In science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines within the United States; women faculty are underrepresented within many disciplines including engineering, computer science, and physics. At a large private university, RIT, the ADVANCE institutional transformation project (supported by NSF Award No. 1209115), referred to as Advance RIT, aims to increase the representation and advancement of women STEM faculty (which includes social and behavioral sciences, SBS) by removing barriers to resources that support career success and by creating new interventions and resources. This paper reports on the design, delivery and evaluation of a professional development workshop series, called the Connectivity Series, which is a vital initiative within this large-scale, multi-year, strategic institutional transformation project. The workshop series consists of programs to promote the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty. The project team developed workshop themes based upon the results of a faculty climate survey and a literature review as part of a previously conducted NSF ADVANCE funded self-study (0811076). Project researchers created the Connectivity Series for all tenure-track women faculty on campus as well as targeted workshops for women of color and deaf and hard of hearing women faculty. All disciplines represented within the university (STEM and non-STEM) have been identified as the target audience for workshop offerings due to the high prevalence of STEM disciplines within the university. Program assessment and evaluation results are presented. In addition, a sustainability plan is outlined for continuation of these targeted workshops beyond the five-year grant funding period.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Presented at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, 2016.

Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Sociology and Anthropology (CLA)


RIT – Main Campus