Site-wide links

External Advisory Board

The External Advisory Board (EAB) is comprised of faculty and administrative leaders from other Universities and Colleges who have demonstrated experience with NSF ADVANCE grants. This Board convenes annually to review the AdvanceRIT program, learn about the program's progress and accomplishments to date, assess challenges and obstacles facing the leadership team and the administration, and provide high level guidance and expertise RIT can use to refine the program and implement best practices.

External Advisory Board Members

Dr. Stefi Baum

Dr. Stefi Baum began her new role as Dean of Science at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, effective Oct. 1, 2014. Dr. Baum was professor and director of the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science at Rochester Institute of Technology for ten years, serving as a key senior personnel member for AdvanceRIT in her role as team advisor. She joined RIT in 2004 as Xerox Endowed Professor after serving one and a half years as an American Institute of Physics Science Diplomacy Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. Before that she spent 13 years at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). While at STScI, Dr. Baum had most recently been head of the Engineering and Software Services Division. She led up to 140 scientists, engineers, and computer scientists responsible for development and maintenance work for the science ground systems of the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. Earlier, she led the Science Operations Center's development and deployment of a major astronomical instrument, the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph. She also served as lead scientist on the development of the Hubble Space Telescope archive, the first fully functional pipeline and online archive for astronomical data.

Dr. Baum's personal research is in two main areas: (i) the study of activity in galaxies and its relation to galaxy and cluster evolution and (ii) the development of calibration, image processing, and statistical algorithms applied to functional magnetic resonance brain imaging for the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. She is also deeply engaged in the development of innovative K-12, undergraduate and graduate pedagogy and educational programs, with a focus on interdisciplinary approaches that merge science, engineering, innovation, and the arts. Dr. Baum is passionate about professor-mentored, student-driven project-oriented learning and is committed to the engagement of diverse populations, youth, and the public in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Dr. Baum earned a B.A. in physics with honors from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Laurie Brewer

Dr. Brewer, Vice Dean and Professor Emeritus at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has 34 years of experience teaching and providing academic leadership. Throughout her career she has been committed to supporting young women in STEM programs, particularly young women who are deaf. She taught psychology to RIT undergraduate and graduate students and designed curriculum to meet the unique educational needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. In addition, she conducted research, supervised interns, developed new programs, and received $7 million in grant funding. She held progressively more responsible leadership positions at NTID, beginning her administrative career as a department chair. As the Director of Arts and Sciences at NTID, she provided leadership for the implementation of the first arts and sciences curriculum and for the initial experiments in Student Outcomes Assessment. She served as the chair of the RIT Student Outcomes Assessment Task Force in 2006-2008. She also provided leadership for the college in the scholarship of teaching and learning and attended the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Institute.

To enhance her knowledge of higher education administration, Dr. Brewer completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education Summer Institute for Management and Leadership in Education. At NTID, she also served as the Associate Dean of Academic Administration and the Vice Dean and Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. In this role she was responsible for all undergraduate and graduate academic programs offered at NTID, the NTID Research Program, and the academic support of deaf and hard-of-hearing students studying in the other colleges of RIT.

Dr. Brewer holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Rochester.

Dr. Molly Carnes

Dr. Carnes is the Jean Manchester Biddick Professor of Women’s Health Research and Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of Wisconsin. In addition, she is the Director of the VA Women’s Health Program and co-Director of the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute (WISELI) in the College of Engineering.

Dr. Carnes’s research focuses on how cultural stereotypes influence judgments and decision-making in ways that constrain opportunities for careers in academic medicine, science, and engineering for women and individuals from other groups that have not historically been well-represented in these areas—particularly at the leadership level.

Dr. Carnes received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and completed her residency, geriatric fellowship, and master’s in epidemiology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Dr. Nancy Ferris

Dr. Nancy Ferris is currently the Director, Kodak Research Labs and Vice President of the Kodak Technology Center, Eastman Kodak Company. Her career has spanned a variety of experiences in technology research and technology leadership. Dr. Ferris oversees the primary, scientific invention investment and technology development activities for Kodak and directs a staff of scientists engaged in research and development in the fields of materials science, deposition science, interfacial science and image science. She also shares responsibility at Kodak for the management of the technology pipeline including the conversion of scientific inventions into mature technology for business applications targeted towards commercial and functional printing.

