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Research Leadership Development Initiative: An Experiment for a Research Career Choice

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

WIED: Faculty and Gender Issues

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1044.1 - 24.1044.20



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Paper Authors

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Sara Wadia-Fascetti Northeastern University


Jan Rinehart Northeastern University

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Jan Rinehart is Executive Director of the NSF Northeastern ADVANCE Program (HRD-0811170). She has over twenty years in higher education with most of her work focused on diversity in STEM fields. She previously served as Executive Director of the Rice University ADVANCE and Director of Engineering Student Programs at Texas A&M University. While at Texas A&M she was co-PI on NSF RET, S-STEM, STEP grants, and senior personnel on the NSF Coalition and LSAMP grant. She sits on several ADVANCE External Advisory Boards. Northeastern ADVANCE has resulted in an increase of female faculty from 73 (21%) in 2008 to 108 (26%) in 2012. In the most recent year of the grant, the program provided professional development to 294 Northeastern faculty members and 21 postdoctoral scholars and late stage Ph.D. students. Over the five years of the grant, ADVANCE hosted 248 scholars in 8 “Future Faculty Workshops”; participants were 78% female and 13% underrepresented minority postdoctoral scholars and Ph.D. students; four of these were interviewed at Northeastern as a result, and two were hired.

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Simon Pitts Northeastern University

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Simon Pitts is the Director of Northeastern’s Gordon Engineering Leadership Program and Professor of Practice in Engineering Leadership.
A graduate of Loughborough University and executive education at INSEAD, Simon began his career in advanced powertrain development and research at Ford Motor Company. During his time with Ford, his assignments included leading engineering and cross functional teams as Vehicle Line Director, Director of Manufacturing Operations, and Director of Powertrain Planning and then Product Development Operations for all Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda and Volvo brands globally.
Prior to joining Northeastern, Simon served as Director of the Ford-MIT Research Alliance.

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Research Leadership Development Initiative: An Experiment for a Research Career ChoiceAbstractInitiated in Fall 2012, the Research Leadership Development Initiative (ReDI) is a leadershipprogram designed to develop skills for associate and early full professors so they are prepared tolead collaborative research teams of peers in activities such as centers, institutes, and/or multi-institutional collaborations. The goal of the program is to create a cohort, of at least 50%women, who are prepared and confident research leaders who choose to create researchinitiatives that are larger than their current scope of activities. These initiatives could includeresearch consortia, research centers or large multi-institutional projects. Through the programcomponents it is anticipated the faculty gain the following:• Capacity to influence team dynamics and project outcomes through learning how to manage and leverage differences across working styles, approaches, backgrounds, and disciplines.• Knowledge about toolkits for communication, project management, negotiation, and influencing people.• Self-awareness of their leadership capabilities and ways to increase their impact in their roles as leaders.• Recognition and visibility by university leadership as proactive research leaders within and outside the institution.In year one, fourteen faculty members participated (7 women and 7 men). In year two, twelvefaculty members are participating (6 women and 6 men). Five colleges are represented in yearsone and two: College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Computer and InformationSciences, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and College of Health Sciences. Theworkshop leaders in year one included 4 women and 9 men and in year two, 3 women and 3men. In addition to skill building workshops, ReDI participants meet with research centerdirectors and participate in two team projects: one with ReDI team members and one theydesign with their specific research program in mind.This paper will describe years one and two of ReDI programming and the information gleanedfrom the on-going program evaluation, as well as the tracking data on what types of researchgrants have been submitted from members of Cohort 1. The ReDI program leaders will describehow they have engaged the faculty participants in the program re-design and outcomes to date.

Wadia-Fascetti, S., & Rinehart, J., & Pitts, S. (2014, June), Research Leadership Development Initiative: An Experiment for a Research Career Choice Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22977

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