AdvanceRIT & CREW Connections Welcome Back Session
Date: Thursday, September 17, 2020
This semester’s Welcome Back Session was a virtual meeting that promoted the Advance program’s mission of recruitment and retention through networking. The overall goal is to connect with other women faculty from colleges all over campus and speak on a variety of topics such as research, teaching, social, and work-life balance issues. The session was very successful with over twenty women faculty attending. The session began with a welcome from Provost Ellen Granberg and Associate Provost Carmie Garzione. Feedback from the event showed that the majority of the participants thought the most useful aspect of the event was getting to meet and interact with other women faculty, and the session was very valuable.
Best Practices in Coaching
Dates: Monday, September 21 & Wednesday, September 23
In this workshop led by Molly McGowan participants went through various scenarios that helped them understand and learn how to be better coaches. The workshop gave tools and strategies on how to build meaningful and productive relationships for personal and professional success. Participants learned about effective coaching strategies and to explore the skills needed to coach successfully. There were two sessions held with a total participation of 16 people. All the participants thought that the session was a valuable use of their time with feedback such as “I really enjoyed the role play. It was helpful to uncover good practices for coaching by actually trying it out”. Over 75% of the participants also found the session useful to their overall career success and found it very useful to listen to the different models and experiences of coaching.
Software Engineering Seminar: Diversity Workshop
Date: Tuesday, September 29
In this diversity workshop led by Professor Betsy Dell, Professor Sharon Mason (GCCIS), and Associate Professor Sonia Lopez Alarcon (KGCOE), Software Engineering students participated in a workshop about vibrant learning environments and how to facilitate learning environments and teamwork within their groups to support these environments. Topics such as ground rules, and how to set up groups and environments that are more inclusive to all were discussed to facilitate discussion and thoughts about diversity. 140 faculty, staff, and students participated in the workshop. Of those that responded to the survey, 80% of students replied that they got a better understanding of how diversity of ideas can help to create better learning environments. Some feedback from the students, when asked about their most significant takeaway from the workshop, was “How to give everyone a fair shot during a group session”, “The awareness of the discrepancy between men and women, and how we should change society to create a more balanced playing field” and “learning about the unconscious bias”.
CREW Connections for Pre-Tenure Women Faculty
Friday, October 16 and Thursday, November 5
The purpose of these sessions was to provide an opportunity for networking, skill-building, and developing strategies for career success. They will provide an informal forum for making connections and finding resources. CREW Connections will also provide an opportunity for pre-tenure women faculty to meet senior faculty to discuss topics related to career success and learn more about the Council for the Representation & Engagement of Women Faculty (CREW) and AdvanceRIT.
For the first session, more than 90% of the participants stating that they found the session valuable. Every participant also said that attending this session provided skills or information that supports career success. When asked what the most useful aspect of the session was some responses were, “hearing other faculty’s experience”, “tips for networking, grant writing…candid reflections from people…”, and “information regarding tracking scholarship here at RIT”.
The second session went much like the first where more than 70% of participants found this session valuable. This session also provided participants with an opportunity to develop their RIT network and more than 80% of respondents said that this session gave them valuable skills and tips for career success. Respondents said that their most significant takeaway was “learning about UMASS Amherst’s COVID best practices”, “Being able to ask questions and get feedback”, and “It was nice to hear reflections from more experienced scholars”.
Learning Circle: Success Strategies for Women Faculty
Twenty women faculty participated in the AdvanceRIT learning circle this fall. It was facilitated by Advance Director, Betsy Dell and co-facilitated by Sarah Sarchet (NTID) and Malar Hirudayaraj (SCOB). The goal of the learning circle was to set up a supportive network of women faculty on topics related to career success and work-life balance. The circle utilized guided activities and discussion, built connections across the university, and provided the opportunity to build a network of potential new mentors, collaborators, and sponsors across campus. The learning circle utilized the book: The Coach’s Guide for Women Professors: Who Want a Successful Career and a Well-Balanced Life by Rena Seltzer to guide discussion and development of action plans. Weekly guest speakers shared tips and strategies for career success. The guests included Provost Ellen Granberg, Vice Provost Carmie Garzione, and faculty from across RIT: Callie Babbitt (GIS), Jeanne Christman (CET), Ammina Kothari (COLA), dt Ogilve (SCOB), Laura Tubbs (COS), and Maureen Valentine (CET).
Faculty who participated in the Learning Circle indicated participating in the circle was a “lifeline” and was “me time.” They felt the sessions provided a warm, friendly atmosphere where they could be open and honest with others going through similar challenges. Of those who completed the session evaluation (75% of participants), 100% indicated participating in the learning circle was a valuable use of their time and that it provided an opportunity for them to develop their network art RIT. 93% found the book useful in developing strategies for career success. The book was “Extremely relevant [and] inclusive of various perspectives.” Participants indicated they look forward to continued connection and support from the other participants in their learning circle.