Dr. Ferris has held various leadership positions in Analytical Science, Materials Science, Device Physics and Computational Science. As a staff scientist at Kodak, Dr. Ferris worked on the characterization of the properties and functions of complex material interfaces and is published in this field. She holds a Ph.D. in Physical Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and completed Executive Leadership Development programs at Smith College and Northwestern University.

Dr. Ferris has served on the advisory board of the Chemistry Department at the University of Texas at Austin, as an advisor to the University Committee on Women Faculty and Students at the University of Notre Dame and on several boards for local non-profit organizations. She is actively engaged in the Rochester, NY community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Rochester Regional Health, Rochester, New York.

Dr. Vivian Lewis

Dr. Lewis is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, where she is also Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity. Prior to coming to Rochester, she was on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago where she cared for infertility patients and ran a multidisciplinary menopause clinic.

Dr. Lewis is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive endocrinology. Her areas of expertise include reproductive endocrinology, infertility, menopause, in vitro fertilization, and hormone replacement therapy. Her current areas of research interest are male infertility, menopausal health, and hormone therapy.

With Dr. Lewis as primary investigator, the University of Rochester was recently awarded approximately $2 million by the National Institutes of Health to help improve diversity in the scientific workforce. Over the next three years, she will study the effects of different mentoring interventions in promoting resilience among biomedical researchers and trainees from underrepresented groups.

Dr. Lewis attended Harvard College as an undergraduate and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons as a medical student. She completed residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and a reproductive endocrinology fellowship at the University of California-San Francisco.

Dr. Linda Manning

Dr. Linda Manning is an award-winning professor and researcher who currently works to create strategic and inclusive talent management practices for optimal organizational capacity. She is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa and has more than 20 years of experience in teaching and training worldwide. Her early work on inclusive practices evolved from research on teaching students with different learning styles—aimed at improved learning and retention in the classroom. An associate professor at the University of Missouri–Rolla at the time, she became interested in helping women and other marginalized students access the STEM disciplines. After shifting her focus to the workplace, she became the lead researcher, concept designer, and subject matter expert for the design of TalentNet©, a free online e-learning tool for managers facing the challenges of changing workplace demographics. The development of TalentNet was funded by the Government of Canada. Dr. Manning is a compelling and entertaining keynote speaker and workshop trainer who believes learning should be fun and effective. She is known for her didactic skills that facilitate learning and provoke self-reflection on one’s own practices and the impact they have on goal achievement.

Dr. Manning has published in peer-reviewed academic, practitioner, and other journals. She holds an IETP Intercultural Studies Certificate from University of British Columbia, and she is an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator.

Dr. Debra J. Richardson

Debra J. Richardson is Professor of Informatics and founding Dean of the University of California-Irvine's Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS).

Dr. Richardson is committed to increasing the participation of women and other underrepresented minorities in information and computing technologies. She has served on the leadership team of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) since its inception. NCWIT's overarching goal is parity in the professional IT workforce through education, dissemination, advocacy, and a national, multi-year implementation plan that generates tangible progress within 20 years. She leads the NCWIT hub at UC Irvine, an NCWIT PaceSetter focused on developing and evaluating best practices to increase the participation of women at the undergraduate level and also throughout the academic pipeline.

Dr. Richardson has begun working on improving K-12 computer science education. Since 2005, she has chaired ACM's Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Advisory Council. CSTA provides opportunities for K-12 teachers and students to better understand the computing disciplines and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn.

A leader in software engineering research, Dr. Richardson pioneered research in "specification-based testing," whereby formal specifications are employed to guide software testing. The work focused on enabling specification-based testing technology throughout the software lifecycle, from requirements and architecture analysis through operation and evolution.

Dr. Richardson received her B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California-San Diego in 1976 and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1978 and 1981, respectively.

