value and bridge differences. This skill is essential for organizations and individuals. In fact, for mentoring to truly deliver results, program administrators, mentors and mentees must become culturally competent. In this pre-conference workshop, participants will learn the keys to understanding difference. They will be introduced to a model for cultural competency, and develop action steps for themselves and their organizations to learn how to leverage difference for results in mentoring.

Lisa Fain is the Center for Mentoring Excellence's CEO, and an expert in the intersection of cultural competency and mentoring. Her passion for diversity and inclusion work, fuels her strong conviction that leveraging differences creates a better workplace and drives better business results. Lisa brings her energy, enthusiasm and engagement to any group, facilitating lively workshops and training and delivering interactive speeches with practical steps that can be implemented right away.

As Senior Director of the Diversity and Inclusion at Outerwall, Inc., Lisa spearheaded the development, establishment and implementation of its diversity initiative. Prior to assuming that position, she worked as Outerwall's in-house counsel, coaching leaders and partnering with Human Resources to establish fair and effective policies and practices that would sustain the organization as it grew in size, revenue and renown.

For almost a decade, Lisa practiced law in the Chicago office of a major multinational company, where she counselled employers on creating inclusive policies and practices. Lisa also founded Vista Coaching, a division of Centor for Mentoring Excellence which provides group coaching for professional women looking to design and live their best lives. She graduated with a B.S. in Social Policy from Northwestern University and holds a JD from Northwestern University School of Law.



"Own What's Next: Supporting the Transition from College to Life After College"

Today's college students are perhaps the most over-resourced generation we've ever seen. A lifetime of planned activities, No Child Left Behind, tutors and counselors, and wrap-around social supports have been implemented to ensure their ability to achieve and to compete; and yet, as a result they are woefully under-prepared to make the critical transition from adolescence to adulthood and to create successful lives of meaning and purpose. In this interactive session, we will examine the challenges and disconnects particular to millennial young adults who are now filling our workforce and Generation Z who now fill our college classrooms. As well, we will explore the obligation of colleges and universitites to help these young people acquire the skills and abilities to successfully navigate this transition as a core mission of today's institution of higher education. Participants will be introduced to the Five For Your First Five competency model which Wake Forest University has created to help its students and alumni to navigate this transition. Each participant will create a strategic mentoring plan for young professional development, to take back to his or her institution. As well, each participant will receive a free copy of the book, Five For Your First Five: Own Your Career and Life After College,written by the session facilitator.


Allison McWilliams is Assistant Vice President, Mentoring and Alumni Personal & Career Development at Wake Forest University. In these roles, she provides training, support, guidance, and resources for mentoring relationships for college students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as leading personal and career development programs for young professionals. She has written for and spoken to national and international audiences about effective mentoring strategies, leadership, and professional development. She is an associate IMA board member.


Click on the Links Below to Register

General Registration

Student Registration