‘20/20 Research in Focus’ colloquium series highlighting women faculty research opens Sept. 14

RIT’s Council for the Representation and Engagement of Women—CREW—features research initiatives by women faculty

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“20/20 Research in Focus,” a new research-focused information and networking series, opens this fall with its first program from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the Golisano Hall auditorium, located in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. The kick-off event, sponsored by an Advance RIT Connect grant, is one of several initiatives being led by RIT’s Council for the Representation and Engagement of Women (CREW) faculty, to highlight the university’s commitment to faculty career development, including research being done by women faculty.

Keynote speaker for the kickoff event is Doreen Edwards, recently appointed dean of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. She will discuss how to establish research collaborations and share her extensive experiences as a professor, researcher, administrator and leader of university-corporate research collaborations. CREW will also recognize newly-tenured and promoted women faculty at the event.

The event is free and open to all faculty and staff.

“20/20 Research in Focus” uses a succinct and economical story-telling concept where 20 images are shown for 20 seconds each, advanced automatically, while the speaker shares topical information. The fast-paced presentation style has become a popular way of introducing participants to various topics, and allows audiences to follow up with informal networking after the presentation. RIT’s event will use this same model.

“We have high hopes that these unusual events will encourage conversation and collaboration between faculty from diverse fields, as well as increase awareness and appreciation of the exciting work being done by women faculty across campus,” said Robin Cass, associate dean in RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. She is one of the program coordinators and a member of CREW, an advisory council to the provost to support efforts to retain and promote the career success of women faculty at RIT.

Barriers to advancement for women faculty are often related to issues of career navigation, environment and work/life balance. In career navigation, advancement toward tenure and promotion relies, in part, on research and scholarship. CREW is charged with helping women faculty develop support networks, partake of mentor activities and with fostering an environment of professional and academic success, including building strong research platforms. RIT has been working over the past several years through CREW and Advance RIT to promote strategies for career success of women faculty at the university.

Betsy Dell, RIT faculty associate for women, is chair of CREW, which is made up of individuals representing all RIT’s colleges as well as the offices of Diversity and Inclusion, Faculty Recruitment and Advance RIT. Dell is also an associate professor in the manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology department in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology.

The “20/20 Research in Focus” series will continue throughout the academic year. More information about the current or upcoming programs can be found online or by contacting Erica Hickey at elh4312@rit.edu. Networking takes place after the main presentation; refreshments will be served.