March 19, 2018
Professor and Chair of Communication Disorders Karen Helfer is among the record eight UMass Amherst faculty members and administrators who have been chosen to attend the 2018-19 Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) institutes, a leadership development program for women, according to John McCarthy, interim provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.
She will join a cadre of more than two dozen other administrators and faculty members who have attended the intensive residential leadership and management training institutes that are offered at the University of Denver, Bryn Mawr College and Wellesley College. Helfer will attend the Bryn Mawr institute, which runs for 2 weeks in July.
During the institute, each of the participants will pursue an individual study project. Helfer's project is focused on raising the profile of the Communication Disorders department by increasing the research productivity of faculty members, developing a vibrant Ph.D. program, and improving the clinical training of graduate students in professional degree programs.
Since 1976, more than 5,000 women from more than 1,200 campuses in the U.S. and abroad have participated in HERS institutes. The university has been sponsoring participants since 2009. The campus selection process begins with nominations from deans and vice chancellors with the final selection of nominees made by the chancellor.
“Chancellor Subbaswamy, the deans, and I are committed to diversity in campus leadership,” McCarthy said. “For many years, HERS has helped advance women into leadership positions, and we are pleased to continue that tradition by sending an unprecedented eight women faculty, administrators and staff to HERS. The funding is truly a collaborative effort of my office, the chancellor’s, and the deans who nominated the participants.”