Celebrating the BGSU ALLIES grant are (back row, left to right) Lisa Hanasono, Karen Root, Deb O’Neilll, Hyun Kyoung Ro, Michael Zickar, Susana Peña, Ellen Broido, and Stacey Richener; front row (left to right) Margaret (Peg) Yacobucci, Sheila Roberts, Rachel Vannatta Reinhart and Michael Ogawa.

BGSU receives nearly $1 million NSF grant for faculty

Grant to enhance, highlight contributions of women in academic STEM careers

Celebrating the BGSU ALLIES grant are (back row, left to right) Lisa Hanasono, Karen Root, Deb O’Neilll, Hyun Kyoung Ro, Michael Zickar, Susana Peña, Ellen Broido, and Stacey Richener; front row (left to right) Margaret (Peg) Yacobucci, Sheila Roberts, Rachel Vannatta Reinhart and Michael Ogawa.

Bowling Green State University has earned a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of $984,484 to support the “BGSU ALLIES: Building Inclusive Leadership Practices and Policies to Transform the Institution” project. This award is given to qualifying institutions demonstrating a desire for social and institutional reform.

The award is granted through NSF’s Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering Careers (ADVANCE) program. The mission of ADVANCE is to develop systemic approaches to include, enhance and highlight the contributions of women in academic STEM careers. ADVANCE works to identify and eliminate organizational barriers that inhibit the full participation and advancement of diverse faculty in academic institutions.

The BGSU ALLIES project will focus on how administrators and faculty allies can work collaboratively to reduce biases and transform institutional policies and practices regarding gender equity. The project will adapt strategies to create allied partnerships between faculty departments and administrative leaders to produce a unified program of inclusive institutional operations.

“Our goal is to provide individual faculty with the tools they need to promote positive change and actively combat bias while also building a supportive network across campus.”

“By making allyship and inclusive leadership the expectation and norm at BGSU, the ALLIES program will directly help the University achieve its mission,” said Dr. Peg Yacobucci, professor of geology and principal investigator (PI) for the grant. “Our goal is to provide individual faculty with the tools they need to promote positive change and actively combat bias while also building a supportive network across campus.”

Yacobucci will serve as the project director, coordinating all project activities and assisting the development of faculty ally workshops. In addition to faculty workshops, BGSU ALLIES will support online professional development training modules, revise University policies and processes and collect data on faculty success. BGSU also will host a regional conference to share best practice research with other area institutions.

“The BGSU ALLIES program will bring together BGSU faculty and administrators to transform the policies and practices which impede the recruitment and career advancement of women faculty members in STEM fields at our university,” said Dr. Mike Ogawa, vice president of research and economic engagement at BGSU. “This is important work because it will also positively impact the career growth of all women faculty members at BGSU.”

This project is unique in that most research in ally building in higher education focuses on what STEM means for students while BGSU’s ALLIES project will contribute new and important information regarding gender equity for faculty and administrators working in the STEM fields. The long-term goal of the project is to enhance the University’s mission of building an inclusive environment dedicated to collaboration and shaping innovative leaders regionally, nationally and globally.