UVa CHARGE Program


The Principal Investigator (PI), holds primary responsibility for oversight of ADVANCE grant management, including organizing the three initiatives and ensuring adherence to the terms of the NSF Cooperative Agreement.

Gertrude FraserGertrude Fraser
Associate Professor of Anthropology in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Gertrude is nationally recognized for her leadership on behalf of women and people of color in academia.  Gertrude's experience at the University level and beyond has given her the knowledge to understand the dynamics that facilitate change. In addition to leading the UVA CHARGE Program, she has been the PI on two empirical research studies at UVA that have helped provide the substance and design for several of the UVA CHARGE program initiatives.

The Program Director shares responsibility with the PI for oversight of grant implementation and works closely with the Program Manager to define and carry out the program plan.

Pamela NorrisPam Norris
Executive Dean and the Frederick Tracy Morse Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Having risen through the ranks at UVA to her current position as one of the few female scientists holding an endowed chair at UVA, Pam is a highly accomplished scientist and scholar with extensive experience as a veteran PI. She has led a number of complex programs from a variety of prominent agencies, including several grants from NSF (more about Pam's research here). She has long been a vocal and enthusiastic proponent for the advancement of women in STEM disciplines and a tireless mentor. Pam serves a dual role as both Program Director and Co-PI. and was Interim PI for the academic year 2015-2016 while PI Fraser was on sabbatical.

Carol Mershon
Hugh S. and Winifred Cumming Chair and Professor in the Department of Politics in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Fellow in the Center for Global Health at UVa

Carol’s research focuses on intraparty competition, the dynamics of party systems, the politics of multiparty government, legislative politics, political institutions, and the political determinants of health; she has a long and distinguished list of publications (more about her research here). Carol comes to CHARGE with an extensive background in directing both NSF and other programs. She served as Political Science Program Director at the National Science Foundation, on detail from A, from 2009 to 2011. The recipient of three awards from the National Science Foundation, Carol has also held three Fulbright grants and a Social Science Research Council Fellowship. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science, with distinction, from Yale University. She was the UVA CHARGE Interim Program Director for academic year 2015-2016.

Co-PIs, including Pam Norris, are responsible for overseeing specific initiatives.

Joanne CohoonJoanne Cohoon

It is with deep sadness that we report our colleague, friend, and Co-PI for CHARGE, Joanne M. Cohoon, lost her battle with breast cancer on February 14, 2016. Joanne was a National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Consultant and Research Scientist, and a Professor in the Engineering and Society Department at UVA. Her research area was gender, technology, and education and she published numerous studies on departmental factors that influence recruitment and retention of women undergraduate and graduate students in computer science. Joanne was recognized for her innovative approaches to teaching that attracted young women to computing, engineering, and math with the A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award, and, with her husband Jim, ran the successful Tapestry Workshops each summer for high school computer science teachers.

The CHARGE team remembers Joanne's sense of humor, intellectual rigor, and passion for diversifying STEM. We will miss our colleague.

In honor of Joanne's life achievements, we announce the Joanne McGrath Cohoon Enhancement Grants that will support professional development and advancement for women STEM faculty.

Sophie TrawalterSophie Trawalter
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Psychology, with a joint appointment at the Batten School of Public Policy and the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Sophie leads the social science research component, Claiming Spaces for Women in STEM, which investigates how the physical environment may signal to women, particularly women of color, that they do not belong. Dr. Trawalter's lab is also developing and testing interventions aimed at boosting women's sense of safety and place in STEM and STEM departments.

Implementation Team

Ana Abad-JorgeAna Abad-Jorge
Statewide Program Director, BPS, Health Sciences at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Ana is a former clinician at the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at UVA Hospital. She has a doctorate in instructional design and adult learning, which made her an invaluable team member as CHARGE developed various workshops.

Devin HarrisDevin Harris
Assistant Professor of Civil & Environmental Enginerring

Dr. Harris joined the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Virginia in July 2012. His research and teaching interests include bridge behavior, condition assessment and structural health monitoring, reinforced and prestressed concrete behavior, the application of innovative materials in civil infrastructure, and railroad engineering. Devin joined CHARGE in spring 2015 after being a finalist in the Tournament of Ideas. He worked on the grant proposal to launch the pilot project from the Tournament.

Dinko PocanicDinko Počanić
Professor of Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Dinko was highly successful in increasing the number of women in the physics department during his tenure as chair. In 2014, Dinko was promoted to Associate Dean of Graduate Academic Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Mary Lou SoffaMary Lou Soffa
Owen R. Cheatham Professor in the Computer Science Department in the School of Engineering and Applied Science

Mary Lou received the Nico Habermann Award in 2006 for outstanding contributions toward increasing the numbers and successes of underrepresented members in the computing research community. She was the lead for the search committee portal project, providing oversight and technical expertise.

