Adams State announces staff for NSF ADVANCE grant project


Adams State University named Maria McMath project coordinator for its three-year grant project, "Advancing Women in STEM through Institutional Transformation at Adams State University." Dr. Laura Bruneau, professor of counselor education, was named the project's faculty associate. Dr. Stephanie Hilwig, professor of sociology, and Dr. Alexey Leontyev, assistant professor of chemistry, will participate in the project as survey specialists. Co-principal investigators for the project include Hilwig, Dr. Matt Nehring, professor of physics; Dr. Leslie Alvarez, professor of psychology; and Dr. Benita Brink, professor of biology.

Funded by a $249,571 grant through the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE IT-Catalyst program, the project aims to increase diversity and gender equity among Adams State's faculty in SBS (social and behavioral sciences) and STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics).

Maria McMath

McMath and Bruneau will work with the project's steering committee to identify best practices, share research results, and develop approaches to advancing faculty diversity that will benefit disciplines across campus. Project components will include a faculty mentoring initiative and campus-wide focus groups to investigate issues and concerns of faculty women, Latinas, and other minority faculty women in STEM/SBS.

Dr. Laura Bruneau

The project will result in a plan with strategies to improve the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty, and in particular of Latinas. The resulting plan will help build a more diverse faculty in STEM and the social and behavioral sciences and ultimately inspire more young women to pursue careers in these fields.

The project dovetails with work done by Adams State's Title V projects and CIELO group to address diversity and equity issues. As a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), the university has been awarded several Title V grants, with five now underway. CIELO is Adams State's Community for Inclusive Excellence, Leadership & Opportunity.

By Julie Waechter