The Connectivity Series developed by AdvanceRIT at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) creates and delivers an effective professional development workshop series for faculty and staff within RIT. The series focuses in four areas: 1) events aimed at organizational learning and development and unconscious bias, 2) recruitment of women faculty, 3) retention of women faculty, and 4) advancement of women faculty. As part of the larger AdvanceRIT program of offerings, the series is designed to make progress in all four Bolman and Deal frames for understanding organizations in order to make systemic improvements for women faculty at RIT, and especially for Women of Color (WoC) faculty and deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) faculty.

The Connectivity Series includes events organized by the AdvanceRIT team; the series also operates as an umbrella program for events hosted by Connect grantees and others. There have been 189 Connectivity Series events from Year 2 to Year 7. The Women of Color (WoC) and Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Connectivity Series’ events comprised about 34% (64/189) of all mapped Connectivity Series events for years 2-7. These events were led by faculty in each population and content for each series was developed based on quantitative and qualitative research performed by RIT faculty.

The Connectivity Series was intentionally inclusive. While the target population was women faculty in STEM fields, all RIT faculty were typically invited; staff who work closely with students were also sometimes invited. On average, 94% reported that attending events was a valuable use of their time.


Summary of Unique Attendees at Connectivity Series Events (Grant Years 2-7):


Total Unique Attendees


Tenured or Tenure-stream Attendees*


Unconscious Bias Events (n=45)



















*The TT attendees represent over 83% of women TT faculty (270/326) based on the number of women faculty offered the opportunity to attend a Series event over years 2-7 and 47% of men TT faculty (298/630). 

Connectivity Series events fulfilled the Bolman and Deal frames to the following extents: Human Resources goals (176 events or 93% of all events), Symbolic goals (120, 63%), Political goals (89, 47%), and Structural goals (83, 44%). Given the intent of the series, the focus on Human Resources goals is appropriate. Four focus groups were conducted in December 2017 with 24 participants to understand the impact of the Connectivity Series events. The greatest impacts were as follows. Participants indicated that the Connectivity Series events helped them to strategically advance their careers whether pursuing promotion and tenure or finding other researchers with aligned interests. In addition, the Connectivity Series offered attendees opportunities to learn from and identify with other women in academia, and expand their communities and networks. Interviewees described valuable strategies they learned through Connectivity Series events, such as building awareness about bias and being increasingly proactive at intervening against discriminatory acts.

[1] In their book on “Reframing Organizations,” Bolman and Deal offer four frames or lenses through which individuals experience and view their organizations. The AdvanceRIT project is designed to make progress in all four frames in order to make systemic improvements for women faculty at RIT.


The objectives of the Connectivity Series include developing strategies and competencies related to:

  • Career satisfaction
  • Career navigation
  • Work-life balance
  • Leadership development
  • Recognition of work
  • Scholarship (research and dissemination efforts)


Visit our Upcoming Events page to browse current offerings, or check out the Past Events page to read about previous workshops.


Photos from Michigan Players event on 2/28/18-3/1/18


Margaret Bailey

Center for Women & Gender


Women in Computing

Lana Verschage

Diversity & Inclusion

Taj Smith – Diversity Education


Kathy Ehrlich-Scheffer –WE@RIT

Venessa Mitchell - ECCO

Human Resources

Judy Rowling

ILI/FCDS and Office of the Provost

Anne Marie Canale

Cheryl Herdklotz

Jeremiah Parry-Hill

Tressi Daymon

Cooperative Education

Maria Richart

First Year Program

Stacy Nation-Knapper

Disability Services

Shelley Zoeke

Office of Graduate Education

Rauncie Ryan

Ombuds Office

Joe Johnston

Ashley Meyer

Public Safety

Gary Moxley

Academic Advising

Carla DeLucia           

Student Affairs –

Kristina Colleluori – Counseling

Sara Engel – Wellness

Harold Fields – Residence Life

Erin Halligan-Avery – Wellness

David Reetz – Counseling     

Title IX

Stacy Derooy

Women and Gender Studies

Silvia Benso   

Women in Technology

Nykki Matthews


Chris Hinesley

Staff Council

Lindsay Vallone – Advisor (CET)

Susan Lindsay – Univ. Exploration