Murray State ADVANCE

The next ADVANCE Seminar will be held on Thursday February 1, 2018 at 3:30pm in Engineering & Physics 1303. Dr. Mary Anne Holmes will discuss "Professional Societies Address Harassment". The seminar is designed for students as well as faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the community. Dr. Holmes is a Professor Emerita at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Differences and Deficits Affecting Women STEM Faculty: Creating a Framework for Change at a Rural Public University

Murray State University provides a unique opportunity to examine how structural and cultural differences associated with a historically rural agrarian area may impact the recruitment, retention and promotion of women faculty in STEM and SBES disciplines. It has been a challenge to recruit and retain female faculty and students in STEM at Murray State. We hypothesize that deficit and difference factors manifest differently at a rural public institution. We will conduct a survey of all faculty and interviews of selected female faculty members, review existing institutional data and policies, conduct site-visits to other ADVANCE institutions, invite external speakers to campus to inform and educate the administration and faculty, and conduct mentoring circles to support our junior STEM and SBES women faculty.

ADVANCE leaders

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Project Team

mccarthyDr. Maeve McCarthy, PI, is the Jesse D. Jones Professor of Mathematics. She will lead the program, coordinate speaker and site visits, and conduct some of the policy review. As the former Executive Director of the Association for Women in Mathematics, she is passionate about gender issues in STEM.


cobbDr. Steve Cobb, co-PI, is the Dean of the Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology and a Professor of Engineering and Physics. He is uniquely positioned to disseminate information amongst administrators and to begin to develop plans to implement changes based on findings.


waddillDr. Paula Waddill, co-PI, is a Professor and Chair of Psychology. She will apply her unique expertise in quantitative research to the design, implementation, and analysis of the quantitative survey and the existing institutional data.


zhangDr. Robin Zhang, co-PI, is a Professor and Chair of Geosciences. She will conduct policy reviews with Dr. McCarthy and work with the PCDI to integrate elements of the projects into existing diversity initiatives.


wuDr. Echo Wu, co-PI, is an Assistant Professor of Education and the Director of the Center for Gifted Studies. Her experience as an interviewer and her interest in STEM learning makes her uniquely qualified for our project to conduct the preliminary interviews and analyze the data that will be used to formulate our quantitative survey questions.


fullerDr. Claire Fuller, co-PI, is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. She will act as a liaison with Murray State administration as well as advocate for change based on findings.

Internal Advisory Board

  • Robert Davies, President
  • Mark Arant, Provost
  • Renae Duncan, Associate Provost
  • Tim Todd, COB
  • Steve Cobb, JCSET
  • David Balthrop, CHFA
  • Tony Brannon, HSA
  • Ashley Ireland, LIB
  • Cami Duffy, IDEA
  • Kathy Farmer, Faculty Regent
  • Joyce Gordon, HR
  • Susana Bloomdahl, PCDI
  • Firm Faith Watson, FDC

External Advisory Board

  • Amy Cox, Paducah Tilghman & Murray State Chemistry alumna
  • Christine Grant, North Carolina State University
  • Joan Herbers, Ohio State University
  • Mary Anne Holmes, University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Lauren Schmidt Martin, Appriss & Murray State Math/CS alumna