Jessi L. Smith, was the first female professor of psychology to come up through the ranks at Montana State University. From 2012-2017, she served as principal investigator on ADVANCE Project TRACS, which aimed to broaden participation of women faculty in STEM and social and behavioral science in ways that foster excellence for the entire campus community.  This multimillion dollar grant created a dynamic team of faculty and staff working to promote gender equity. ADVANCE was a group effort that was so successful because of Smith’s effective leadership. She is an inspiring mentor as a former student said, “I am incredibly honored to have worked under her and to have had her teach me incredibly useful information that I will use throughout my career.” In addition to her impact on MSU, Smith has delivered more than 40 public talks offering her expertise to organizations across Montana and nationwide, including working with the Governor’s Task Force on Equal Pay for Equal Work, which, eventually, led to funds to implement a feasibility study for paid family leave for all state employees in Montana. She is now serving as the associate vice chancellor for research at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Jessi Smith is a tireless advocate for gender equality and has a proven track record in transforming our institutional setting to enhance gender equality and diversity.

Jessi L. Smith