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Mapping faculty social networks helps female faculty move ahead at NJIT
Date:12/16/2010

faculty to locate potential interdisciplinary research collaborators and to take snapshots of their professional networks as they develop over time.

"When new faculty arrive they often can't see the forest for the trees. We want to create a kind of GPS for career management that will give them an aerial view of the organizational landscape so they can find the most efficient path to the information and support they need to reach their goals," Steffen-Fluhr explained. These new network mapping tools will also help university administrators spot blockages in information flow, identify emerging leaders, and assess mentoring programs, she added.

In addition to studying interdisciplinary collaboration, NJIT ADVANCE encourages interdisciplinary collaboration in a variety of ways, including hosting cross-sector research showcases with industry. The interdisciplinary approach is reflected in the composition of the ADVANCE team: In addition to Steffen-Fluhr, who is an associate professor in NJIT's Humanities Department, the team includes Katia Passerini, Hurlburt Professor of Management of Information Systems, School of Management; Yi-Fang (Brook) Wu, associate professor, information systems department; and Robert Friedman, associate professor and chair of the humanities department.

The NJIT ADVANCE project arrives at a time when U.S. leaders are stressing that greater participation of women in U.S. science and technology leadership is essential if the nation is to maintain its global edge in innovation, Steffen-Fluhr explained.

"A new NSF-funded study shows that the ability of groups to come up with innovative solutions to problems increases with the proportion of women in the group. The purpose of the NSF ADVANCE program is to bring about institutional change so that women scientists and engineers will be in the room when the crucial decisions are made," she said. "The new network mapping tools we are developing at NJIT make an impo
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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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