Increasing Diversity at the Mycological Society of America through Mentorship
Diverse scientific visions enrich communities and lead to novel ideas for research, education, and outreach. However, the vast majority of scientific communities tend to be white and male-dominated. The Mycological Society of America (MSA) is no exception and faces severe issues of gender imbalance (Branco and Vellinga, 2015) and overall underrepresentation, with a majority of MSA members being white, cis-gender, heterosexual, and male (Cheeke et al. 2018). One of the barriers leading to inequity that requires attention is our ability to recruit and retain the diversity of membership.
As an effort to diversify MSA membership, we created the SPORES program (Society Prioritizes Our Recruitment of Every Scholar). SPORES is a mentor-mentee-based program with the mission to diversify, advance, and promote future mycologists via recruitment of undergraduate students from demographics that are underrepresented at MSA.
SPORES allows diverse and underrepresented (Low Income, African American, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander, Native American, First Genetation, etc.) budding mycologists to become members of MSA and attend the annual meeting in a supportive environment.
Check the About page for more information on the program and the roles of Mentor and Mentee.
The link to the application form can be found in the Apply page.
Information on current member of SPORES can be found in the Members page
Cheeke Tanya E., Branco Sara, Haelewaters Danny, Natvig Donald O., Maltz Mia, Rodriguez Sharon Cantrell, Cafaro Matias J., and May Georgiana. 2018. Diversity in the Mycological Society of America. Inoculum, 1-10.
Branco Sara and Vellinga Else. 2015. Gender Balance in Mycology. Inoculum, Vol. 66, Issue 5, 1-4.
Apply to become a SPORES mentor
Applications are closed