The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI), the Office of the Vice President for Research (OSVPR) Interdisciplinary Research Institutes, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity will host a professional development event entitled “Initiative for Faculty Success and Equity Workshop” on Thursday, August 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. The free event will build upon knowledge and practical skills and offer information on how to better center equity and inclusion in the search and career development of Penn State faculty.
The full-day event will include a hybrid (in-person and livestreamed) morning session open to all Penn State faculty as well as in-person workshops in the afternoon, which will require registration. Lunch will be provided for all in-person participants and the day will wrap up with networking and cocktails.
Planned as a series of events, the Initiative for Faculty Success and Equity (IFSE) workshop will promote President Neeli Bendapudi’s recently outlined goals of the diversification of faculty and creation of more robust communities of support for faculty of all backgrounds. The event will also partner with Mentoring Models for Faculty Success (MMfFS), a working group of faculty members committed to creating opportunities to share mentoring practices on Penn State’s campuses.
“Recently reported data suggest that Penn State is making some progress, but meaningful movement forward in this area demands that we collectively reflect on our current faculty search and recruitment practices as well as consider how and what we presently do to support a diversity of faculty and make adjustments to better center equity as a practical guide to our routine operations and engagement with others,” said Jenny Hamer, interim associate provost and senior faculty mentor for educational equity, director of the Midcareer Faculty Advancement Program, and professor of African American studies and women's, gender, and sexuality studies.
Joyce Yen, director of the University of Washington ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change, will be the event’s morning keynote speaker. Dr. Yen’s talk is titled “Reconceptualizing Faculty Mentoring.”
“We are excited to have Dr. Yen talk about research that informs effective mentoring practice with a focus on how to meet the needs of a diverse faculty to promote their success,” said Wendy Hanna-Rose, MMfFS chair and department head and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.
The keynote talk will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Hamer and focused on the role of mentors and mentoring throughout the career cycle through a conversation with underrepresented faculty.
The afternoon session will include hands-on workshops designed to build competency and skill in mentoring and the conduct of equitable faculty searches. Topics will include effective communication, personal coaching, peer coaching circles, and aligning mentoring expectations between mentors and mentees.
Workshops will be led by Joyce Yen; Ray Block, Brown-McCourtney Career Development Professor and associate professor of political science and African American studies; Jeanine Staples, professor of literacy and language, African American studies, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and others trained and experienced in supporting career development. The Eberly College of Science Next Steps Committee will also hold a workshop designed to provide faculty on search committees best practices in conducting an inclusive search.
“This August workshop is planned as the first IFSE event and is designed to enhance and maintain cultures of inclusive excellence in the Penn State research community, which are key to supporting President Bendapudi’s goals to grow research excellence and to foster diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging,” said Deborah Ehrenthal, director of SSRI.
For more information about the workshop and to register, go here.