Past Events

“A Celebration of Newly Promoted Women Faculty”
Wednesday, March 6


An event for women faculty in support of your newly promoted women faculty.

Pitt is one of 10 partner institutions in an NSF ADVANCE grant to seed gender equity among faculty (for more information on this, visit here). As part of the Pitt initiative, the “Celebration” was sponsored by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns (PACWC) and featured a panel of experienced women faculty who offered their perspectives and advice for successful academic careers. 

The following accomplished faculty served as panelists:      

  • Gretchen Bender, Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, CGS, Assistant Chair & Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
  • Vivian Curran, Distinguished Professor of Law, School of Law
  • Jeannette South-Paul, Andrew W. Mathieson UPMC Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine

The panel was be moderated by Anne M. Robertson, Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence and William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Engineering, in the Swanson School of Engineering, and Kristin Kanthak, Associate Professor of Political Science, in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. Following the panel was a reception at which the newly promoted women faculty who were present were introduced. 

See upcoming Professional Development workshops for faculty here.

Annual Event to Welcome New Women Faculty

PACWC and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program co-sponsor the Annual Lecture and Reception Welcoming New Women Faculty. Featured speakers have included:

  • Melanie Hughes, Professor of Sociology, gave a lecture entitled "The Persistence of Gender Inequalities in Politics:  A Global Perspective" at the 2019 event.
  • Sara Goodkind, Associate Professor of Social Work, gave a lecture entitled "Redefining Resilience and Reframing Resistance: Girls' Empowerment in the #MeToo Era" at the 2018 event.
  • Amanda Godley, Professor of English Education and Language, Literacy & Culture, gave a lecture entitled "Gender, Intersectionality, and Equity in U.S. Schools" at the 2017 event.
  • Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Distinguished Professor of French, gave a lecture entitled "Medieval Holy Women as Political Strategists" at the 2016 event.
  • Lisa S. Parker, Professor of Human Genetics and Director of the Master of Arts Program in Bioethics, gave a lecture entitled "Gender, Genes, and Justice" at the 2015 event.
  • Lara E. Putnam, Professor and Chair, Department of History, gave a lecture entitled “Can We Worry about Children without Pathologizing Parents? Evidence from Transnational Black History” at the 2014 event.
  • Kathleen DeWalt (Musante), Professor of Anthropology, gave a lecture entitled “Are We Developed Yet? Gender and Development 20 Years after Beijing" at the 2013 event.
  • Debra Brake, Professor of Law, gave a lecture entitled “Telling Tales of Migrant Workers: Religion, Activism, and Women’s Life Scripts” at the 2012 event.
  • Dr. Jane Cauley, Professor of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, gave a lecture entitled “Vitamin D, Falls and Bone Health: Just the Facts” at the 2011 event.
  • Dr. Nicole Constable, Professor of Anthropology and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Arts and Sciences, gave a lecture entitled “Telling Tales of Migrant Workers: Religion, Activism, and Women’s Life Scripts.” at the 2010 event.
  • Dr. Nancy Davidson, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC Cancer Centers, gave a lecture entitled “Breast Cancer in the Molecular Era” at the 2009 event. 
  • Dr. Lucy Fischer, Distinguished Professor of Film Studies and the Director of the Film Studies Program, gave a lecture entitled “Seeing Stars: Bette Davis as Screen Actress in the 1930s” at the 2008 event. 
  • Dr. Lise Vesterlund, Andrew W. Mellon Chair in Economics, gave a lecture titled "How Costly is Diversity? Affirmative Action in Light of Gender Differences in Competitive Attitudes" at the 2007 event. 
  • Ms. Toi Derricotte, Professor of English, presented a reading titled "Beginning Dialogues: Mother & Daughter" at the 2006 event. 
  • Dr. Katherine Wisner, Professor of Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Epidemiology, and Women’s Studies, gave a lecture titled “From Fever Flowed Fame: A Psychiatric Evaluation of Florence Nightingale” at the 2005 event. 
  • Dr. Donna Gabaccia, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History, gave a lecture titled “Nations of Immigrants” at the 2004 event. 


