Dr. Tanya Furman is an associate professor in the department of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. She has developed a series of innovative mentoring programs possessing the potential to have a broad impact on increasing underrepresented students considering STEM-based career opportunities, especially in the geosciences. Dr. Furman has also been successful building collaborative relationships at other academic institutions that now use her effective mentoring programs. Furman has also helped identify best practices for organizations wishing to develop their own mentoring programs in mathematics, science, engineering and technology, such that her programs may have impact on how mentoring programs are replicated by other academic institutions.
Dr. Furman's nomination cites her efforts to increase minority and female student participation in the geosciences. Her mentoring efforts have focused on designing academic research opportunities that are engaging for African-American students. She has also made inroads designing her mentoring activities so that they can be replicated at other academic institutions seeking to increase the number of members from underrepresented groups who obtain degrees in STEM-based fields and go on for graduate study.