Role in ISU Advance Program:
As the Equity Advisor for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, I have a role within the college to transform opportunities for women and underrepresented faculty. I work with the other college EAs and the ISU ADVANCE team to design strategies to support diversity, equity and inclusion. I also contribute to recruitment and training activities, train search committees and consult on issues related to mentoring, professional development, promotion, leadership opportunities, and departmental climate.
My scholarly work is focused on female reproduction across species. I study the impact of environmental toxicants on ovarian function and the potential for an additive impact of metabolic stress on reproduction.
I have been funded for several years by the National Institute of Environmental Health to study deleterious effects of chemical exposure on the ovary, the processes by which the ovary can protect against such insult and whether heat stress and obesity further adversely affect ovarian toxicity.
Motivations for Being a Part of ISU Advance:
Equity remains a problem in many areas of employment and women and underrepresented minorities are typically overburdened with service requests. In addition, the pandemic is documented to have detrimentally affected careers of women to a greater extent than men. Being a member of the ADVANCE team will provide me the opportunity to be a conduit between University leadership and students, faculty and staff to help identify issues and resources needed to build a better working environment.
Greatest ISU ADVANCE Achievement:
Two graduate students in my research group have recently been awarded fellowships to increase diversity in the biomedical workforce from the National Institutes of Health and mentoring them through conception to grant award has made me proud, and provided them with a springboard to build their own independent careers.