Past Offerings

Provost's Diversity Institute for Faculty Development 2017

The 2017 Provost’s Diversity Institute for Faculty Development was created to offer University of Pittsburgh faculty the opportunity to increase awareness about diversity and develop the skills needed to teach in a diverse, multicultural environment. Whether it’s expanding your diversity mindfulness in classroom discussions or designing learning activities that incorporate a variety of perspectives, this institute is appropriate for any full- or part-time faculty member who wants to deepen their teaching practice.

Seminars on Race and Gender in Teaching

What White Institutions Can Learn from Hispanic-Serving Institutions
May 2017
Gina Garcia, School of Education

Identity Politics in the Classroom
May 2017
Gabby Yearwood, Dept. of Anthropology, Dept. of Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies

The Conversation Crisis: Managing Your Bias, Facilitating Conversations, and Finding Common Ground in the Classroom
May 2017
Mary Margaret Kerr, School of Education
Joe Horne, University Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching Race to College Students—2017 Black/White Update
June 2017
Ralph Bangs, University Center for International Studies

Students and Poverty

How Socioeconomic Factors Shape Student Learning and What We Can Do
May 2017
Lori Delale-O’Connor, Center for Urban Education
Gerald Dickinson, School of Law
Ken Regal, Just Harvest
Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal, Dept. of Psychology


Transformative Intergroup Dialogue Workshop

May 2017
Mario C. Browne and Erika Gold Kestenberg, Pitt Intergroup Dialogue Collaborative

Understanding Our Students Series

This series focused on understanding the intersection of various identities within the student experience. Faculty had the chance to hear what Pitt students have to say about these important topics, and to reflect on what it means for their teaching practice. Each workshop featured a faculty facilitator and a panel of Pitt students.

Understanding the Background and Academic Preparation of Students from Chinese Cultures
May 2017
Meiyi Song, University Center for Teaching and Learning

Political Diversity in the Classroom
May 2017
Andrew Lotz, Dept. of Political Science and Assistant Dean of Arts & Sciences

Muslim Student Perspectives
May 2017
Jeanette Jouili, Dept. of Religious Studies

Students on the Autism Spectrum
May 2017
Shaun Eack, School of Social Work


“How Bias Creeps into Decision Making and How to Minimize Its Impact” Workshop Series

“Recruiting an Excellent and Diverse Faculty: Mitigating the Effects of Implicit Bias in Decision-Making”
February 2017

In this session, Dr. Blee presented a protocol developed by the Dietrich School Diversity Committee to mitigate the effect of implicit bias in faculty recruiting and graduate student admissions.

The workshop was led by Dr. Kathleen Blee, Associate Dean, Chair of the Diversity Committee, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences. View a video recording of her workshop here.

“Understanding Unconscious Bias”
January 2017

Bias is part of being human. In our faculty roles as teachers, researchers, and academic leaders, it is critical to understand our biases, identify how these biases affect our judgments and decision making, and develop strategies to overcome our biases.

In this workshop participants reviewed the research on bias, identified how bias can creep into our judgments and decision making, and developed strategies for overcoming bias.

The workshop was led by Dr. Ann Thompson, Vice Dean of the University School of Medicine and Professor of Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics. Dr. Thompson is a certified trainer on unconscious bias and in leading this workshop used examples and exercises in a very interactive format.

“Are You Aware?” with Theater Delta
November 2016

This interactive theater performance explored obstacles in increasing diversity in faculty hiring. Participants viewed a faculty recruiting scene, interacted with the actors, and participated in a facilitated discussion about implicit bias. Questions explored in this workshop included: "How does implicit and unconscious bias operate?" and "How can we improve search outcomes through a better understanding of bias?"


