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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | lmelton@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8830
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September 11, 2008
Susan Beasy Latto, Director, UMD Public Relations (218) 726-8830 slatto@d.umn.edu
Vicki Hansen, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences (218) 726-8628 vhansen@d.umn.edu


UMD Receives National Science Foundation Grant
To Advance Women in Science & Engineering Careers


A UMD team in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering has received a $200,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant (Institutional Transformation Planning (IT START) grant) over the next two years to conduct a program to help women advance in science and engineering careers.

The grant is part of National Science Foundation ADVANCE program, whose goal is to encourage institutions to "develop systemic approaches to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, thereby contributing to the development of a more diverse workforce."

The UMD team will use the grant to develop a customized plan of action to improve the representation and advancement of female faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). UMD will also provide leadership for other institutions around the country looking to meet the same goal.

Principal author of the grant proposal, UMD Geology Professor Vicki Hansen, said, "UMD is proud to be taking a leadership role in this project. Women are significantly underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines throughout the world. This is an economic and workforce issue, as well as an ethical and moral concern. Diversity in our nation's science and engineering workforce brings innovation and creativity to solving problems that our nation and communities will face in the future."

The grant was authored by Principal Investigator and McKnight Presidential Professor Vicki Hansen (UMD Department of Geological Sciences), together with Co-Investigators Tim Holst (Associate Dean, Swenson College of Science and Engineering), Deborah Petersen-Perlman (Director, UMD Office of Equal Opportunity) and Bilin Tsai (Professor, UMD Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry).

UMD is one of only nine colleges and universities from across the United States and Puerto Rico to receive the grant.


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