Women’s Research Forum Finds its Niche at RIT

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March 13 talk focuses on African-American women and professional development

It’s Women’s History Month and the Women’s Research Forum is spreading the word of new things to come at Rochester Institute of Technology. The forum gives women across campus a platform and a place to share new research, elicit feedback and interact with colleagues and students.

The series of talks—free and open to the public—is an offshoot of the RIT women’s studies coordinating committee, which oversees the women’s studies minor and concentration in the College of Liberal Arts.

"What we’re trying to do in women’s studies is extend our activities beyond curricular concerns into areas that will allow faculty and students to interact outside the classroom," says Tina Lent, chair of the fine arts department in CLA and the women’s studies coordinating committee. "It gives us an opportunity to see what other RIT people are doing." The interdisciplinary nature of women’s studies means that the topics of research are as varied as their methodologies, Lent adds.

The forum also raises awareness of women’s research on campus and reaches out to faculty, notes Christine Kray, RIT professor of anthropology and women’s research forum coordinator.

The next talk will focus on how African-American women think about their careers and the role of mentoring as part of their professional development.

Kijana Crawford, professor of sociology at RIT, will present The Role and Function of Mentoring in Higher Education: African American Female Administrators at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, in the Liberal Arts Building, in the first-floor commons room.

Mentoring leads to upward mobility in employment, success in education and personal development. Crawford’s research pinpoints the impact of mentoring on ethnic, gender and cultural groups, and recommends how African-American female administrators in higher education, in particular, can further advance their career choice and development.

For more information about the women’s forum, contact Christine Kray at 585-475-4686.

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