Become a Makerspace Lead

Mentors are students that either have more experience in the spaces or just generally want to get more involved. They are there to offer guidance to students and ensure student safety in the spaces. Emphasis is placed on being friendly and encouraging and sharing knowledge. Mentors are also in a very good position to learn from other users as they go.
Interested in becoming a mentor? Please read all of the following details regarding responsibilities and requirements for the mentor role and application, and fulfill the application components within the timelines below.
Do you wish you had a way to network with interesting and accomplished engineers and artists? Are you passionate about making and want a platform to share your passion and knowledge? Do you want to get more involved in Pitt’s makerspace community? If so, you’re a great candidate for the Pitt Makerspace Vice President, Mentor Manager, Student Outreach, Program Manager, or our Program Coordination Committee.
We are looking to fill vacant Student Lead Team positions, specifically the Vice President, Mentor Manager, and members of the Program Coordination Committee for the 2023-2024 school year. If you are interested in joining the team, please read the general information below. The following document outlines the specific roles and expectations!  In addition to the short application, there will be two interviews, one with the Makerspace faculty (Dr. Clark, Brandon Barber, and Dan Yates), and one with the current Student Lead Team (Emily Walkenhorst, Alyssa Zito ,Nate Yonamine, Rachel Eskander and Amelia Dubendorf).  We will send out an interview sign up schedule the week of March 24th. Please fill out your application by 11:59pm Friday, March 24th.

If you have any questions about the roles or application feel free to ask in the Slack.

Dates to Know

Application deadline: 11:59 on Friday, March 24nd
Interview window: Monday, March 27th - Friday, March 31st
Sign up for faculty interview here!


Submit your application via this form!

General Responsibilities

  • Attend weekly meeting with Admins
  • Attend weekly meeting with fellow leads
  • Review weekly meeting notes prior to meetings, add discussion topics that you think are relevant
  • Helpful to have notes open during meetings to keep track of the discussion
  • Maintain clear lines of communication with other leads, admins, mentors, and users
  • Mentors should know how to use all the machines, we MUST know how to use all the machines
  • General maintenance and repairs
  • Administrate Advanced Mentor Trainings as necessary
  • Hold mentor hours
  • Aid in the development of agenda for biweekly mentor meeting
  • Help conduct this meeting as necessary (come to as many as possible, it is important!!)
  • Prepare the spaces before each semester
  • Clean the spaces
  • Monitor the #community, #mentor, #leadteam (may be a different naming scheme) Slack channels, answering questions in a timely manner
  • Miscellaneous Tasks as instructed by Admins and the President
  • Cutting plywood (and other treehouse materials) down to standard size
  • Picking up orders from the mailroom
  • Cutting plywood (and other treehouse materials) down to standard size
  • Restocking Treehouse materials from the sub-basement, restocking filament
  • Keeping up with and getting to know the mentors

Role Descriptions

Vice President

The Vice President of the Makerspaces helps manage day-to-day operation of the makerspaces, assisting the President and working with the administrators and other leads to make sure the spaces are running well.
Helpful skills for this role:
  • The ability to be unbiased or impartial in conflict situations
  • Good listener
  • Driven
  • Passionate
  • Email Drafting/Sending
  • Communication
  • Fast Learner
  • Public speaking
Managing and coordinating orders
  • Coordinate materials ordering, between mentor and user requests and admins for ordering
  • Check the back stock first prior to formulating order sheet: BiU, Treehouse, ISS,SB
  • Check in at the biweekly mentor meetings to see what mentors want in the space and encourage them to add to the list.
  • Have mentors DM you on slack when they add an order.
  • Check the shared mentor folder once a week to see if anyone added anything without mentioning it.
  • Week-by-week tasks
Seminar Presentations
  • Coordinate with Student Outreach and other leads to give seminar presentations each semester.
  • Update seminar presentation as directed by Leads and Admins with the President.
  • Incorporate relevant events
  • Operating hours
Website Management
  • Check the website and update when directed by leads and admin or our wonderful mentors
  • Regular maintenance: hours, events, forms
  • Communicate with program manager and student outreach for forms and events
  • Communicate with Mentor manager for hours and Treehouse training times
  • Communicate with admin and Leads for application postings
  • Handle forms on the site
  • Communicate with the mentor manager and student outreach which classes are occurring in the BiU for scheduling purposes.
  • Some classes hold workshops at the last minute in the BiU and ISS
  • Organize with the mentors special training times for classes when necessary
  • Give classes like AoM specific makerspace presentations as needed
  • For example the NOCMAT class needs cardboard sheets, architecture uses the ⅛” polystyrene
  • These professors don't often give us a warning that students are coming in and need to use this material so it is good to make note of what these classes use so we can be sure to keep them in stock
Champion Groups
  • Coordinate with the Mentor Manager for sending out the champion group interest form.
  • Formulate Champion Groups based on mentor responses.
  • Formulate Slack channels and include Brandon and leads.
  • Send out when-to-meets
  • Formulate Slack channels and include Brandon and leads.
  • It is Important to meet with the leads and admin to come up with deliverables for champion groups
  • It is pertinent for VP to be able to use every machine
  • If you do not know how to use something, ask a previous champion and learn.  You should also know how to do basic repairs on most everything
Other leadership responsibilities
  • Shadow El Presidente! (Maya Roman)
  • Communicate your bandwidth and say when you can’t complete something according to schedule
  • Work on getting Mentors swipe access
  • Graduated returning student mentors need permission from their department chair before sending the form to panther for a newly activated card
  • Special Projects
  • Gingerbread Cathy
  • Lockout
  • Lead team conflict management
  • Mentor/user conflict management

