University of Houston receives $3.3M grant to promote women in STEM fields

Elissa Rivas Image
Saturday, August 30, 2014

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The University of Houston has received a $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

A visit to the University of Houston reveals one of the most diverse student populations in the country and the same cannot be said of every part of the faculty.

"It's so important that our faculty is representative of our student body, and so faculty of color, women of color, that is something that we're focusing on within the STEM faculty," said Dr. Holly Hutchins.

Associate Professor, Dr. Hutchins and her colleague Dr. Lisa Penney are among the faculty involved in changing the dynamics for the university with a new $3.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

As part of a program called ADVANCE, the school will use the money to recruit educators and administrators of color within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math - STEM disciplines.

"For the U.S. to remain competitive in technology, it's important for us to have more people involved in STEM, and the big part of that initiative is attracting more women, and more women of color into STEM fields," said Dr. Lisa Penney.

What's good for the faculty is good for the students.

"(It's) to increase gender equity for women in the STEM academic workforce," said Dr. Hutchins.

"More role models for our students, our diverse student population," Dr. Penney said.

And ultimately that is good for the workforce.

"In Houston, with oil and gas, and medical, and things like that it gives us a great opportunity to provide a pipeline," Dr. Penney said.

To learn more about the UH Center for ADVANCING Faculty Success, visit: