Faculty Learning Community

Leadership Program

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Faculty Learning Community

The goal of the Women in STEM/SBS Faculty Learning Community is to create an informal gathering of women faculty who can learn from campus leaders and each other throughout the year. We have monthly lunches with different visitors and topics of interest. Some topics include:

  • “Giving Yourself the Chance to Shine—Tips for Writing Your P&T Statements”, a discussion with Laura Black
  • “Activity Insight” with Ian Godwin, Assistant Director, Office of Planning and Analysis
  • “Imposter Syndrome” webinar from NCFDD and discussion led by Jessi Smith, Psychology
  • “A Year-in-the-Life of an Assistant, Associate and Full Professor”

Contact Nika Stoop ([email protected]) if you are interested in joining.

Values-based Academic Leadership Trajectories for Women in STEM (VAuLTS)

Building on the success of ADVANCE Project TRACS, the Center for Faculty Excellence has joined withVAuLTS imagethe NSF Northwest ADVANCE Partnership to pilot leadership and mentoring programs for midcareer women faculty in STEM/Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), called VAuLTS. This research grant seeks to address systemic barriers women face on the path to the highest ranks of professoriate in diverse higher education settings.

Contact [email protected] if you have questions.

As part of this pilot program, MSU women faculty in STEM/SBS will participate in a leadership and mentoring program, jointly with partner institutions (Washington State University - lead, University of Montana, Oregon State University, Western Washington University) to build leadership capacity for initiating local policy changes. The partnership will then expand the program to include community college and predominantly undergraduate institutions. 

Leadership Training – a 12-week, online certificate program, designed for women by women, to give theVAULTS - leadership for women in STEM participant practical tools that can be immediately applied to their work life. They will learn together with other women at peer institutions who have the same goal: to be effective leaders. 

External Mentor Program – an opportunity to develop a relationship with a senior faculty member from another institution, selected by the participant and expressing a willingness to serve in this capacity. 

Network Improvement Communities (NIC) - groups of participating faculty from regional partner institutions to engage in monthly virtual meetings . Starting in January 2020, these meetings will address implementation for the Leadership Training and External Mentor programs (first 6 months) and then shift to policy issues related to barriers faced by midcareer STEM women faculty: lack of clarity concerning promotion criteria, or support for achieving relevant milestones (e.g., professional recognition); limited awareness of work-life balance needs, or ability to accommodate these, etc. 


Christine ForemanChristine Foreman

Professor, Chemical & Biological Engineering and Associate Dean for Student Success, Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering

The Foreman lab investigates carbon flux through bacterial communities, with the goal of improving predictions of carbon fate in a changing environment. Additional research interests include biofilms and psychrophilic physiological adaptations. Regardless of the environment, our group employs limnological, biochemical and molecular biology approaches to investigate fundamental processes carried out by microbes.       

Susy KohoutSusy Kohout

Associate Professor, Program of Cell Biology & Neuroscience, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Agriculture and College of Letters & Science

The Kohout lab studies how cells communicate to better understand how that communication fails in disease. We currently focus on how cells combine both electrical and chemical signals through the voltage sensing phosphatase, an electrically controlled enzyme. We use several techniques and methods in the lab, including fluorescence, molecular biology, electrophysiology and advanced imaging techniques.

Abbie RichardsAbigail (Abbie) Richards

Associate Professor, Department Head, Chemical & Biological Engineering, Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering

Richards' research interests include biofilm growth in extreme environments and exploring ways that microbes might be used to clean soils that have been contaminated by heavy metals or radionuclides.


Vanessa SimondsVanessa Simonds

Associate Professor, Health Literacy, Community-Based Participatory Research, American Indian Health, Health & Human Development, College of Education, Health & Human Development        

Dr. Simonds uses CBPR approaches to address health and health literacy issues ranging from chronic disease to environmental health among Native Americans. She is especially committed to designing and evaluating strength-based, community-centered outreach strategies designed in partnership with Native American communities. She is currently funded through MSU’s Center for Health Equity Research to work in partnership with Crow community members to develop an environmental health literacy program for Crow youth and their families.

Dawn TarabochiaDawn Tarabochia

Associate Professor, Gerontology Certificate Program, Health & Human Development, College of Education, Health & Human Development 

Dr. Tarabochia research interests include the physical and psychosocial dimensions of well-being. Current projects include psychosocial factors associated with fear of falling and the physical and psychosocial benefits of physical activity in older adults.



Contact [email protected] if you have questions.