National Science Foundation

Education and Empowerment

Education & Empowerment Initiative


  1. Communication & Dissemination. We organize seminars, workshops, and lectures, including those given by nationally recognized leaders, 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 all 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 had its first meeting on December 6, 2012; almost one year to the day (December 5, 2013), there was an official WFN bylaws signing ceremony with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs. The WFN listserv (created in Summer 2013) is instrumental in disseminating news and other information to female faculty members across campus. Starting in Spring 2014, the six WFN standing committees became operational; these committees are the following: Achievement; Ethics; Membership; Mentoring & Outreach; Tenure/Promotion/Annual Review; and Wellness.
  3. Providing Training to Search Committes. In coordination with the Recruitment component, extended training in best practices for hiring diverse faculty-- including strategies to identify and mitigate implicit bias--is mandatory for all faculty on STEM search committees. In addition, a cohort of faculty participated in a "Train-the-Trainers' workshop in Spring 2014, ensuring that UTPA has a strong group of faculty leaders who can continue peer-training at the department and college levels. Additional trainings are planned for Department Chairs and Deans to generate awareness of and sensitivity to unintentional biases in the faculty hiring process.
  4. Lecturers and Workshops. Through ADVANCE, lecturers and workshops are being provided on issues such as leading a healthy lifestyle, coping with stress, and managing conflicting demands of work and family. Additional workshops on promoting collegiality ae being planned for the 2014-15 academic year.


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