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 Upcoming Events

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3.25.16 - Fueling Innovation Through Transformation (FITT@UH) | Day-long forum for Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty at UH to discuss work-life balance. RSVP here .

Letter from the Director

Provost Paula Myrick Short  

I am proud to report that the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success continues to make great strides toward recruiting and retaining more women STEM faculty, advancing those women into administrative roles, and creating infrastructure to support gender equality and diversity. To that end, over 50 postdocs from across the UH campus attended a September “Coffee, Cookies, and Conversation” event, which resulted in the formation of a postdoc association to better serve those needs. A Faculty Work Culture Survey was launched to assist in the development of university policy and resource efforts regarding promotion, recruitment and retention, compensation, work-life balance, and professional development initiatives. Once completed, I look forward to sharing the findings of this survey. To further discussion on work-life balance, I am facilitating a forum entitled Fueling Innovation Through Transformation (FITT@UH) on March 25. I will solicit feedback from key stakeholders across the campus that will continue to direct the ADVANCE Center’s progress moving forward.

Warm regards,

Paula Myrick Short, Ph.D.
Director and Co-Principal Investigator
Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success

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The goal of the NSF ADVANCE program is to increase the number and success of women faculty in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and behavioral sciences fields.

Meet the Center Staff

Lisa Robertson, Stella Vasquez, and Charles Amos make up the staff for the Center for Advancing UH Faculty Success

The Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success recently opened its offices in the Ezekiel W. Cullen building. Lisa Robertson, Managing Director (center), Stella Vasquez, Executive Assistant (left), and Charles Amos, Research Associate (right), make up the team. Click here to learn more about the staff .



News from the Center

The Center continues to integrate more women STEM faculty at the University of Houston through several key initiatives.

The Departmental Mentoring Pilot Committee has refined its mentor-mentee pairing to include assistant to associate rank professor pairings, as well as associate to professor ranked pairings. Training sessions will also be available to ensure that participants have high-quality profiles which will lead to productive mentoring pairs.

The ADVANCE Center and the assistant vice provost of faculty recruitment, retention, equity, and diversity continue to work together to develop comprehensive search committee training materials aimed at overcoming bias in hiring.

UH ADVANCE will be front and center at the May 2016 NSF ADVANCE / GSE Program Workshop, May 23 & 24.  Holly Hutchins, Co-PI, will participate with PIs from ADVANCE institutions to discuss organizational change.  In addition, the career path subcommittee will have showcase materials on career paths. The committee, led by Jami Kovach, conducted interviews with STEM faculty and found several key challenges facing faculty: undefined career pathways/models and few professional development opportunities. As a result, the committee developed a Department Chair Career Path to increase awareness among faculty about leadership roles and encourage their pursuit, especially post-tenure.

Do not miss the Fueling Innovation through Transformation (FITT@UH) event on March 25. This event for all UH tenured and tenure-track faculty will be held at the Ballroom in the Student Center from 8:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m., and will include a keynote from Ellen Ochoa, Astronaut and Director, NASA Johnson Space Center, as well as breakout sessions to explore your ideas for transforming campus community, career development, and work-life integration.  Register online .

  Julia Wellner works to bring a sediment core onto the deck of the icebreaker; Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
  Wellner works to bring a sediment core onto the deck of the icebreaker; Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Photo courtesy of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. 

Wellner Selected as a 2016 AAPG Distinguished Lecturer
Julia Wellner, assistant professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was named a 2016 American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Lecturer. She is one of 10 people selected to receive this honor. Wellner and her students study the sediment deposited underneath and adjacent to ice sheets in the Antarctic, looking at the characteristics of the sediments as a way to determine ice behavior.  Learn More

Gurkan is Revolutionizing Secure Computer Networking
A team of UH researchers will confront universal collaboration challenges faced by university researchers and scientists with funding support from the National Science Foundation. Deniz Gurkan, associate professor of engineering technology in the College of Technology, is the principal investigator for the $500,000 award and Nicholas Bastin, research assistant professor, is the co-principal investigator. The proposed research will create ways to isolate networks for research labs to create an environment that eliminates data sharing problems. Learn More

Olvera Selected as First ADVANCE Administrative Fellow
Norma Olvera, professor of psychological, health, and learning sciences in the College of Education, has been selected to a two-year appointment as the first ADVANCE Administrative Fellow. She will work with Hanadi Rifai, associate dean of research and administration in the Cullen College of Engineering, to implement the college's 2014-2020 strategic plan. Learn More

Jacinta Conrad  
Jacinta Conrad, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering. Photo courtesy of the Cullen College of Engineering.   

Conrad Leads New Effort to Improve Clean-Up after Oil Spills
Jacinta Conrad, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering, earned a $1.8 million grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to determine how the use of dispersants to break up an oil spill affects the natural cleaning role played by bacteria. Conrad's project builds on her previous work in colloid and interfacial science and this project will answer fundamental questions important to understanding how bacteria - microscale organisms that naturally occur in marine environments - can help in cleaning up spills during offshore drilling and production. Learn More

Kulkarni Explores Stacking Faults to Strengthen Cobalt
Yashashree Kulkarni, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the Cullen College of Engineering, has partnered with Texas A&M University collaborator Xinghang Zhang to explore the mechanism of deformation in cobalt with high-density stacking faults via a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. Kulkarni and Zhang will explore engineering processes that produce stronger versions of different crystalline forms of cobalt with improved ductility. The combination of strength and ductility in one material is highly desirable for structural engineering applications, yet somewhat uncommon in the materials science world. Learn More

Whitehead Receives Inaugural NSM Junior Faculty Research Award
Lisa Whitehead, assistant professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, received the 2015 College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Junior Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. Whitehead, who joined the University of Houston in 2011, is an experimental particle physicist studying the properties of neutrinos, which are subatomic particles that have no charge and a mass that is, at most, a millionth that of an electron. Learn More

Jacobs Selected as Inaugural Holmes Scholar
Georgette Jacobs, a Ph.D. student of school psychology in the College of Education, has been selected as the inaugural University of Houston College of Education Holmes Scholar. The program provides mentorship, peer support, and rich professional development opportunities to doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds that are pursuing careers in education, school administration, or the professoriate. Learn More

Kovach Awarded Funding to Advance Gender Equality in Science and Technology
Jamison V. Kovach, associate professor of information and logistics technology in the College of Technology, has been selected to receive a travel award for the Gender Summit 8 North & Latin America in Mexico City, April 28-29, 2016. Kovach and three other American Association for the Advancement of Science delegates will travel to Mexico City to meet international researchers and visit academic institutions. Learn More

 Recruitment and Retention    Diversity and Inclusion

The Uncertain Path to Full Professor

Effects of Gender on the Earnings of Humanities Majors

Midcareer Melancholy: Frustrations of an Associate Professor   

Another Research Gender Gap: Men Get More Startup Money


The Invisible Labor of Minority Professors

Diversity and the Ivory Ceiling

 Work-Life Infrastructure    Professional Engagement

Medical Residents, Misplaced Pride and Saner Hours

Sometimes I Have to Leave Work Early to Pick up my Kids. Deal with it.

How Mark Zuckerberg’s Example Helps Fight Stigma of Family Leave


Why Men Get All the Credit When They Work with Women

How Not to Be ‘Manterrupted’ in Meetings

Rethink What You “Know” About High-Achieving Women

For more information, contact:

Lisa Robertson
Managing Director, Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success | 713-743-4210 |