SC is the International Conference for
High Performance Computing, Networking,
Storage and Analysis

• Communities Program• Broader Engagement Program• Education Program• International Ambassadors• International Attendees• Mentor/ Protégé Program• Student Job Fair• Student Volunteers

Mentor/ Protégé Program

Many people participating in the Broader Engagement, Student Volunteers and Student Cluster Challenge programs are experiencing SC for the first time. This is an exciting but sometimes overwhelming experience. To help them make the most of their experiences, the Mentor/Protégé Program matches new participants (protégés) with mentors who are willing to share their experiences. Matches are made on the basis of similar technical backgrounds and interests. Mentors are more than welcome to meet their protégés at any time during (or even before) the conference. Mentors and protégés are encouraged to make contact via email or phone prior to arriving at the conference. The Communities Lounge is a great place for meetings as it will be shared with other programs. Ideas for meetings include: a breakfast before sessions, a lunch between sessions, a tour of the exhibit floor, a day-long shadowing experience. Mentor/Protégé pairs may set their own schedules, allowing for maximum convenience and flexibility. For more information contact

SC11 Mentor/Protégé Program FAQ

As a mentor, how much time should I spend with my protégé?

We recommend that you spend at least one session with your protégé. This can be coffee, lunch, or just a relaxing chat. You then may decide to participate in a few other activities together throughout the conference. An initial meeting, plus one or two activities (tour of the exhibit floor, technical session, booth duty, lunch discussion, corporate event, etc.) would be ideal. If you do not have the time to have at least one initial meeting, please let us know, and we will assign your protégé another mentor.

When should I meet my protégé/mentor?

You can set up a time to meet your protégé or mentor any time that suits you both, but should be a consistent time so you both know when you can definitely catch each other. We recommend that you schedule the first meeting early in the week to be of some benefit for the protégés during the remainder of the conference. We will be hosting an informal Mentor/Protégé Networking activity that will be a terrific opportunity for mentors and protégés to get to know each other in an informal, fun environment.

Are there any deadlines or reporting requirements?

We would like for mentors/protégés to connect some time during the conference. This will give everyone an opportunity to meet with their mentor/ protégé at the beginning of the conference so that you might meet again, if you wish. We will send you an evaluation to complete after the conference. Although completion of this evaluation is not mandatory, your feedback will help us to improve the program and provide a better program in future years. We encourage you to complete the evaluation in a timely manner.

What activities are mandatory for the mentor/protégé?

We want you to meet with your mentor/protégé for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour (one session/meeting) during the conference. If you cannot spend at least one meeting or session with the mentor/protégé assigned to you, please contact the Mentor Program co-chairs so we can make alternate assignments.

Should I call or email my mentor/protégé prior to SC11?

Absolutely! We recommend emailing to arrange the first meeting so that you have your initial plans set before you arrive. You can begin your networking before the event.

What kinds of things should we do/talk about?

For many of the protégés, this is their first SC. They would likely want some tips as to where they should spend their time, how to get the most out of the conference, how to easily navigate the conference, etc. We have made an effort to match mentors and protégés according to technical backgrounds and goals, so mentors may be able to talk about career goals with their protégés. It is also important for both of you to discuss your expectations at the beginning this new relationship at the conference and hopefully beyond the conference. In any case, it would be a good idea for mentors to start the conversation by asking your protégé what they would like to get out of the association, what they would like to discuss, and what kinds of activities they would like to do. Remember, if their goals and wishes for the association are totally contrary to yours, or you don't think you can provide the protégé what they are looking for, you can contact the Mentor Program co-chairs and request a change or additional resources on how to work together to make the experience a positive one. Of course we hope this will not happen, but we would rather find another mentor for the protégé and have a harmonious match than have a poor experience.

What should I do if I cannot find the protégé/mentor I am assigned?

If you have trouble in communicating with your protégé or mentor before you arrive, or in finding your protégé/mentor when you arrive at the conference, or could not contact him/her prior to the conference, please try the message board in the Communities Booth located in the lobby of the first floor as you enter from the buses. You can also contact either Mentor Program Chair Antoinette Davis,

What can I do to ensure that the experience is rewarding for the protégé?

Set expectations, interests and goals—short- and long-term. Make sure that there is a clear understanding and agreement between protégé and mentor. Some sample goals could be: meeting three potential collaborators, finding three funding leads or building network of graduate students from two additional universities, and learning a new software package.

What can I do to help promote the sustainability of the program?

Give us feedback on your experience and also communicate via the conference survey that you think this is a worthwhile program (if in fact, you do think so). Any suggestions you have for improving it are very welcome.

What metrics are being used to measure the success of this program?

Just a few of the metrics we use to evaluate the program are:
• Number of mentors recruited for the program
• Feedback of mentors and protégés who participated in the program
• Number of times mentors/protégés were able to meet
• Variety of Activities mentors/protégés participated in together
• Longevity of the relationship - beyond the SC11 conference

Do you have any suggestions for the novice mentor to ensure that the experience works for both mentor and protégé?

• Make sure that expectations are clearly defined and agreed between mentor and protégé
• Pull together a plan to help make a good experience

Who do I contact in the event of an emergency?

If a life-threatening or personal emergency occurs while in the Convention Center, the appropriate first action would be to call 4111 (and yes, that is a 4 with three 1's) from a house phone or contact any one of the SC11 committee members. SC11 Committee volunteers will be individuals with picture badges or a badge that has committee ribbon attached to it. You can contact the Broader Engagement Program Chair Dr. Roscoe Giles (

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