Visibility Component

The visibility component of JSU ADVANCE was specifically designed for JSU STEM-SBS senior women faculty to expand their horizons, and highlight their work and accomplishments locally, nationally, and abroad. JSU ADVANCE leadership and international mentors assisted senior and junior female faculty members with establishing visibility, and a national and international reputation. JSU ADVANCE also established a program to support travel to national and international conferences. In partnership with other JSU initiatives, JSU ADVANCE mentored and coached participants through the process of gaining access to international opportunities in order to establish networks with scholars from other universities and to present ongoing research at universities in other countries. Special efforts were planned to establish scholarly research groups consisting of both male and female faculty with the goal of increasing opportunities for women in STEM and SBS to gain increased exposure and self-efficacy in the area of international research collaborations.

PURPOSE
JSU ADVANCE facilitated opportunities for senior and junior women faculty in STEM and SBS disciplines to broaden their horizons; present their research to local, national and international audiences; and expand their networks to include colleagues across the globe.

AUDIENCE
The target audience was women faculty in STEM and SBS disciplines who were at the Associate or Full Professor rank. While not initially targeted, applications were considered from Assistant Professors. A special emphasis was made to target women from a variety of STEM-SBS disciplines, especially those disciplines where there was a match with the host institutions. Other participants from other disciplines were invited if they had international experience or collaborations with the host institutions.

DESIGN

  • Goals
  • • Increase the national and international exposure of STEM-SBS senior female faculty.
  • • Support and encourage travel to national and international conferences in related fields.
  • • Cultivate academic faculty international travel groups to establish global peers for collaborative activities.

 

  • Objectives:
  • • Facilitate senior female faculty participation, whose experiences with and opportunities for international research exposure were limited.
  • • Establish visibility by supporting their travel to national and international conferences on related areas of research.
  • • Cultivate STEM-SBS national and international reputations.

 

  • Activities:
  • 1. JSU ADVANCE partnered with the Division of Academic Affairs and the Office of International Studies in designing and implementing the Visibility Component.
  • 2. The 1st JSU ADVANCE International Group Travel journeyed to India in June of 2011.
  • 3. The 2nd JSU ADVANCE International Group Travel travelled to South Africa in May of 2012.
  • 4. JSU Faculty were provided opportunities for travel support to participate in international conferences in their respective fields.
  • 5. JSU participants conducted follow-up activities which included additional travel, projects, papers, and presentations with international collaborators.

 
EVALUATION

  • Selected Outcomes:
  •  
  • 1. A team of three faculty members and the Project Director (2 Computer Science, 1 Technology, and 1 Biology) participated in a 10-day trip to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, and New Delphi, India. Team members made academic presentations on several campuses and visited with institutional faculty members and administrative representatives seeking opportunities for collaboration.
  • 2. The JSU ADVANCE Team of five female faculty members visited and presented at the University of Western Cape (Bellville, South Africa), Durban University of Technology (Durban, South Africa), University of Zululand (KwaDlangezwa, South Africa), and Kwa-Zulu Natal University (Durban, South Africa).
  • 3. Four female faculty members from STEM-SBS submitted papers, all of which were accepted to the 5th International Conference on Appropriate Technology, hosted in November 2012 in Pretoria, South Africa. In addition to the paper presentations, the JSU ADVANCE Team hosted a round-table discussion on Women, Leadership, and Appropriate Technology from an International perspective.
  • 4. Two team members were invited and supported by the US Embassy in India to present a talk at the U.S. – India Workshop on Best Practices for Women in Science in Delhi, India in December 2012, and to discuss the next steps for a collaborative project focused on US and India women in science.
  • 5. The ADVANCE Team was invited and presented at the Latin American and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions (LACCEI) in Guayaquil, Ecuador in July 2014. Several STEM-SBS members were supported and participated in international travel and/or international collaborations.

 
 
LESSONS LEARNED

  • • International Group Travel proved to be a very effective means of increasing international collaborations among women in STEM-SBS at JSU. The presence of these women also served to encourage women and men from countries and universities visited to seek disciplinary partnerships in research and academic matters. Many institutional leaders expressed an interest in seeking ways of addressing gender-related issues at their campuses and in their countries.
  • • Facilitating Impactful International Research Group experiences is most effectively carried out when the research group includes at least one institutional representative from International Studies or includes a faculty member who has some international collaborations and/or connections in order to assist in negotiating the cultural and potential scientific differences and to help reduce anxiety. Pre-travel briefings are also very beneficial.
  • • Coordinating Strong and Lasting International Visibility experiences requires careful attention to both the selection of participants (Is international visibility a logical next step in their career advancement plan?) as well as in the selection of partners from the host institution/country (Is there a demonstrated interest in international collaboration? Are there commonalities in research interests?).