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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2005 / 03 

AdvanceVT selects Leadership Development Program participants, announces recipients for seed grants

March 24, 2005

AdvanceVT, a National Science Foundation-funded institutional transformation grant designed to increase the representation and accelerate the advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, has selected participants for its leadership development program and recipients of its 2005-06 seed grants.

“We are excited to have such an outstanding group of women for the first cohort of the AdvanceVT Leadership Development Program and look forward to working with them to strengthen their leadership skills” said AdvanceVT Project Director Peggy Layne. “We also congratulate the recipients of our second round of AdvanceVT Research Seed Grants and hope that this funding will help them get their research careers off to a good start.”

Eight women from across the university will participate in a series of workshops and other activities designed by AdvanceVT to build leadership skills. They are:

=> Ann Stevens, associate professor of biology;

=> Elizabeth A. Grabau, associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science;

=> Valerie Grey Hardcastle, professor and chair of the Department of Science and Technology in Society and director of the Graduate Program in Science and Technology Studies;

=> Janis P. Terpenny, associate professor of engineering education with affiliated faculty positions in mechanical engineering and industrial and systems engineering;

=> Mary Kasarda, associate professor of mechanical engineering;

=> Dr. Virginia Ann Buechner-Maxwell, associate professor of veterinary medicine and section chief of large animal surgery and medicine;

=> Amy Bell, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Digital Signal Processing and Communications Lab;

=> and Mary Leigh Wolfe, associate professor of biological systems engineering.

Leadership development workshops, which will be open to all women faculty, will address such topics as understanding leadership styles, resolving conflict, giving and receiving feedback, and understanding university finance and budgeting. The eight selected participants also will receive individual coaching and assessment and will take part in other developmental activities. Information about the workshops is available from Layne at (540) 231-9948.

The 2005-06 research seed grant recipients and their research projects are:

=> Madeline Schreiber, assistant professor of geosciences, Imaging Arsenic Interactions;

=> Tess Wynn, assistant professor of biological systems engineering, Continuous Sediment Monitoring;

=> Giti Khodaparast, assistant professor of physics, Spin Dependent Phenomena in Narrow Gap Semiconductors;

=> Leigh McCue, assistant professor of aerospace and ocean engineering, Modeling of Vessel Capsize;

=> and Maura Borrego, assistant professor of engineering education, Cultural Change in Engineering Education.

The competition for the seed grants was the second in a series of four annual competitions for research funding provided to junior faculty in the Colleges of Science and Engineering. The program provides $10,000 to $20,000 to recipients to help prepare for externally sponsored research competitions.

AdvanceVT received $3.5 million from NSF in fall 2003 to identify barriers that can keep women faculty members from choosing, remaining in, or advancing in science and engineering. The overall goal of the NSF program is to get more women involved in the scientific and engineering workforce by increasing the representation of women in academic science and engineering careers at all levels, particularly in leadership roles.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.