Executive Coaching; Hotline Coaching; Advance Opportunity Grants; Summer Undergraduate Research Program for Minorities & other opportunities


Learning to Say "No"

A key skill for leadership development is that of negotiating and learning to say “no.” Women often cite this as an uncomfortable behavior in general and discomfort with this skill is even more pronounced in situations where power is unequal or tenure and promotion have not yet been earned. In an academic setting, an inability to say no could jeopardize a career by distracting a faculty member from her valuable research time.


Watch two video examples that illustrate a faculty member unable to negotiate as well as one who has been coached to develop her negotiation skills.


Executive Coaching

The objectives of the Executive Coaching Initiative are to facilitate professional and personal growth, provide academic and career guidance and leadership development, promote improved academic workplace cultures and enhance overall recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and under- represented minorities faculty in the Sciences & Engineering disciplines.

Each executive coach has general academic and organizational experience and provides performance and career-related advice. Coaches help the participants determine career and leadership vision, goals, plans, and actions. They give advice, resources, and feedback on how to best accomplish the identified vision.

  • Three (3) sessions of executive coaching are available for new S&E women faculty
  • Four (4) sessions of executive coaching are available for all new chairs, irrespective of gender, race or discipline.

Hotline Coaching

Hotline Coaching allows women faculty facing unique opportunities and challenges to receive short, quick-turnaround coaching from a professional executive coach to help them to address and resolve a specific issue, opportunity or problem.

Hotline coaching assists individual women faculty to analyze and contextualize an emergency issue, prioritize preferences, and initiate a plan of action for  resolution of the issue.  Hotline Coaching has been sought for career choice questioning, job negotiations, research supervision and budget management issues.

  • 1 or 2 sessions of hotline coaching are available to all campus women faculty on an as-needed basis.

Advance Opportunity Grants

Advance Opportunity Grants provide small amounts of supplemental support of current or proposed projects and activities where funding is difficult to obtain through other sources. 
Examples of funding support include:

  • Seed funding for unusual research opportunities or training
  • Grants to support writing of books
  • Travel grants to explore new techniques or attend advanced training courses
  • Child care to attend a professional meeting or conduct research at another institution

All faculty members are eligible.   A Faculty Oversight Committee chooses the recipients. Applications of no more than one page include a statement of objectives, brief statement of the project or activity, budget justification, supporting information if any. A current CV (2-4 page NSF/NIH biographical sketch) should also be submitted. Proposals are to be written for a general scientific audience.

Submit to Sharon Burke via e-mail at by December 15, 2010. For further information:


Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is an intensive program that seeks to attract minority undergraduate students to pursue research careers in science and engineering.  Students spend ten weeks working in a research laboratory or research program under the direction of a faculty mentor.  They attend lectures by science and engineering faculty and give poster presentations at the end of the program.  SURP provides a stipend, support for housing, meals, travel, and supplies.  Faculty interested in becoming a  research advisor, contact Sharon Burke at

The Faculty Parents of Young Children

This group consists of faculty from all corners of the university who have at least one child-aged newborn to 5 years.  The group comes together to share information and resources, work on family-friendly policy issues and enjoy new connections and moral support.  Please contact Eileen Anderson-Fye at or Lisa Koops at for information or to join the listserv.


Visit the Website


The Academic Careers in Engineering & Science (ACES) program at Case Western Reserve University was part of the NSF-ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program to develop a national STEM workforce that includes the full participation of women at all levels of faculty and academic leadership and to improve the climate for women faculty through the initiatives that benefited the entire campus.


Led by Deputy Provost Lynn Singer, ACES developed innovative strategies to promote a culture of equity, participation, openness and accountability at Case Western Reserve University. 


The five-year $3.5 million grant created a model of institutional transformation, particularly in the areas of faculty recruitment, advancement, development, and retention policies, that improved accountability and effectiveness at the school/college and departmental level.


Through the support of President Barbara Snyder and Provost Bud Baeslack, four of the innovative initiatives have been institutionalized at CWRU as ACES+: Executive Coaching, Hotline Coaching, Advance Opportunity Grants and the Summer Undergraduate Research Program for Minorities.


For more information contact:
Amanda Shaffer, 
Project Director

Institutions Developing Excellence in Academic Leadership (IDEAL)
an NSF-PAID program
Tel: 216. 368.8874, Fax: 216.368.1283



Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable (WISER)

WISER is overseen by the Flora Stone Mather Center for women.  WISER promotes academic excellence of women pursuing science at Case Western Reserve University by building a learning community and by giving them the tools they need to succeed.  All Science & Engineering faculty are invited to participate as mentors and to encourage women graduate students to participate as mentees.


WISER Mentoring

Student mentors/mentees are paired with a student in a different class, but similar major/field of study Pairs meet with the Associate Director and in early fall to set goals.  Mentors attend a training and information session in fall

Mentors/mentees meet once a month during the academic year to get advice, support, discuss classes, majors, career paths, or attend events

Professional women on campus and in the community are part of the Professional Mentoring Program, in which 3rd and 4th year students and graduate students are matched with women in similar fields. They meet and talk periodically throughout the year and attend group events.

Monthly Events and Activities:
Activities are designed to stimulate discussion about issues related to being a woman in science, to help build skills for success at CWRU and beyond, and to build a community of women in the sciences and engineering at Case.  In 2009 WISER launched a K-12 outreach iniative with CWRU student and greater Cleveland community students.


WISER is administered by a full-time director.  The peer-mentoring program has 60 pairs of upper-class and lower-class students (up from 20 in 2007).  The professional student mentoring program has more than 25 pairs matched with professional women in their fields in the sciences and engineering.  Two women faculty currently serve as advisors to the over 200 students in WISER.


Faculty interested in participating as a mentor should visit the website for more information.