National Science Foundation

Education and Empowerment

Education & Empowerment Initiative


  1. Communication & Dissemination. We organize seminars, workshops, and lectures to inform various participants across campus about the gender issues in STEM and our initiatives aimed at transforming the academic culture at UTPA.
  2. Women Faculty Network (WFN) The purpose of the WFN is to increase networking and communication opportunities for UTPA female faculty members, gather feedback on the project initiatives, and disseminate information on professional development and research opportunities (especially those that might be of particular interest to women). The WFN has established an email contact list and will eventually have its own listserv.
  3. ADVANCE Speaker Series. Nationally recognized leaders are invited to discuss issues related to diversity, mentoring, and gender-related issues. This series will be incorporated into our existing University distinguished speaker series. The Education and Empowerment Team will oversee the selection of at least one speaker per year for this purpose.
  4. Diversity Advocates. The faculty and administrators involved in the project, with the Chair and at least one representative from each STEM department, will also play an educational role at the grassroots/departmental level and become change agents and diversity advocates. The empowered faculty governance system/Faculty Senate (already on board) will be used for this purpose as well.
  5. Mandatory Annual Training for Chairs, Deans, and Search Committee members. The goal of this initiative is to share expertise, knowledge and materials, and disseminate resources and guidelines regarding issues related to gender diversity, effective recruitment, and retention best practices. Information regarding work-life issues, such as flexible scheduling, teaching workload, maternity/paternity, and tenure/promotion, will also be provided.
  6. Lectures and Webinars about Work-life Issues. Through the ADVANCE Leadership Institute, we will host lectures and webinars on issues such as leading a healthy lifestyle, coping with stress, and managing conflicting demands of work and family.


Marie T. Mora
Professor of Economics and Finance and Vice Provost Fellow for Faculty Affairs