Jessica Schiffman, an associate professor in the Chemical Engineering Department (ChE) and the Professor James M. Douglas Career Development Faculty Fellow, will be serving as an ADVANCE Collaboration & Equity (ACE) Faculty Fellow this year, starting in the fall of 2019 and functioning in that capacity for a 12-month term to promote institutional gender equity.
UMass Amherst was recently awarded a five-year (2018-2023) $3-million ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support our efforts at advancing gender equality. The goal of the ADVANCE program is to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, thereby contributing to the development of a more diverse science and engineering workforce.
ACE Faculty Fellows partner with the UMass ADVANCE-IT Team, providing recommendations and feedback about ADVANCE programming and resources and promoting ADVANCE program efforts in their departments.
ADVANCE encourages institutions of higher education and the broader science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) community, including professional societies and other STEM-related, not-for-profit organizations, to address various aspects of STEM academic culture and institutional structure that may differentially affect women faculty and academic administrators.
Some of the jobs that Schiffman plans to perform as an ACE Fellow include: promoting the activities of the ADVANCE Program for Collaboration & Equity; attending a meeting each semester with the ADVANCE Team; providing feedback on programming and suggesting additional programming or ADVANCE investments; sending notices out to department members about upcoming ADVANCE events; meeting with faculty being recruited and inform them of ADVANCE Program activities; encouraging department members to apply for collaborative research seed grants and ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Team grants; cultivating other faculty members to become future ADVANCE Faculty Fellows; remaining a resource for ADVANCE after her term has expired; and attending a dinner with campus leaders, recognizing her work as an ACE Faculty Fellow.
The Schiffman Research Group is an interdisciplinary and imaginative research group that designs and applies “greener” materials toward new solutions to grand challenges in human health.
“As an engineer, I want to solve problems,” as Schiffman says. “As part of the ADVANCE-IT Team, I look forward to providing recommendations and feedback about how we can continue to improve and cultivate an environment of equity and inclusion that supports collaboration.” (July 2019)