Changing | Transforming: The Newsletter of the Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success

Upcoming ADVANCE Events

Featured Event:  Intent vs. Impact: The Power of Microagressions | Jan. 30 | 1:30-2:30pm | Student Center, Bayou City Room

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 by recruiting more diverse faculty, providing clear opportunities for advancement and career development, and providing an inclusive and balanced work environment.


New Search Committee Training Encourages Faculty Diversity to Reflect Student Body

Dr. Steven Woods implemented the diversity search training, part of the Powerhouse Faculty toolkit, to reexamine the way search committees find and recruit strong faculty to work at the University of Houston. “The search committee training made me think harder and more creatively about ways in which to increase the diversity of the applicant pool” said Dr. Woods. “My search committee colleagues and I ended up reaching out to organizations that serve underrepresented professionals in our field, including women, Hispanics, and African-Americans, rather than simply posting the ad to the usual cast of professional organizations and listservs.”  Read the full story on the ADVANCE website

Gender Bias one-pager

Gender Bias in Recommendation Letters: A Study

Dr. Juan Madera studies gender bias in academic recommendation letters. He noticed that women are often described using communal language, and communal characteristics often had a negative relationship with hiring decisions in academia compared to agentic characteristics. While women enter graduate school at approximately the same rate as men, they are less likely to enter and succeed in academia, in part due to the heavy emphasis placed on recommendation letters. Madera and his colleagues studied letters of recommendation from Rice University, classified as a Research I university by the Carnegie Classification Institutes of Higher Education. Read his full paper, Gender and Letters of Recommendation for Academia: Agentic and Communal Differences.  

The University of Arizona's Commission on the Status of Women made a guide to avoiding writing biased recommendation inspired by Madera's work entitled Avoiding Gender Bias in Reference Writing .


NSF Grant Funds Scholarship for NSM Students
A four-year, $999K grant from the National Science Foundation will fund scholarships for students pursuing degrees within the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, as well as the creation of a PARENT Academy to foster family support. “We want to help students build a support network, so that they can balance academics with their outside life” said Donna Stokes, associate professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and principal investigator of the grant. Read the full story

Elizabeth Ostrowski   
Elizabeth Ostrowski, NSM assistant professor of biology and biochemistry.  

NSF Grant Funds Research on Evolution of Social Cooperation
Elizabeth Ostrowski, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, was awarded a four-year, $696,634 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the evolution of cheating behaviors. Learn More

Castilla-Earls Examines Language Loss in Bilingual Children
Anny Castilla-Earls, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, is breaking ground as a Latina woman conducting innovative research in the field of speech language pathology. In December 2016, Dr. Castilla-Earls, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, was awarded a grant to examine language loss in bilingual children from the National Institute of Health for over $800,000 – and she earned the prestigious grant on her first submission. Read the full story

Graduate Student Targets Areas for Brain Surgery, Wins Junior Scientist Award
Ilknur Telkes, a fourth-year biomedical Ph.D. student in the Cullen College of Engineering, spends a good bit of her time in the operating room at Baylor College of Medicine pinpointing  areas in the brains of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease with a new bipolar microelectrode, designed to suppress symptoms of the disease. For her work in increasing the accuracy of target mapping and efficacy of brain surgery for Parkinson’s disease, Telkes has been named one of the 2017 North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) Junior Scientist Award winners. Read the full story

HHP Doctoral Student Bridgette Rooney Featured by NASA
Doctoral student in health and human performance (HHP) in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and NASA intern  Bridgette Rooney was recently featured on NASA's website in an article titled, "Bridgette Rooney: The Military, Medicine, and Microbiology". The article profiled Bridgette's journey from the military to medicine to studying exercise immunology at HHP's Laboratory of Integrated Physiology under the guidance of Dr. Richard Simpson. Read the full story

Education Professor Wins Competitive Grant to Study STEM Schools
Virginia Snodgrass Rangel, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the College of Education recently won a competitive grant from the Spencer Foundation for nearly $50,000 to study STEM education. The funding covers work from January 2017 through December 2018. Her project focuses on defining the different types of STEM schools across the country and analyzing which programs produce the best results, particularly for students traditionally under-represented in science and math careers. Read the full story

Adolescent Depression in Girls Offset by Presence of 'Boomerang Fathers'
Daphne Hernandez, assistant professor of health and human performance in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and principal investigator investigates the impact of family instability and father absence or stepfather presence on adolescents experiencing depression. “Boomerang fathering” provided a type of stability in a daughter’s life that staved off her depressive symptoms compared to those adolescent girls whose fathers were completely absent. Read the full story

Kelleher Studies the Evolution of Genomic Stability
Erin Kelleher, assistant professor of biology and biochemistry in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is studying how genomes maintain stability through the evolution of mechanisms that regulate the activity of these jumping genes. Learn More


The Subtle Ways Gender Gaps Persist in Science [Chronicle of Higher Education]

Minority women are disappearing from BigLaw-and here's why [ABA Journal]

How Wall Street Bro Talk Keeps Women Down [The New York Times]

The Baby-Before-Tenure Question [Chronicle of Higher Education]

A Family-Friendly Policy That's Friendliest to Male Professors [The New York Times]


Paula Myrick Short, Director and Co-Principal Investigator, Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success
Christiane Spitzmueller, Interim Managing Director, Center for ADVANCING UH Faculty Success | 713.743.4210 |

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