Speaking and Advising

Becky Podium

Professor Packard has provided short-term and on-going support to organizations with special projects focus on inclusive practices, preparing for grant submissions, or executing new initiatives (focused on mentoring, advising, STEM persistence, or thriving in college). She has also advised departments, programs, and organizations interested in improving faculty mentoring, advising effectiveness, or organizational climate.

Packard has served as an invited speaker, a keynote speaker, workshop leader, or advisor for many different types of events. She has spoken at over 60 different campuses and at several convenings, and she has completed a residential fellowship at UMass Amherst where she worked on campus climate, and during the 2018-2019 year, she served as a faculty fellow at the Univ of Michigan focused on inclusive departmental climate in STEM.


Professor Packard has served as an invited keynote speaker in higher education, community organization, government and business settings. She lectures on topics related to mentoring and advising, issues facing underrepresented groups in STEM, to include first-generation and lower-income students, women, people of color, or transfer students. She has also addressed why diversity, inclusive climate, and a culture of mentoring benefits organizations. She emphasizes do-able strategies that inspire audiences to see opportunities to take action.

Keynotes/Plenaries include:

  • NSF PI Keynote
  • AAC&U Diversity, Learning and Student Success Plenary
  • NERD Summit Keynote [watch]
  • HI-TEC Conference Keynote
  • Earth Educators Rendezvous
  • Student Success Conference Keynote [watch]
  • Caltech’s Mentoring Across Difference Conference
  • Institutions including: Univ of Hawaii-Manoa, Hamilton, Davidson, MIT, Grinnell, Rensselaer, among others
  • Middlesex Community College Professional Day Keynote [impact]

Advising and Consultation

Professor Packard has provided short-term and on-going advising and consultation for departments, programs, and organizations. She is often asked for advice on the design of a new mentoring initiative (whether student peer mentoring, new faculty mentoring, or advising), or ways to strengthen the organizational infrastructure so there is a greater sense of “a culture of mentoring” within the organization. Currently she is working on a multi-institution project focused on college student success and completion, with a focus on low-income and first-generation college students. She develops relevant research briefs and guidance on effective training to minimize pitfalls. Some campuses have read her book Successful STEM Mentoring to pursue a new grant opportunity. Others may be eager to launch a more deliberate inclusive pedagogy or first year/transfer advising initiative.

Packard’s workshops emphasize interactive, case scenario-based approaches where participants practice engaging in difficult conversations, whether in the classroom with students or involving colleague-to-colleague dynamics or between supervisors and supervisees, in ways that can positively improve climate. In the sessions, she surfaces the challenges in our collective work and brings forward the wisdom from the group. In addition, she offers success strategies to supplement that wisdom and do-able actions to try, whether for new employees and supervisors, or seasoned faculty and department chairs.

Sample Consultations and Collaborations: