Dr. Packard is an expert on mentoring and persistence, with a focus on the experiences of women, first-generation college students, people of color, and nontraditional-aged students. She studies the transition from high school to college or work, especially pathways in science and technology (STEM) fields including the community college transfer pathway. A first-generation college graduate herself, Packard strives to identify success strategies for individuals and institutions that turn aspirations into realities.

In 2005, she visited the White House where she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government upon early-career scientists and engineers. Her work has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation. She is currently a co-PI on a Google-funded initiative focused on peer mentoring in computer science, and her Whiting Foundation fellowship is focused on women in technology in Ireland.

An educational psychologist by training, Packard serves as a consultant for schools, community organizations, nonprofits, colleges, and businesses. She designs mentoring programs, assesses the infrastructure for mentoring, and conducts workshops to improve the effectiveness of mentors, including faculty advisors. Packard is a proud mother of two who loves mystery books, jogging, and dancing.

Just released: Packard, B. W. (2016). Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives for Underrepresented Students: Research-Based Guide for Faculty and Administrators. Stylus Publishing.

Inside Higher Ed Piece on Faculty Mentoring

Keynote for NERD Summit September 2015

National Utilities Diversity Council Prezi: Decoding Mentoring

NY Times Choice Blog piece -- commmunity colleges should not be overlooked-- Winner of the TYCA Fame Award

National Academy of Sciences Summit on Community Colleges and STEM Fields (Volume for Download).


PHONE: (413) 538-3071    EMAIL: bpackard@mtholyoke.edu
Becky Wai-Ling Packard, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology and Education
Director, Weissman Center for Leadership
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA 01075