WVU Advance

Increasing the Participation and Advancement of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

Meet our interdisciplinary team and what each
one brings to the research project

Fred King

Ph.D. Chemistry

My symbol represents the lower free energy barrier, activation energy, to the change between two states achieved by the use of a catalyst in a chemical reaction. I view ADVANCE as a facilitator, catalyst, for the change we hope to achieve in the climate and culture of WVU with respect to equality and equity.

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Fred King

Jim Nolan

Ph.D. Psychoeducational Processes

The two words represented are "interdependence" (everything is an event with multiple layers involved.) and "wholeness" (we must look as things as a whole, breaking them down to smaller pieces limits your understanding and ability to pieces things together again).

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Jim Nolan

Michelle Withers

Ph.D. Biology

My symbol equated to changing girls brains. I bring a background in neurobiology and training in scientific teaching which uses evidence-based teaching methods and an awareness of diversity issues to improve the success of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM degrees.


Melissa Latimer

Ph.D. Sociology

The symbols simply say to eliminate gender inequality.

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Maura McLaughlin

Ph.D. Physics

My drawing represents the concept of balance. Physicists are very good at balancing different forces to create a stable equilibrium. However, while there are simple equations to do that, work-life balance is very difficult to achieve!


Katie Stores

Ph.D. Political Science

Katie holds a Ph.D. in political science, and contributes her understanding of science policy to the ADVANCE project. Science policy examines the incentives and the environment for discovery and innovation.


Kasi Jackson

Ph.D. Biology

Women's studies is an interdisciplinary field which applies insights from the social sciences, the natural sciences, the humanities and the arts towards innovative solutions for complex problems. My drawing represents the process of bringing people from multiple disciplines together to develop these solutions.


Leslie E. Tower


The International Breastfeeding Symbol was created in 2006. To me, it represents a paradigm shift that I am working toward: creating a workplace more satisfying and equitable for women and families.

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Michele G. Wheatly

Ph.D. Comparative Physiology

WVU ADVANCE heralds an institution-wide impetus to become a more diverse academic community, a prerequisite for any world class research university.

Michele G. Wheatly

Faculty Success Program-National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

As part of WVU’s institutional membership in the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development, WVU tenure track and/or promotable (e.g. teaching, research and clinical track) faculty members from main campus (Morgantown) can participate in the Faculty Success Program.

The Faculty Success Program is an intensive 12 week on-line program aimed to enhance research productivity and scholarship, while maintaining positive work-life integration and strengthening networks. Participants receive coaching and peer mentoring via conference calls and access to an extensive online set of resources.

For more information see

Dr. Kasi Jackson participated in the program spring 2014 and would be happy to answer questions. Kasi’s testimonial: “As a habitual over-committer, I was in danger of taking the 13 year plus pathway to promotion to full professor. The Faculty Success Program’s emphasis on accountability showed me how to align my work priorities with the reality of how I will be evaluated for promotion to full and to come to terms with the fact that time is a limited and precious resource.”

For more faculty testimonials, see

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Call us at (304) 293-0270
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Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE IT Program under Award HRD-1007978. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.