INDIANAPOLIS—The School of Science’s Department of Earth Sciences has received an EPIC grant from IUPUI as part of Project EPIC, Evidence-Informed Promotion of Inclusive Climate. The grant aims to develop equity-minded leaders through intentional programming and training to improve institutional climate and promote inclusive leadership practices. The grant was made possible by the National Science Foundation’s Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions (ADVANCE) program.
The department is using the grant to study and improve the climate for women in earth sciences at IUPUI. Dr. Kathy Johnson, executive vice chancellor and Principal Investigator for Project EPIC commented, “I am thrilled by the bold steps being taken by faculty in the earth sciences department to create an inclusive and welcoming climate for women. Faculty are working together toward a positive shared vision for the future in ways that will hopefully be emulated across many other departments.”
“Dr. Andy Barth took the lead on starting the grant while serving as interim Chair of our Department. We formed a committee of men and women to create a framework through which we can collect diverse views about the current department climate and cultural aspects that influence climate,” explained Kathy Licht, Ph.D., department chair of earth sciences. “Then, based on the climate data, we will identify areas in which we can improve and implement strategies, such as mentoring programs, that will improve the recruitment and retention of women faculty and students. The motivation is to support, value, and encourage the women we have and create a positive environment for women who join our department in the future.”