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ADVANCE Women’s Leadership at the University of Delaware

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2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity


Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 14, 2019

Start Date

April 14, 2019

End Date

April 22, 2019

Conference Session

Track: Learning Spaces, Pedagogy & Curriculum Design Technical Session 10

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Learning Spaces, Pedagogy & Curriculum Design

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Paper Authors


Heather Doty University of Delaware

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Heather Doty is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware (UD). Dr. Doty teaches undergraduate courses in thermodynamics, statics, dynamics, and technical communication and conducts research on gender in the academic STEM workforce. She is co-PI on UD's NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, which aims to recruit, retain, and advance women STEM faculty at UD. Dr. Doty is faculty advisor to UD's Women in Engineering Graduate Student Steering Committee.

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Shawna Vican University of Delaware

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Shawna Vican is the Director of the UD ADVANCE Institute and holds a secondary appointment as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Harvard University. An organizational sociologist, Dr. Vican investigates the adoption and implementation of new employment practices and corporate social behaviors. Across her research, Dr. Vican explores how organizational policies and practices, managerial behavior, and workplace culture shape individual career outcomes as well as broader patterns of labor market inequality. Her current research includes a qualitative study of corporate diversity management strategies and a series of mixed-methods projects on diversity in the academic workforce.

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Robin Andreasen University of Delaware

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Robin O. Andreasen (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison) is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science. She earned her PhD in philosophy and specializes in philosophy of science, philosophy of social science, and in science and policy. A race and gender scholar, Dr. Andreasen is research director and co-PI for UD’s ADVANCE-IT grant.

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Sue Giancola University of Delaware

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Dr. Sue Giancola joined the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) in 2017 after working over 20 years as an evaluator in both academia and private business. Her career has largely been focused on research and evaluation of programs to improve human services, as well as developing evaluation methods that can be embedded within programs.

Dr. Giancola’s current work focuses on developing methodological processes to embed evaluation into human services programs, such that program development can be driven by reliable and valid information and impact findings can be properly interpreted. Much of her work employs theory-based methods, not to replace rigorous research designs, but rather to supplement, in order to better understand implementation and effectiveness.

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In 2018 the ADVANCE program at the University of Delaware (UD) collaborated with UD's Business College to hold a multi-day leadership program for mid-career women faculty at UD. Unlike other leadership programs that assemble women from across the country, the UD ADVANCE Women’s Leadership Program was designed specifically for UD women with cohort-building and peer mentorship in mind. After an application process, 18 women were selected as the first UD ADVANCE Women’s Leadership cohort. The cohort represented all of UD’s colleges, with the majority being from STEM departments. Close to a third of the participants were from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. UD ADVANCE covered program registration, hotel, and meals costs for all participants.

The program consisted of two sessions. The first was an overnight in a desirable retreat location where participants built community, networked, and learned new skills, e.g, leadership vision, having difficult conversations, and using social media to gain professional visibility. Participants then completed individual assignments before reconvening a month later for the second session, where they learned more skills and heard from a panel of women leaders from UD.

Assessment data of the program were overwhelmingly positive. For example, despite the large time commitment required of participants, 100% agreed that the program encouraged meaningful collaboration with colleagues and was worth their time. Based on feedback from participants and demand from faculty unable to participate the first time, the UD ADVANCE leadership team is investigating how the program might be institutionalized and offered regularly to UD faculty.

This paper draws from institutional data and the broader literature to discuss why we chose an in-house workshop. Aiming to provide a model usable by other institutions, it describes the program, evaluation results, and outcomes, drawing attention to benefits and challenges.

Doty, H., & Vican, S., & Andreasen, R., & Giancola, S. (2019, April), ADVANCE Women’s Leadership at the University of Delaware Paper presented at 2019 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity , Crystal City, Virginia. 10.18260/1-2--31739

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