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Washington State University


A Message from the Director:


2015-2018 has been a period of transformation for ADVANCE at WSU, as we transitioned from being an NSF funded effort, to a sustainable set of programs supported by the WSU Provost’s Office. There were some additional changes in the spring of 2019, as guided by the Steering Committee and the Provost, we expanded our programs to all tenured/tenure-track women faculty at WSU, including all academic units and not just those associated with STEMM fields. Of course, we still support all faculty who identify with under-represented minority groups, regardless of gender. Our efforts in line with the core mission set under NSF funding, focused on institutional transformation toward a bias-free/faculty-friendly environment, will also continue.

We are very enthusiastic about implementing our core programs under the new expanded mission, which includes support of under-represented minority faculty members and women faculty in all disciplines at WSU. We will continue to offer our existing grant opportunities: External Mentor/External Mentor-Pilot Extension; Transitions, Leadership Training, and the Travel Assistance Award Programs. ADVANCE at WSU has also made the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) resources available to the WSU community, funding participation in the highly regarded Faculty Success Program for multiple eligible faculty members under the Leadership Training Program award. These opportunities will continue in the 2019-2020 academic year and we will maintain our efforts to bring cutting-edge trainings, workshops, and networking opportunities to campus, through our ties to NCFDD, as well as other organizations.

Please contact us if you have any questions, and stay tuned for information regarding our many offerings and resources aimed at enhancing faculty success across the WSU community.

With best wishes for the start of another exciting academic year,

Masha Gartstein

Professor, Clinical-Development Psychology

Director of ADVANCE at WSU

Interesting Read

Mothering from the Field: The Impact of Motherhood on Site-Based Research


Click the image above to see the flyer 

Faculty Spotlight








Dr. Samantha Gizerian (Department of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience) 

Associate Professor and CO-PI of the Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) Grant

Samantha S. Gizerian, Clinical Assistant Professor, earned a B.S. degree in Biology from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1999, and a Ph.D. degree in Neurobiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005.  She then moved to a faculty position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, CA.  In 2011 she became a faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University as well as the advisor for all neuroscience undergraduates.

Brain development is a complex and prolonged process that is not complete until adulthood in most mammals, including humans, and therefore the events that may contribute to altered functional outcome are as varied as the human experience and may occur at any time between gestation and adulthood. The goal of Dr. Gizerian’s research is to look at discrete changes in the environment (both internal and external) during brain development and evaluate their relevance to altered structural and functional outcome, such as in mental illness, autism, or developmental delay.  In particular, her lab focuses on schizophrenia, which, although long considered a developmental disorder, is usually diagnosed in younger adults.  Her lab utilizes a rodent model to investigate the purported link between of early life stress and later diagnosis with schizophrenia.

Science is a part of every moment of modern life, yet the majority of adults have very little understanding of how science shapes the world they live in, or how technology protects and provides for them.  Despite society’s increasing reliance on science and technology, misperceptions about scientists and the practice of science, decreased emphasis on science education at all levels, and the idea that science is “hard” have all contributed to a marked contrast in science literacy between scientists and laypersons. Dr. Gizerian is also interested in exploring questions of public science literacy, through education, outreach, and better communication by scientists.

Dr. Gizerian, along with her CO-PIs PIs Mary Sanchez Lanier and Alla Kostyukova, recently received funding for the Motivating Innovation and Research Achievement (MIRA) program at WSU. MIRA will equip high achieving freshman and sophomores from groups underrepresented in STEM with the skills needed to complete their undergraduate degrees, matriculate into a graduate program, and pursue a career in biomedical research.  The MIRA program will take an innovative approach in building a cohort of students who will build their skills and knowledge in STEM through a summer bridge program, research skills courses, and mentored laboratory research.  MIRA Scholars will also receive financial support from the program to allow them to focus on their academic and research obligations without having to find additional sources of income. MIRA is funded by a National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) R25 Enhancing Science, Technology, EnginEering, and Math Educational Diversity (ESTEEMED) grant. You can read more about the MIRA program here.

We are actively seeking nominations. A candidate will be featured in August and in January.



ADVANCE at WSU Lighty Building, Room 190F  P.O. Box 641061 Pullman, WA 99164-1061

 509-335-9739  Contact Us

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