Program Manager and Program Committee

The role of the Program Manager and the Program Coordination Committee is to oversee and administer programming that occurs within the spaces to engage and attract users.The following details the specific tasks to run each type of event we run. Tasks will be shared between the program manager and members of the program coordination committee, but the program manager is ultimately responsible for making sure events run smoothly.  
Helpful skills for this role:
  • Organization
  • Outreach skills
  • Driven
  • Comfortable with talking in front of groups
  • Workshops and Mentor Meetings
  • Familiarity with machines
  • Creativity for coming up with events
  • Leadership and collaboration skills
  • Will be managing your own programming committee
  • Meet with the Programming committee weekly to plan events
  • Interface with admins, leads, mentors, and users to plan and execute workshops and other events
  • Plan events that increase public knowledge of machines in the spaces, and resources available to the students
  • Find ways to increase user activity in the spaces
  • ex. raffle system
  • Ensure all events are executed smoothly and safely
  • Create detailed Itinerary of the event before it occurs
  • This prevents confusion or misunderstanding, which can lead users into being unwittingly unsafe.
  • This is the main area of focus for the program manager
  • Quality before quantity
  • Advertising is essential
  • Interface with student outreach lead for RSVPs, flyers, digital media
  • Encourage entire committee to work with student outreach and other lead members
  • Generate relevant incentives for Workshops
Raffle system / User interaction event
  • The raffle system is a new event this semester that replaced the point system and competitions
  • Response has been overwhelmingly higher than prior systems
  • Make sure to announce it early
  • No criteria - if it was made at least partially with the makerspaces, it counts
  • This makes it less intimidating to submit
  • Tally entries
  • We were planning on counting at the end of the semester, so that we did not double count any entries
  • Since the entries are in their own slack channel, the entries should be easy to find
  • Award handout
  • We were planning to cut out physical name tags for each entry, then do the drawing at the final I&E showcase
Interfacing with admins, mentors, and users
  • Be prompt! Users are expecting you to be on top of emails and slack messages
  • 1 day is fine, a week is not
  • A lot of the time you only have around a week turnaround with admins/mentors, so the sooner you can respond the better
  • Everyone else will not be as prompt, so if you want a fast answer, the best way is to send it early
  • Sending a follow up message is not rude, it is being diligent
  • Expect to need to send follow ups with outside group
  • Try to make an itinerary early and stick to it
  • Less stressful than coming up with a workshop on the fly
  • Can leave time for a mentor to suggest a workshop
  • The first weeks are stressful, but it helps later

Mentor Manager

The mentor manager’s role is to organize and work with the mentors who staff the makerspaces. This role requires a lot of interaction with mentors and the leadership team. This role is best for people who enjoy making conversation with people they don’t know very well.  
Helpful skills for this role:
  • The ability to be unbiased or impartial in conflict situations
  • Good listener
  • Driven
  • Passionate
  • Email Drafting/Sending
  • Communication
  • Fast Learner
  • Public speaking
Key responsibilities include:
  • Help prospective mentors with the onboarding process
  • Being available to answer questions about the application process
  • Helping coordinate the completion of tasks to submit the application
Coordinate the advanced mentor trainings for new mentors
  • 1-2 hour training
  • Set up mentor interviews with admin
Create and maintain the schedule for mentors
  • Send out a form to get the availability of mentors ASAP at the beginning of the semester
  • Reminding the mentors to complete the availability form regularly makes sure they will complete it
  • Takes a very long time to make and tweak the schedule at the beginning of the schedule, make sure to get started as early as possible
  • Will take several hours and several sessions, can be tedious
  • Organize into a weekly schedule
  • 2-4 hours a week a mentor
  • Resolve schedule conflicts/cancellations
  • Announce hour cancellations to community slack as regularly as possible
Answer any questions mentors have
  • Check slack often, multiple times a day, have notifications on
Try to know all the mentors
  • Know all their names (try to at least)
  • Know what contributions they make (how are they helping the spaces out)
  • Checkup and talk to mentors during their hours
  • At least once for each mentor, prioritize new mentors
  • Try to hang out in the spaces and get to know the new mentors
  • This especially helps the new mentors who may have tons of questions about the spaces
Plan mentor outings
  • Create surveys for preferences and availability
  • Reach out to outing place and setup
Mentor at least 2 hours a week
  • Maintain working knowledge of machines
  • Talk to space users
Create and send out end of semester mentor feedback surveys

Student Outreach

The role of the student outreach lead is to make our users and the student body aware of things going on in the spaces. They market/publicize our events and competitions, and maintain our outward facing image on social media.
Helpful skills for this role:
  • Time management
  • Public speaking
  • Email drafting/sending
  • Communication
  • Fast learner
Event promotion
  • Communicate with Program manager and committee regarding event details once they have been determined
  • Create Poster(s)
  • Distribute Poster(s)
  • Announce events in the community slack
  • Send emails to department coordinators
  • Direct VP to put things on the website
  • Direct promotional Materials to Paul Kovach
  • Answer questions regarding the events
Seminar Presentations
  • Once per year coordinate with department heads to get 15-20 minutes of seminar time to come and talk about the makerspaces
  • Update seminar presentation as directed by Leads and Admins
  • Coordinate with VP and other leads to give seminar presentation
Seminar Presentations
  • Handle the instagram/facebook
  • Posts of people doing things!
  • Posts of events
Hallway TV management
  • The Hallway TV is ours! We control it entirely which means we have to manage it
  • Update the operating hours on a per semester basis
  • The Treehouse training times slide should be updates each semester as these times change
  • Add event posters to the TV
  • Keep the training flow chart up to date
Additional projects/tasks that might be under your scope of work:
  • Mentor poster creation
  • Coordinating mentor headshots
  • Get permission to photograph posters/signs