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Louisiana Tech University receives grant to advance women in engineering, science

RUSTON, La -- The College of Engineering and Science at Louisiana Tech University has received a grant from the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE program in the amount of $736,500 to support a four-year project titled, "Creating a Culture of Success for Women in Engineering and Science."

The goal of the ADVANCE program is to develop systemic approaches to increasing the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.

Under the direction of Dr. Jenna P. Carpenter, the College of Engineering and Science's associate dean for administration and strategic initiatives, Tech's goal is to improve climate, increase retention and provide professional and leadership development for women faculty in engineering and science.

These efforts will be accomplished by supporting professional development initiatives, collaboration activities and networking with national experts, mentoring programs, and training for faculty and administrators in the College. Along with Carpenter, Dr. Patrick O'Neal, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and Dr. Despina Davis, assistant professor of chemical engineering, are serving as co-directors on the project.

Dr. Stan Napper, dean of the College of Engineering and Science, noted that "It is critical to our nation's leadership in innovation, and the economic progress that results, to enlist people from many different learning styles and abilities in technical design and problem-solving."

"Women in science and engineering are especially important in these efforts, and we need more of them. This program will assist our faculty to progress in their careers, and in turn these role models will assist our women students."

Carpenter added, "Nationally, there is a significant need to attract more women into engineering and science fields if we are to meet future workforce demands. Funding for the ADVANCE Program is very competitive, so our success is an indication of the growing national reputation of the innovative programs and faculty in the College of Engineering and Science."

One important aspect of the project has been the establishment of the Office for Women in Science and Engineering (OWISE). In addition to providing administrative oversight for the faculty-focused ADVANCE project, the OWISE will lead similar college-wide efforts for advancing women undergraduate and graduate students in engineering and science.


Contact: Dave Guerin
Louisiana Tech University

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