Daniel WellerDan Weller
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science

As a grad student, Dan organized activities to support women and under-represented minorities (URM) in electrical engineering; he brings his knowledge and skills to CHARGE. He made significant contributions to the updated Faculty Guide and has been a primary memeber of, the Photo Exhibit, serving as lead while PI Fraser was on sabbatical.

Caitlin Wylie
Assistant Professor of Science, Technology and Society in the Department of Engineering and Society

Caitlin is a sociologist of science who studies how workers in laboratories do research, learn skills, and collaborate. She has also studied how girls and low-income children think about science, and she has led many after-school clubs and outreach activities to encourage girls to learn about science and engineering. Caitlin played a pivotal role in the review and coding of the oral history interview data for the UVA CHARGE photo exhibit, and was part of the panel presenting on this project at the national ADVANCE conference in October 2017.


Silvia BlemkerSilvia Salinas Blemker
M3 Lab Director and Associate Professor, department of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science
Email: ssblemker@virginia.edu

Silvia joined the University of Virginia faculty in January of 2006. She obtained her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University and her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. Before coming to UVA, Dr. Blemker worked at Stanfords National Center for Biomedical Computation, where she was a post-doctoral Research Associate. Silvia served as the CHARGE liaison with the Internal Advisory Board 2015-16.

Archie HolmesArchie Holmes
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science

Archie’s research in novel optoelectronic devices has resulted in over 100 refereed journal publications. His classroom teaching has been recognized with several honors including membership in the University Academy of Teaching. He was a member of the Steering Committee for UVA’s strategic plan—The Cornerstone Plan. In 2014, he was appointed Vice Provost for Educational Innovation Interdisciplinary Studies. During his term on the CHARGE Implementation team, Archie provided outreach to departments and was the lead for the Tournament of Ideas.

Silvia BlemkerKelsey Johnson
Associate Professor, department of Astronomy in the School of Engineering and Applied Science

Kelsey is an Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Virginia, adjunct faculty at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the founder and director of the Dark Skies Bright Kids outreach program. She is currently in her sixth year on the International ALMA Science Advisory Committee, for which she is both a former chair and current vice-chair. Her research is focused on star formation throughout the universe, and in particular the impact of different physical environments. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 2001. 

Petra ReinkePetra Reinke
Associate Professor, department of Materials Science & Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science

Petra's research interests are in the area of carbon, semiconductor and metal nanostructures which are investigated using surface science methods, such as scanning probe microscopy (STM and AFM) and photoelectron spectroscopy. She was a member of the CHARGE team, 2014 - 2016, focusing on revisions to promotion and tenure policies the engineering school.

Silvia BlemkerDenise Walsh
Associate Professor, Politics and Women, Gender & Sexuality in the School of Arts and Sciences

Denise's research focuses on the production of gender, ethnicity, and race, the struggle of subordinated groups to exercise political power, and their interaction with the state. Denise’s current book project, Multiculturalism and Women's Rights: Implementing Competing Rights Policies in Liberal Democracies, investigates why legislation addressing minority group rights and women’s rights in Canada, India, and South Africa rarely advance social justice. Denise served as an Implementation Team member 2015 – 2016.

Program Staff

Dawn HuntDawn Hunt
Associate for Special Projects

Prior to coming to UVA CHARGE, Dawn worked with lead PI Gertrude Fraser for eight years as a program manager and writer, playing a pivotal role in the ADVANCE proposal process. The coauthor (with Dr. Fraser) of UVA’s nationally recognized online faculty search committee tutorial, Dawn does CHARGE-related research, writing, editing, and provides web content. She was a coordinating team member for the Faculty Guide and the Voices & Visibility projects. She currently works with PI Gertrude Fraser and other team members on the ethnographic review of the program and on a paper based on material from the oral histories

LeighAnn LarkinLeighAnn Larkin
Graduate Student Assistant

LeighAnn is a PhD student in Engineering Physics at UVA working under Dr. Pamela Norris in the Nanoscale Heat Transfer Lab. Her dissertation work focuses on a combined theoretical and experimental approach to mitigating the resistance of energy carriers at closely-packed interfaces and is funded through the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). In addition to her studies, Larkin serves as the academic co-chair on the Gradate Engineering Student Council (GESC) and graduate student representative of the graduate students committee, where she has been an advocate for graduate professional development and policies affecting the atmosphere and day-to-day lives of PhD students. As a graduate research assistant for CHARGE, LeighAnn works with PI Gertrude Fraser and other CHARGE team members on the ethnographic review of the program and on a paper based on material from the oral histories.


Evaluation UVA ADVANCE has ambitious aims and is committed to rigorous assessment of progress toward those aims, as required by NSF. To that end the grant provides for both internal and external evaluation. Evaluators utilize quantitative and qualitative methods, and assessment activities will be tailored to the primary goals of the respective initiatives.

