Town Hall Celebrates Achievement of Women in STEM; Preliminary Results to Premier Industry Study Unveiled

Town Hall Celebrates Achievement of Women in STEM; Preliminary Results to Premier Industry Study Unveiled


Contact: Adrena Ifill (202)596-7928

Rachel Mann (202) 238-2631


Town Hall Celebrates Achievement of Women in STEM; Preliminary Results to Premier Industry Study Unveiled

Washington, D.C. – HU ADVANCE-IT hosted its inaugural celebration for the 2014-2015 academic year achievements on Monday, May 4, 2015. The event brought together 30 STEM women faculty members across various departments across science technology engineering and mathematics to highlight how they could engage in healthy, balanced living.

The HU ADVANCE-IT Experience Study (funded through a National Science Foundation grant), documents how women STEM faculty experience recruitment, retention, promotion and tenure, leadership development, mentoring, and healthy living at Howard University.

“We know our experience is unique and who better than us to document our professional, career and personal experiences,” said Dr. Cynthia Winston-Proctor, Professor of Psychology and Co-Principal Investigator of HU ADVANCE-IT. “Who is better suited to be the first to decide how to interpret the meaning and implications of our daily lived experience and advocate for individual collective and institutional transformation?”

The HU ADVANCE-IT Experience Study is the first in the country to explicitly use a PAR Strategy of Inquiry (Participatory Advocacy Research) to examine and document STEM women faculty experiences. Unlike other research approaches, PAR encourages its participants to collaborate throughout the research process to help create, reform, implement and enforce policy. Results of the study will not be released to the general public until after this summer when the entire group has had an opportunity to work on additional analysis and develop an advocacy strategic plan.

The event provided each faculty member an opportunity to learn about PAR, react to the findings, share strategies for healthy living, and mingle with peers from other departments.

In 2012, Howard University received a $3.4 million dollar ADVANCE Institutional Transformation award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to advance the careers of women faculty in STEM. Principal Investigator, Dr. Sonya T. Smith, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering leads HU ADVANCE-IT’s mission to attract, promote, and retain, women faculty in the STEM disciplines at Howard University. A specific goal is to increase the number of women faculty in the highest academic rank of Professor (full) and in academic administration through education, advocacy and empowerment initiatives. For more information about HU ADVANCE-IT, please visit

About Howard University:

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University’s Web site at

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