Dr. Mary Deane Sorcinelli

Dr. Mary Deane Sorcinelli is the Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development at UMass Amherst.  She was awarded, along with two colleagues, an NSF Institutional Transformation Grant through the American Association of Universities (AAU) in Washington, D.C., and will be a Co-PI of a research team looking at the reform of STEM undergraduate education at selected AAU universities.  She  previously served as Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Mount Holyoke College and Senior Scholar, Bay View Alliance for Reform of STEM Undergraduate Education,  the Associate Provost, Director of the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development, Professor of Educational Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Director, Office of Faculty Development, Indiana University Bloomington. 

Mary Deane is a well-known researcher in the areas of academic careers, faculty professional development, teaching and learning, and the evaluation of teaching. She has written over 100 articles, book chapters, and books in a wide range of sources. She holds an M.A. in English from Mount Holyoke College and an ED.D in Educational Policy from UMass Amherst. She was awarded the University's 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, ACE Massachusetts Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education.

Mary Deane has participated actively in her profession. She was honored with the Bob Pierleoni Spirit of POD Award for outstanding lifetime achievement and leadership in the enhancement of teaching, learning, and faculty development. She also served as President/Executive Board Member of the POD Network and as Senior Scholar to the American Association for Higher Education. She was also awarded a NSF Institutional Transformation Grant through the American Association of Universities (AAU) in Washington, D.C., and will Co-PI of a research team looking at the reform of STEM undergraduate education at selected AAU universities.  

Mary Deane has provided faculty development teaching and consultations in international settings that include Antigua, Canada, China, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. She visited the American University in Cairo, Egypt as a Distinguished Visiting Professor, and was awarded a Whiting Foundation Fellowship to the National University of Ireland Galway. She also completed a wonderful two year stint at Mount Holyoke College.

Mary Deane has directed a number of externally grant-funded projects aimed at promoting educational innovation from the Andrew W. Mellon, Microsoft, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Pew Charitable Trusts. She has served on advisory boards and as an external evaluator of NSF ADVANCE CCLI, IUSE, and WIDER Grants.

Dr. Caroline Solomon

Caroline M. Solomon has been a faculty member at Gallaudet University since 2000. She is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Dr. Solomon teaches courses in the environmental sciences, including ecology, marine biology, and courses related to the Chesapeake Bay.

Currently, Dr. Solomon performs research in the Molecular Genetics Laboratory on nutrient dynamics and its influence on the phytoplankton assemblage in the Anacostia River. She also studies urea utilization by different microbes in various coastal areas. She is collaborating with Dr. Richard Ladner at the University of Washington on the ASL-STEM forum, an online sign wiki for the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) lexicon.

Dr. Solomon received her B.A. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University, her M.S. in Biological Oceanography from University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography from University of Maryland.

Dr. Satish Udpa

Satish Udpa serves as the Executive Vice President for Administrative Services at Michigan State University. He served as Dean of the University's College of Engineering from 2006 to 2013 before he was appointed in his current position. He joined the MSU faculty as chairperson of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2001. He has worked closely with ADAPP (Advancing Diversity through the Alignment of Policies and Practices)–ADVANCE.

Prior to joining MSU, Dr. Udpa was the Whitney Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. He also served on the faculty of Colorado State University.

His research interests span the broad area of materials characterization and nondestructive evaluation. Dr. Udpa has authored or co-authored more than 250 scholarly publications. In addition, he is the recipient of more than 50 external research grants and holds several patents. Dr. Udpa is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, and the Indian Society for Nondestructive Testing.

Dr. Udpa received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from J.N.T. University in India and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University.

Dr. Sara Wadia-Fascetti

Sara Wadia-Fascetti serves as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at Northeastern University. She is also the Director of the Northeastern ADVANCE program and Special Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development. She served previously as Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, working on policy development, initiatives to support faculty development, and the university-wide faculty mentoring program.

Dr. Wadia-Fascetti has been a member of the faculty in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department since 1994. She performs research in the use of nondestructive sensing technologies for condition assessment and diagnostics on structural systems, co-directs the VOTERS (Versatile Onboard Traffic Embedded Roaming Sensors) initiative, and is a member of the Executive Committee for NSF-funded Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon - CenSSIS). She directs the NSF-funded Interdisciplinary Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) site on Intelligent Diagnosis for Aging Civil Infrastructure and serves as Director of Graduate Programs in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department.