Murray State ADVANCE

The ADVANCE Survey to study gender issues at MSU will be conducted by Cornell University's Survey Research Institute this semester. Look for details by email from President Davies and for emails from the Survey Research Institute, February 15-March 15. Participation is voluntary. Further information is available from Maeve McCarthy or Paula Waddill. 

The second ADVANCE Seminar will be held on Thursday March 9 at 3:30pm in Wrather Auditorium. Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff will discuss implicit bias. The seminar is designed for students as well as faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the community. Dr. Villa-Komaroff is a former CEO and CSO of Cytonome, a company developing and manufacturing purpose-built cell sorters. She is a member of the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering, and the Advisory Council of the NSF Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences. She is a founding member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).


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 MSU. 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 analyses 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.

Internal Advisory Board

  • Robert Davies, President
  • Renae Duncan, Provost
  • Tim Todd, COB
  • Steve Cobb, JCSET
  • Staci Stone, CHFA
  • Tony Brannon, HSA
  • Cami Duffy, IDEA
  • Kathy Farmer, Faculty Regent
  • Joyce Gordon, HR
  • Susana Bloomdahl, PCDI

External Advisory Board

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


September 13, 2016 2-3pm
MSU ADVANCE Mentoring Circles Information Reception

September 20, 2016, 2-3pm
MSU ADVANCE Internal Advisory Board Meeting


October 20, 2016
MSU ADVANCE Workshop on Work-Life Balance


October 20, 2016
MSU ADVANCE Seminar, Gender Equity in Science and Engineering: why is this so hard?
Joan Herbers, Ohio State University
3:30-4:30pm Freed Curd Auditorium

November 15, 2016, 2-3pm
MSU ADVANCE Internal Advisory Board Meeting


December 5, 2016, 5-6pm
MSU ADVANCE External Advisory Board Meeting

January 17, 2017, 2-3pm
MSU ADVANCE Internal Advisory Board Meeting

March 9, 2017
MSU ADVANCE Workshop on Academic Survival Skills

March 9, 2017
MSU ADVANCE Seminar, Thinking Fast Makes Changing SLOW: Human Thought Processes Interfere with Impartial Judgement
Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Cytonome/ST
3:30-4:30pm Wrather Auditorium

March 28, 2017, 2-3pm
MSU ADVANCE Internal Advisory Board Meeting


May 9, 2017, 2-3pm
MSU ADVANCE Internal Advisory Board Meeting