While women in STEM fields have participated in HERS Institutes since the first program in 1976, HERS has recently initiated a new focus on women in STEM with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation. The special grant honors the 25th anniversary of the Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program. Part of the funding provides CBL Scholarships for 36 women to attend HERS Institutes, 12 participants each summer 2016-2018. Another key part of the HERS-CBL program is the development of a HERS Women’s Leadership Community for STEM Higher Education.
The goals of the HERS STEM Community are to provide support and encouragement to women in STEM and to develop strategies for advancing a diverse cadre of women into STEM leadership roles. Based on experience with HERS alumnae in STEM fields and research on women’s leadership paths, HERS has identified the importance of women leaders having structured peer and mentor connections at various stages of their careers. Working together, this community of women leaders can thrive and shape a new environment for equality and excellence in STEM higher education.
HERS Luce Program
To begin the process of creating a STEM Community, HERS created the HERS Luce Program during the 2016 Summer Institutes. The Program offers the option of being in a STEM cohort while participating in special sessions that were of particular relevance to women in STEM but open to everyone. All Institute participants were invited to join. At both 2016 Summer Institutes, one-third of the class participated in the HERS Luce Program. Most were faculty in STEM fields but others were in related fields or programs supporting STEM faculty and students.
HERS Luce Associates
At each Summer Institute, a Luce Associate will be in residence to support the Luce Group participants. The Luce Associates are HERS Institutes Alumnae from STEM fields.
- 2016 HERS Luce Associates: Christine de Denus and Jennifer Manilay
More information about applications for the 2017 Luce Associates will be available by November 28, 2016.
STEM Alumnae Advisory Group
As part of the Luce Program HERS has formed a STEM Advisory Group, comprised of HERS Institutes Alumnae in STEM fields now holding senior leadership positions. The Group supports the development of the STEM curriculum at the Institute, helps with the selection of the CBL Scholarship recipients, and advises on the development of a STEM community. Members also participate in HERS STEM Community events.