NSF Grant Will Help Advance UMES Women

  • Sunday, January 28, 2007

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $450,000 to support the UMES ADVANCE Program, a three-year program of innovative and comprehensive institution-wide changes to advance women scholars. 

    Despite increased numbers of women choosing science and engineering careers, women continue to be significantly underrepresented in almost all science,technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Women constitute roughly one-quarter of the science and engineering workforce at large, and lessthan 21 percent ofscience and engineering faculty in four-year colleges and universities. Only 2 percent are women from minority groups.UMES mirrors national trends. Students taking courses in STEM programs are more likely to be taught by male facultydespite the greater percentage of female students in these disciplines. Men are also more likely to have achieved higherprofessorial ranks at UMES. Of the 70 STEM faculty members with academic ranks ranging from lecturer to full professor,only 31 percent are women. Nationwide, 23 percent of STEM faculty at the associate and full professor rank are women butwomen make up only 9 percent of the UMES STEM faculty at those ranks.

    The NSF grant will promote efforts to increase the number of women faculty in STEM disciplines and to help women within these disciplines earn promotion, gain tenure, transition to leadership roles and reduce isolation within their departments. Specifically, the grant will promote theMotivation, Organization, Validation and Elevationof UMES women faculty in the STEM disciplines, as well as an ADVANCE Program Women's Center that will offer an increased number of professional development opportunities to all faculty, particularly women.

    Professor Kelly Mack, Ph.D. and Associate Professor Linda Johnson, Ph.D., in the Department of Natural Sciences will serve as the center's co-directors. Other principal investigators include UMES President Thelma Thompson, Ph.D., Andrew Carrington, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs, and Professor Joseph Okoh, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Natural Sciences.  These individuals will review administrative policies and procedures and make recommendations to more effectively promote career advancement for women faculty in STEM disciplines.

    To date, there are more than 30 ADVANCE Programs in the U.S. designed to systematically address disparities associated with the advancement of women faculty. The UMES ADVANCE Program is the first historically black institution to receive this award   

    Various activities planned for the 2006-07 academic year target women faculty, but not to the exclusion of men. Many UMES ADVANCE Program activities will be open to the entire campus and will include promotion and tenure dossier preparation workshops, development of an informative and interactive website, and seminars that focus on financial planning and salary negotiation strategies.

    For more information on the UMES ADVANCE Program, contact Dr. Mack (kmmack@umes.edu) at extension 6039 or Dr. Johnson (lrjohnson@umes.edu) at extension6036.


    Contact: Ann Wilmer, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, awilmer@umes.edu.