Caitlyn Butler Named ELATES Fellow in National Leadership Program

Caitlyn Butler, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate program director in the UMass Amherst Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has been selected for the Class of 2022-23 of Drexel University’s Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES) program. The ELATES program is a national leadership development program designed to promote women in academic STEM fields, and faculty allies of all genders, into institutional leadership roles.

NEWS Caitlyn Butler
Caitlyn Butler

The Class of 2022-23 ELATES Fellows is a cohort of 30 faculty members from over 25 institutions of higher education across the U.S. and Canada. The ELATES Fellows include experts in engineering, mathematics and science, all of whom have significant administrative experience on top of their scholarly accomplishments. Butler was nominated by senior leadership at UMass for this intensive, yearlong program, which includes eight to 10 hours per week of personal and leadership development work as well as three series of on-site work in the Philadelphia area.

Butler is an expert in biofilm treatment strategies for wastewater treatment as well as wastewater surveillance of COVID-19.  She is currently the director of the graduate program for Civil and Environmental Engineering supporting students pursuing master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the four program areas of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering; Transportation Engineering; Structural Engineering and Mechanics; and Geotechnical Engineering.

Butler says that she is grateful for the support from the College of Engineering at UMass Amherst to participate in this program. Through this opportunity, she plans to grow her knowledge in strategic planning, communication, and institutional structure and will apply new skills through a leadership project focused on experiential learning in master’s level education.

Facilitated by leaders in the fields of STEM research and leadership development, the ELATES curriculum is focused on increasing Fellows’ personal and professional leadership effectiveness, from the ability to lead and manage change initiatives within institutions, to the use of strategic finance and resource management to enhance organizational missions. Pairing online instruction and discussion with intensive, in-person seminar sessions, the program encourages Fellows to apply what they’ve learned at their home institutions. Ultimately, it aims to create a network of exceptional faculty who bring broad organizational perspectives and deep personal capacity to the institutions and society they serve.

Sharon Walker, Ph.D., executive director of the ELATES program and dean of Drexel University’s College of Engineering, shares her excitement about welcoming the newest class of Fellows.

“I am thrilled to welcome this talented new cohort of ELATES fellows as they join the community of distinguished alumnae who are committed to lifelong learning and leadership development.  I am excited to see what impact they will not only have this year on their home campuses but more broadly to the higher education STEM community in the future.”

To learn more about ELATES at Drexel, visit ELATES online at