"Academics as Leaders: Becoming More Effective and Efficient" Workshop Series

"Fundraising Fundamentals: Engaging Alumni and Potential Donors, Making an Ask, Stewardship"
Thursday, April 6, 2017
[Please be advised that the April 6 session has been postponed and will be rescheduled for Fall 2017]

In this interactive session we will focus on three core skills in fundraising: engagement, solicitation, and stewardship. Attendees will learn to think strategically about the process of fundraising from initial contact with potential donors to follow up with donors. The focus will be on takeaways that can be applied immediately.

This workshop will be led by Maura Farrell, Associate Head for Strategic and External Affairs, Winchester Thurston School

"Effective Conversations on Difficult Topics"
March 2017

Do you ever dread having conversations you know you should have, or steer clear of them entirely? Many people do, and for different reasons—perhaps to avoid the uncomfortable feelings that arise when discussing a conflict. You might be trying to protect a relationship you value. Maybe you aren’t as confident as you’d like to be in your ability to navigate through a contentious discussion. And yet, in all likelihood, ignoring the issue won’t improve the situation. In this engaging and interactive session, attendees were provided with practical tools and techniques for enhancing your confidence and effectiveness in tackling challenging or uncomfortable discussions. This session prepared attendees with their own personal examples of a challenging discussion they needed to have—the facilitators helped attendees explore ways to improve their outcomes.

The workshop was led by Alice Pescuric, Talent Management Consultant.

"Creating Change: Agility and Execution"
February 2017

In today’s world, change is the only constant, and the ability to adapt is critical for departments and schools. But organizing and leading change is hard. In this workshop, we discuss a strategic approach to change management. The workshop integrated practical examples and best practices with the latest knowledge in human behavior, network dynamics, communication, and process management. Attendees left with greater insight and a practical toolkit for managing change.

The workshop was led by Dr. Ravi Madhavan, Professor of Business Administration, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. View a video recording of his workshop here.

"How Can Greater Self-Insight Make Your Job Easier and Make You More Productive?"
January 2017

Alice Pescuric, Talent Management Consultant, facilitated a professional development session designed specifically for faculty in administrative roles, with a focus on developing better self-insight, thereby making your time in academic administration more productive and more rewarding.

The workshop was led by Alice Pescuric, Talent Management Consultant. Alice has more than 25 years of experience in the field of Human Resources, and she is currently an independent consultant focused on the areas of leadership, organizational development, strategic planning and executive assessment and coaching.

We offered this workshop a second time this year because of the extremely strong positive response to the first offering and multiple requests for another time for this important session.


Shaping Your Future Through Mentoring
March 2016

Why Is Mentoring Important?
• To develop personally and professionally through mentoring relationships
• To develop the skills, experiences and insights to make success happen

This panel highlighted women from across the University of Pittsburgh who have successful experiences as mentors and mentees. The panelists shared their experiences on initiating, developing, and growing successful mentoring partnerships. The panel was moderated by Colleen O. Fedor, Executive Director of the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Colleen is nationally recognized for her outstanding work in championing mentoring in the Western Pennsylvania region and beyond. Panelists featured women from across Pitt, including Dr. Bita Moghaddam, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, and Coach Debbie Yohman, the head coach of the Pitt Women’s Gymnastics program.

Workshop on Negotiating Skills for Women
March 2016

Ayana Ledford, founding executive director of PROGRESS (Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society) hosted a workshop on the art of negotiation and self-sufficiency for women faculty, staff, and students. Ms. Ledford has conducted over 100 presentations on the value of negotiation for women’s and girl’s organizations, women’s affinity groups, and after school programs such as Gwen’s Girls, Carlow University, Chatham University, Coro Center for Civic Leadership, AmeriCorps, Dress for Success, Penn State University, Harvard University and Carnegie Mellon Engineering-Women Mentoring Program.

Upcoming Campus Events