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ADVANCE-Purdue: Retention, Success, and Leadership for Senior Female STEM Faculty

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Reports from ADVANCE Institutions

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.145.1 - 22.145.6



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Paper Authors

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Suzanne Zurn-Birkhimer Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Susan Ruth Geier Purdue University

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Chris Sahley Purdue University, West Lafayette

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ADVANCE-XXXX: Retention, Success and Leadership for senior female STEM facultyADVANCE-XXXX and the XXXX Center for Faculty Success (XCFS) focused on developingprogramming and implementing activities for the success of all faculty. The activities aredesigned around three goals: 1) to increase the number of women of color in STEM facultypositions, 2) to improve the success of all women STEM faculty, and 3) to engage all faculty intransforming the institution. Current XCFS programming includes: Search Chair Workshop onFaculty Hiring designed to increase awareness of the impact of unconscious bias; CulturalCenter events for faculty that celebrate the culture and heritage of African American, Latino, andNative American people; a Mentoring Institute for newly hired assistant professors to develop apeer-mentoring network across campus; leadership development opportunities for tenuredfaculty, with a focus on STEM female faculty; facilitated discussions regarding Work-LifeBalance for STEM female faculty; President’s Luncheons for newly hired STEM female facultyto offer validation and provide a networking venue; Discussion groups for STEM female facultyof color; Diversity Catalysts who are high-impact, senior faculty educated in the literature whowill engage the faculty and staff in conversations about diversity issues in their units and acrosscampus; an annual Gender and STEM Research Symposium that serves as a national venue forsharing compelling and important research on gender and STEM (writ broadly) to promote closeand strong connections between programming on gender and STEM with rigorous research ongender the STEM contexts; and an annual Pre-Tenure Women’s Conference that serves as anational meeting of professional development for female graduate students, post-docs and earlycareer faculty. ADVANCE-XXXX continually provides the campus leadership with evidence ofprogram effectiveness that will offer a basis for campus-wide changes to policy and practice.Ultimately, XCFS seeks to support all women faculty in their career paths and hence developedthe Leadership Institute (LI). The goal of the LI is to provide leadership development andenhance the success for post-tenure faculty, with a focus on STEM female faculty. The maincomponent of the LI is the Career Coaching Cohort. Considerable evidence suggests that womenbenefit from coaching as they work toward professional advancement. XCFS teamed withXXXXX alumnae and former Trustee XX, the first female partner at Accenture – a global leaderin management consulting – and a published expert on career coaching. Ms. X also establishedthe XXXX Center for Leadership Excellence on XXXXXX’s campus. The coaching cohort is ledby X, limited to 10 participants, and meets monthly for group and personal career coaching. Thefirst cohort of female post-tenure STEM faculty began in the spring of 2010. Participantscompleted a pre-survey to determine areas of focus for the coaching sessions: (1) enhanceleadership skills, (2) develop effective career management strategies, (3) gain professionaladvice through mentoring, and (4) learn new self improvement skills. Post-assessment iscurrently underway, however, initial reaction was positive and the cohort decided to continue in2010 - 11. A second cohort was also established in fall 2010. This paper will discuss themotivation, implementation, initial assessment, and future plans of the Career Coaching Cohorts.Evaluation data and participant demographics will be presented.

Zurn-Birkhimer, S., & Geier, S. R., & Sahley, C. (2011, June), ADVANCE-Purdue: Retention, Success, and Leadership for Senior Female STEM Faculty Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17426

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