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AAMU STEM Women Receive NSF Grant

December 13, 2019

Toward Increasing the Number of Women in STEM Disciplines

Huntsville, Ala. ---- Women researchers at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) will partner with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and other institutions to meet the aims of an NSF-sponsored project designed to foster the growth of women in STEM disciplines.

AAMU received a three-year subcontract award from UAB to implement The Alabama ADVANCE Partnership for Achieving Gender Equity in STEM.  The project focuses on increasing the participation and advancement of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by utilizing previous research data and literature concerning gender, racial and ethnic equity.  

Additional partners include the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), Miles College and Oakwood University.  An orientation luncheon regarding the AAMU project was held recently with faculty senators from each department, faculty mentees and their mentors, and administrators.

A key aim of the overall project is to implement institutional changes in those practices and policies that inhibit gender equity and inclusion in STEM at partner institutions.  Further, the project aims to increase the representation and visibility of women, racial, ethnic minorities and other social identities in STEM departments by improving recruitment, retention and promotion practices and policies.

At the AAMU campus, partnership activities will include the establishment of an ADVANCE office; the sponsoring of department chair and search committee training; conducting seminars on unconscientious bias, career development and spouse/partner relocation; and the hosting of an annual statewide ADVANCE conference.

The AAMU ADVANCE Leadership Team consists of Dr. Jeanette Jones, principal investigator (PI), Distinguished Professor of Biology and faculty trustee, AAMU Board of Trustees; Dr. Tonya Perry professor and chairperson, Department of Social Work, Psychology & Counseling; Dr. Padmaja Guggilla, co-PI, professor and interim chair of the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics; Dr. Malinda Gilmore, co-PI, special assistant to the president and associate professor of chemistry; Dr. Martha Verghese, co-PI, professor and chair, Department of Food Science & Animal Sciences; and Ms. Dianne Kirnes, program manager.

- J. Saintjones