Advancing women in STEM fields at UH Hilo expands the impact that students, faculty and alumni have in the world.
In his monthly column published May 2, UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney discusses the findings of a recent campus survey on advancing women in STEM fields.
The Exploring Diversity and Gender Equity (EDGE) project at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo has completed its first two-year phase toward building a more conducive campus environment to recruit, retain and promote women faculty in science and engineering careers.
EDGE at UH Hilo is funded by the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program, which seeks to increase the participation and advancement of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields—a challenge directed at universities across the country—in order to develop a more diverse and therefore more globally competitive workforce. This is a challenge our local businesses face as well in hiring skilled employees on the island.
I serve as principal investigator of our program and Misaki Takabayashi, professor of marine science who currently serves as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is co-PI. Terrilani Chong is project administrator.
There is an important long-term goal here. Increasing the participation of women in STEM fields on our campus will strengthen the university in many ways—in our research, teaching, and community outreach—ensuring that all members of our university ‘ohana can fully participate in the increasingly global environment of higher education. In turn, this expands the impact that UH Hilo students, faculty and alumni have in the world.