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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NSF grant will help increase women faculty in science, math and engineering

Using a $3.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation, New Mexico State University will launch an effort to raise the number of women in tenure-track faculty positions in the sciences, math and engineering by 20 percent over the next five years, said Lisa Frehill, an associate professor of sociology.

nt was awarded through the NSF's ADVANCE -- Institutional Transformation program, said Frehill, who was primarily responsible for obtaining it.

Beginning in January 2002, New Mexico State will form a committee on the status of women in science, math and engineering. It also will hire a program coordinator, provide funds to help science, math and engineering departments recruit more female faculty, support travel and research by female faculty and support other professional development efforts, including a mentoring program and a distinguished visiting professor program, Frehill said.

The committee will launch a study of the current status of women faculty in New Mexico State's math, science and engineering departments and institutionalize an annual review of their status in those disciplines, she said.

The ADVANCE program will be administered by the university's Graduate School. Its members will include Christine Marlow, associate dean of the Graduate School; Richard Hills, associate dean of the College of Engineering; Kenneth Paap, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Miley Gonzalez, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, as well as faculty members from the colleges, she said.

"Many faculty members from these colleges participated in crafting the grant proposal," Frehill said. "New Mexico State University's research focus, diverse student body and commitment to minority participation situate it ideally to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the ADVANCE program."

New Mexico State is one of eight universities to receive the ADVANCE grants this year, said Alice Hogan, the NSF's ADVANCE program manager. The other institutions are the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, the University of Puerto Rico - Humacao, the University of Colorado - Boulder, the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the University of California - Irvine.