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A Message from the Director:


Each new academic year begins with a sense of possibility and promise. This feels especially true in 2022, as we move hopefully back to a new sense of normalcy following an unprecedented set of changes brought about by COVID. Over these past two years, faculty have been called upon to transform their teaching, alter their research plans, and adjust to working from home and online. While WSU faculty, staff, and administrators rose to these challenges, I know we all look forward to returning to our classrooms, our labs, our archives, and to in-person collaborations and networking opportunities. The opportunities to work together, to share resources, to mentor and be mentored have been true losses for many of us over these past few years. The coming year promises to be a time to restore and repair those losses.

I am eager to begin this new year with ADVANCE at WSU and to continue its signature programs, supported by the WSU Provost’s Office. This funding has allowed ADVANCE at WSU to substantively expand its mission by supporting all historically underrepresented tenure and tenure track faculty in all disciplines at WSU, regardless of gender identity. These goals, of course, align neatly with the goals and priorities of the Provost’s Equity and Diversity Initiatives.

As in past years, ADVANCE at WSU will oversee a variety of grant opportunities, including the External Mentor Program which supports faculty in identifying faculty members at outside institutions who can serve as mentors and academic role models. The External Mentor-Pilot Extension Program is available to previous recipients of the External Mentor Program and supports faculty in conducting preliminary research that will make them more competitive for external grants and funding. The Leadership Training Program offers support for faculty wishing to participate in leadership trainings and other leadership opportunities. ADVANCE’s Transitions Program grant offers assistance to faculty navigating work or life changes while also maintaining excellence in their work.  The Travel Assistance Award supports historically underrepresented faculty in career development by offering funding for dependent’s conference travel. To learn more, visit our “Grants Opportunities and Programs” page.

I also look forward to partnering with existing groups across WSU’s campuses to continue to support and mentor WSU’s top-tier faculty. The kinds of workshops, trainings, networking, and other events I have envisioned for the coming year represent a continuation of the foundational work of Masha Garstein who has been ADVANCE at WSU’s Director since 2015. I am grateful for her leadership and for sharing her wealth of knowledge with me.

ADVANCE at WSU has many exciting things in store for the year ahead, so please keep your eyes open for news about upcoming events and share with your departments and colleagues.







Jennifer Thigpen

Associate Professor of History

Director of ADVANCE at WSU

Interesting Read

A call to create funding equity for researcher-mums
By Amanda Heidt


Mothers in academic research and those who support them say in a report that the funding system can and should remedy gender bias in the sciences.

Read more about this report and the ‘maternal wall’ HERE!



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