Internal Evaluator

Karen Kurotsuchi InkelasKaren Kurotsuchi Inkelas
Associate Professor in the Higher Education Program, Curry School of Education

Karen is an Associate Professor in the Higher Education Program, Curry School of Education. The focus of her scholarship is the impact of college on students, and is a nationally-known expert on living-learning communities. Karen has longstanding experience with assessment, including as founding director of the Housing Research & Assessment Office at the University of Michigan. She currently oversees two large research projects at UVA, including serving as Research Director of the Crafting Success for Underrepresented Scientists and Engineers Project, and Research Director of Undergraduate Initiatives for the Contemplative Sciences Center.

External Evaluators

Emorcia V. Hill

A highly experienced researcher and evaluator, Emorcia obtained her PhD in Sociology from Boston College. Her evaluation portfolio includes federal, state and foundation funded multi-year research and evaluation contracts in higher education and academic medicine, with a focus on issues of gender and race/ethnicity, social networks, diversity and inclusion, organizational context, system change and institutional transformation. Her clients include several NSF ADVANCE institutions, Harvard Medical School, National Institutes of Health, and the Office for Minority Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is also the National Director of the National Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.

External Consultants

Rebecca Dohrman, Travis Tatum and Jenn Goodall served as the Equity Consultants providing services to STEM departments, before the Equity Consultants were institutionalized as Directors of Diversity Initiatives (DDIs), in the Engineering School and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Internal Advisory Board (IAB)

UVA IAB Mission Statement

The National Science Foundation ADVANCE grantees are expected to integrate their grant activities into the fabric of the host university. This institutionalization effort ensures the university achieves the NSF program goals of systematic transformation and full equity for all women faculty, a more diverse faculty, and the creative innovation that these attributes bring. For UVA, this integration process is managed by the Internal Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB oversees the institutionalization of CHARGE activities, projects, and practices into existing offices, departments, and schools across Grounds. This will include designing and overseeing the implementation of “transition” or “sustainability” plans that outline where the projects will be located administratively, roles and responsibilities of offices, schools, and departments, and the metrics that will measure successful institutionalization. The IAB acts as steward of the foundational work and changes CHARGE has produced and collaborate with a variety of offices, schools and departments to achieve integration of CHARGE’s work.


Ana Abad-Jorge, Program Director and Assistant Professor, Bachelor of Professional Studies in Health Sciences Management (BPHM) and the Certificate in Health Sciences Management, School of Continuing and Professional studies
Kerry Abrams, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & Chair, Internal Advisory Board
Gertrude Fraser, UVA CHARGE Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, Anthropology, Arts & Sciences
John Gates, Associate Dean for Diversity and Engagement, Engineering and Applied Sciences
John Hawley, Associate Dean for the Sciences and Professor of Astronomy, Arts & Sciences
Susan Kools, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, School of Nursing
Rebecca Leonard, Associate Dean for Diversity, Inclusion & Equity, Commerce
Marcus Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity  
Carol Mershon, Professor, and Hugh S. and Winifred Cumming Chair in Politics, Arts & Science
Christina Morell, Associate Provost and Director of Institutional Assessment and Studies
Leonard Schoppa, Associate Dean for the Social Sciences and Professor of Politics, Arts & Sciences
Kelly Stuck, Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Robert Tai, Associate Professor, Robert H. Tai Research Group (STEM Education), Curry School of Education
Greg Townsend, Associate Dean for Diversity and Medical Education, School of Medicine

External Advisory Board

The External Advisory Board (EAB), met annually in Charlottesville during the first five years of the grant to advise the institutional transformation team on the implementation of the project and progress toward project goals. Our EAB members have significant combined expertise on women in STEM disciplines, with a focus on women of color, and on processes of change and transformation in higher education. The External Advisory Board role is distinct from the external evaluation of the project.

Gilda Barabino, Dean, Grove School of Engineering, City Colleges of New York (CCNY)
Cynthia Burack, Professor, Woman’s Studies, Ohio State
Christopher Comer
, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience, University of Montana
Joe Garofalo, Chair, Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Retirement& Welfare Committee, Faculty Senate (Ex Officio)
Angela Ginorio, Associate Professor, Woman’s Studies, University of Washington
Christine Grant
, Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Special Initiatives, College of Engineering and Professor, Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State
Adrianna Kezar, Professor of Higher Education, Co-Director, Pullias Center for Higher Education, University of Southern California
Samuel B. Mukasa, Dean, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS), Professor of Geology, University of New Hampshire
William E. Walden, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago.


Related Links


UVA CHARGE Organizational Chart (pdf)

Norris Research Group

National Center for Women & Information Technology

Teaching Resource Center



© Copyright 2012-2017 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

If you would like more information about UVA CHARGE, please send an email to the team at uvacharge@virginia.edu. Feedback and suggestions are also welcome.

UVA CHARGE Program | Cobb Hall 2005 | P.O. Box 400239 | Charlottesville, VA 22904