WHPC Mentoring Programme

By: Sarvani Chadalapaka, WHPC Mentoring Programme Director & High Performance Computing Administrator with the Office of Information Technology at the University of California, Merced

First Published on March 8th, 2019.

Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) is delighted to announce that we are launching our first year-round mentoring programme, providing a framework for women around the world to provide a receive mentorship in the HPC space. We have provided mentoring for early career presenters at the WHPC workshops held at the ISC High Performance and Supercomputing conferences, but we have known for some time that this does not go far enough.

The WHPC Mentoring Programme is a robust mentoring programme connecting women from around the world with mentorship and support that will help them to achieve their full potential as HPC professionals. This will primarily be a professionals network as there are many schemes providing mentoring programmes for students in universities and at major conferences such as the annual Superomputing conference series. However, where appropriate the mentoring programme will be open to students as well (for example when the host organization does not provide an appropriate scheme or HPC related mentor).

After participating in the WHPC mentoring programme, attendees will…

Develop a network of awesome WHPC members that can share their knowledge and expertise, and have the opportunity to continue being a mentor or receiving mentoring even beyond the end of their formal engagement with the WHPC mentoring programme. Mentoring, either as a mentor or as a mentee, is all about ideas: learning about new ways of approaching problems and being open to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Program duration

The WHPC mentoring programme will be open 3 times a year and will last for 4 months. During the prescribed mentoring programme, both mentors and mentees will receive training on how to make the most of mentoring, as well as the opportunity to participate in webinars on key skills. Mentoring will be provided in both one-to-one and in groups, typically consisting of 3 people from different organizations and career-levels. Each formal mentor-mentee engagement session lasts for 4 months. We accept mentor/mentee applications year long and we will pool you into the next cohort. Sign up to be a mentor/mentee here.

If you aren’t sure if you are qualified to be a mentor, don’t worry! The very fact that you are asking that question means that you are! And remember, all mentors and mentees will receive training before you meet your mentoring group for the very first time.

Benefits of being a mentor

  • Develop professional relationships
  • Enhance peer recognition
  • Use your experience in HPC, making it available to new HPC professionals
  • Broaden your understanding of HPC by listening to what others are working on
  • Enable you to practice and grow your interpersonal skills
  • Provide personal satisfaction through supporting others and helping them to achieve their full potential as HPC professionals

Benefits of being a mentee

  • A mentor will be an independent voice, outside your direct sphere of activity. You can bounce ideas off them without fear of comeback
  • Receive impartial professional development advice and encouragement
  • A mentor can provide guidance on areas you are unfamiliar with

WHPC’s mentoring programme will provide webinars on a wide range of topics including 

  • Resume writing and self-promotion
  • Book club – reading selected useful material
  • Networking
  • Discuss workplace issues/biases/navigating through confrontation
  • Continuous learning opportunities
  • Participate in WHPC webinars and discuss in breakout sessions
  • Workshops to identify mentees’ individual signature strengths

Please feel free to share your questions/comments/feedback with WHPC Mentoring Programme Director, Sarvani Chadalapaka (schadalapaka at ucmerced dot edu) or WHPC Chair, Toni Collis (toni at womeninhpc dot org)

Please register your interest as a mentor, mentee or both here.

Join the WHPC Mentoring Programme

About the author: Sarvani Chadalapaka

  • Sarvani Chadalapaka is WHPC’s Mentoring Programme Director as well as the High Performance Computing Administrator with the Office of Information Technology at the University of California, Merced. In her current role at UC Merced since 2016, she enables researchers affiliated with UC Merced to use campus-wide and regional HPC resources, as well as managing the hardware and software of the campus cluster called the MERCED Cluster (NSF Award #1429783).

    As an XSEDE Campus Champion, she participates in Campus Champion information sharing sessions and acts as a bridge between the local campus and XSEDE resources. Every week, Sarvani facilitates a hands-on HPC clinic where users can get one-on-one help and engage in peer mentoring. Through her efforts, HPC users on campus have increased over 300% and the MERCED cluster has more than doubled its cores, while also expanding the software supported.

    She is a recipient of Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative Award in Recognition of Carrie Regenstein, UCCSC’s community award for Research IT, received scholarships by CEE-Broadening Participation Program for travel support to PEARC.

    Sarvani holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington and a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from India.

    She has always been an ardent supporter of WSTEM and also participates in numerous campus community activities, such as the Polynesian dance troupe.

Blog Editor: Jesmin Jahan Tithi, Research Scientist, Intel.