Georgia State University has been awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch a new initiative as part of its efforts to increase the recruitment, retention, engagement and support of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, especially for women from underrepresented minority backgrounds.
Partnering with Florida International University (FIU), the new Georgia State initiative, ADVANCE-IMPACT (Intersectionality and Mentoring in the Professoriate for Advancement, Community and Transformation) is supported through NSF’s ADVANCE program to increase the representation and advancement of women in STEM careers and university leadership.
“As one of the most diverse universities in the country, Georgia State is working to support a faculty that reflects our institution’s wide diversity,” said Nicolle Parsons-Pollard, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Through the generous support of the National Science Foundation, ADVANCE-IMPACT signifies our commitment to this transformational goal.”
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to help champion Georgia State’s efforts to implement organizational changes aimed at mitigating many of the challenges faced by women in science today,” said Marise Parent, principal investigator (PI) on the NSF grant and Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at Georgia State. “ADVANCE-IMPACT will promote policies and practices that will allow current faculty and the next generation of women scholars to make important contributions to our academic and research missions in an environment that makes them feel welcomed and valued.”
Among its activities, ADVANCE-IMPACT will adapt and implement the Strategies and Tactics for Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE) approach in collaboration with FIU. STRIDE is an empirically demonstrated approach to increase faculty diversity at many institutions through activities that institutionalize successful strategies, shown to improve diversity and excellence.
Other aims of ADVANCE-IMPACT include:
- Leadership training to help counter factors that detract from a fair, equitable and welcoming workplace;
- Offering a faculty mentoring program at all career levels promoting inclusivity, development, advancement and participation in leadership;
- Assisting in the review of policies that promote best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion at an institutional level.
In the larger picture at the university, ADVANCE-IMPACT represents a major effort alongside others at the institution that support and increase diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in faculty recruitment, retention, and engagement. This includes efforts through the Next Generation of Faculty initiative, the action plan on the recommendations of the university’s Task Force for Racial Equality, and actions through the Collaborative on Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) faculty satisfaction process.
“At Georgia State, we have taken great care to ensure that we are not only evaluating what we need to change, but that we are also taking concrete steps to fulfill our promises,” said Corrie Fountain, Interim Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, a co-PI on the grant who will lead in the administration of the new NSF-supported initiative. “Through the use of proven strategies, ADVANCE-IMPACT will significantly boost our ability to reach our broad, ambitious goals of becoming a university for all.”
In addition to the diversification of the professoriate, ADVANCE-IMPACT will provide an important contribution to Georgia State’s greater spirit of encouraging student success and achievement, regardless of background.
“When students from underrepresented backgrounds see themselves in STEM fields and in leadership positions, it is a spark that can inspire the next generation of diverse leaders and innovators,” Parsons-Pollard said. “Through this grant to launch ADVANCE-IMPACT, Georgia State’s contributions to support women in STEM will be felt for years to come.”
For more information about ADVANCE-IMPACT, visit www.gsu.edu/advance/.
For more about the national effort, visit the National Science Foundation website at https://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/advance/.