In a campus-wide collaborative effort to transform the makeup of the teaching staff at UMass Amherst, four College of Engineering professors have joined 40 other UMass academics in a quest to promote gender and racial equity for faculty at the university. The 2022-2023 College of Engineering ADVANCE Fellows are Chase Cornelison of the Biomedical Engineering Department, Song Gao of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Juan Jiménez of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, and Ashish Kulkarni of the Chemical Engineering Department.
According to UMass ADVANCE, it is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is working to improve the status of women faculty members, including women of color, in science and engineering. UMass ADVANCE explains that it transforms the campus by cultivating faculty equity, inclusion, and success. ADVANCE says it provides the resources, recognition, and relationship building that are critical to equitable and successful collaboration in the 21st century academy.
According to UMass ADVANCE, the 44 selected faculty members, each representing different units, will partner with ADVANCE. Through a combination of research, programming, and practices, UMass ADVANCE seeks to understand systemic and intersectional inequalities at UMass and to lay the groundwork for a fairer, more equitable, diverse, and inclusive campus.
ADVANCE explains that Faculty Fellows provide recommendations and feedback to the team about ADVANCE programming and liaise with their departments to promote the ADVANCE program. They also inform ADVANCE about successful equity and inclusion initiatives in their units.
Each year ADVANCE announces a theme related to its focus on collaboration and equity, and the theme for the upcoming program year is “Recognizing Research and Crediting Collaboration Equitably.”
“We look forward to collaborating with this year’s fellows and learning from each other,” said Laurel Smith-Doerr, principal investigator for the $3.1-million NSF ADVANCE grant. “Our research shows that equitable recognition of research and crediting of collaboration is critical in supporting feelings of inclusion among faculty and to retaining a diverse faculty at UMass.”