2023-24 ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant Awards

April 25, 2023


UMass ADVANCE is pleased to announce the selection of two new teams for mutual mentoring grants that support UMass faculty who will come together to build inclusive communities over the 2023-24 academic year. Priority mentoring areas for these competitive grants include projects aimed at helping faculty build inclusive mentoring communities, engage in collaborative research teams, and participate in equitable shared decision-making. ADVANCE evaluated proposals in collaboration with the Office of Faculty Development, which also offers a mutual mentoring grant program.

The UMass ADVANCE grant is funded by a five-year (2018-23) $3.1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support gender and intersectional equity for faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The UMass ADVANCE program draws on the power of collaboration to support equity among faculty by gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity and nationality.

The mutual mentoring teams funded by ADVANCE this year include Black Women United and Women in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. (Learn about past winning teams here.)


Black Women United
Black Women United


Black Women United seeks to increase the advancement of Black women faculty and to drive institutional transformation to create environments where diversity is encouraged and supported. This network of Black women, where community, fellowship, and comradery can be developed, will encourage women across various levels to champion one another, provide advice on how to continue advancing within the institution, and find balance with one another. This team is co-led by Cheryl Swanier, Computer Science and Felicia Griffin-Fennell, Sociology and includes: Judyie Al-Bilali, Performance and Theater for Social Change; Sofiya Alhassan, Kinesiology; and Maria Rios, WEB DuBois Library.


Women in MIE
Women in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering


Women in Mechanical and industrial Engineering: A Relay Race to Mentorship Success seeks to to build a peer support network, research partnerships and a feeling of belonging among the female faculty in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in spite of logistical challenges of our separate locations, different ranks and specialties. Specifically they plan to (1) develop peer mentoring ties within ranks and between the ranks, (2) to develop support mechanisms for challenges inherent to faculty life, (3) to create social ties between faculty in order to build a feeling of belonging and reduce isolation and (4) to improve the experience of future new female faculty as they start within the department. This team is led by Gina Olson and includes: Erin Baker, Muge Capan, Chaitra Gopalappa, Meghan Huber, Ana Muriel, Shannon Roberts, Yanfei Xu, and Golbon Zakeri.