Advisory Committees

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Internal Advisory Committee

The individuals on the Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) will meet at least three times per year to assist the Leadership Team with issues that arise, hear reports on progress, and help implement programs and policies within their colleges and the University as a whole.

D. Gary Harlow
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics

Donald Hall
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Tiffany Jing Li
Associate Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Anne Meltzer
Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Vincent Munley, IAC Secretary
Professor of Economics, Deputy Provost, Faculty Affairs

Frank Pazzaglia
Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Science

Alan Snyder
Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies

Jennifer Swann, IAC Chair
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

S. David Wu
Dean, Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science


External Advisory Committee

The External Advisory Committee is comprised of national experts in research and programs on advancing the careers of women STEM faculty. Alice Gast, President of Lehigh University will chair the committee which aims to meet once a year.

Alice P. Gast, Chair of External Advisory Committee

Dr. Alice P. Gast, an internationally renowned scholar, researcher and academic leader, was appointed the 13th president of Lehigh University in 2006. Prior to her appointment at Lehigh, Dr. Gast served as the vice president for research and associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and held the Robert T. Haslam chair in chemical engineering. She previously spent 16 years as a professor of chemical engineering at Stanford University and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory.

Dr. Gast was named one of the top 100 “Modern Era” engineers in the country, under the category of “Leadership” by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She studies surface and interfacial phenomena, in particular the behavior of complex fluids. In 2010, Dr. Gast was named to the prestigious post of science envoy by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the U.S. Department of State. As one of three science envoys named in 2010, Dr. Gast will travel to the Caucasus and Central Asia and advise the White House, the Department of State, and the U.S. scientific community about ways to deepen existing ties and foster new relationships there. Additionally, Dr. Gast is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Karen A. Thole

Dr. Karen A. Thole is the head of the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. She holds two degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. After receiving her PhD, she spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Karslruhe in Germany. Her academic career began in 1994 when she became an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1999, she accepted a position in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech where she was promoted to Professor in 2003. She was appointed as the Department Head at Penn State in 2006. Dr. Thole’s areas of expertise are heat transfer and fluid mechanics specializing in gas turbine heat transfer. She has co-authored more than 120 peer-reviewed papers and has advised over 35 graduate dissertations and theses. She is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering serving as the Vice Chair for the Mechanical Engineering Department Heads Executive Committee and as a member of the Committee on Honors. She also serves on the Board of Directors for both the Center for Education and the International Gas Turbine Institute.

Jo Handelsman

Dr. Jo Handelsman is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984 and joined the faculty in 1985. Her research focuses on the genetic and functional diversity of microorganisms in soil and insect gut communities. She is one of the pioneers of functional metagenomics, an approach to accessing the genetic potential of unculturable bacteria in environmental samples.

In addition to her research program, Dr. Handelsman is nationally known for her efforts to improve science education and increase the participation of women and minorities in science at the university level. She co-founded the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute at UW-Madison, which has designed and evaluated interventions intended to enhance the participation of women in science. Her leadership in women in science led to her appointment as the first President of the Rosalind Franklin Society and her service on the National Academies’ panel that wrote the 2006 report, “Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering,” which documented the issues of women in science and recommended changes to universities and federal funding agencies.

Jennifer Sheridan

Dr. Jennifer Sheridan received her PhD from the Department of Sociology at UW-Madison in August 2001, specializing in social stratification and quantitative research methods. Her graduate work focused on the social origins and implications of occupational sex segregation. She has authored or co-authored fourteen peer-reviewed papers, covering topics such as measurement of occupational standing, long-term effects of childhood abuse, and her current line of inquiry, the status of women in science and engineering.

As WISELI’s executive and research director, Dr. Sheridan develops and oversees the workshops and grant programs administered by WISELI, as well as the research and evaluation produced by WISELI, including two all-faculty climate surveys administered in 2003 and 2006.

Susan Carlson

Dr. Susan Carlson was appointed Vice Provost for Academic Personnel at the University of California in 2010 after nearly 30 years as an administrator and faculty member at Iowa State University. Most recently, Dr. Carlson served as both Interim Provost and Associate Provost at Iowa State, where her responsibilities included faculty affairs, diversity, leadership initiatives, and academic restructuring. Dr. Carlson directed promotion and tenure policy, faculty recruitment and retention initiatives, flexible faculty career programs, faculty data collection, and university wide diversity initiatives. Working with the Faculty Senate, she developed policies for part-time appointments, faculty review and advancement, and non-tenure-eligible faculty. She served as the PI on two National Science Foundation-funded programs to diversify both the faculty and their research collaborations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical disciplines. Dr. Carlson serves on the executive board for the Office of Women in Higher Education (American Council on Education), and she advises several NSF ADVANCE programs. As a faculty member, she has taught a wide range of courses in literature and authored two books and numerous publications on dramatic comedy, women playwrights, and British theatre. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. from the University of Oregon and a B.A. from the University of Iowa.