Pam Cook, Principal Investigator (PI)

Unidel Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Associate Dean for Faculty, College of Engineering

Pam Cook (-Ioannidis) is UNIDEL Professor of Mathematical Sciences at and Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Engineering. Dr Cook received her PhD in applied mathematics at Cornell University. She received a N.A.T.O. Postdoctoral Fellowship to work at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. She joined the math faculty at UCLA, where she received tenure. She has since been at UD, where she served as mathematics department chair for nine years. Her research has been in modeling, asymptotics, and nonlinear partial differential equations, particularly as relevant to transonic aerodynamics and complex (viscoelastic) fluids. Dr. Cook is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). She has served as editor-in-chief of the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics (SIAP), as elected secretary of SIAM, as vice president for publications of SIAM, and as president of SIAM. She has received the national WEPAN (Women Engineers ProActive Network) University Change Agent Award, the UD Trabant Award, and the UD Torch Award for her work in supporting, and increasing the number of, STEM women faculty at UD.


Robin Andreasen, Co-PI

Associate Professor, Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Robin Andreasen is an Associate Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware (UD). She earned her PhD in philosophy and specializes in philosophy of science, philosophy of social science, and in science and policy. She is a co-PI UD’s ADVANCE-IT grant. A race and gender scholar, Dr. Andreasen is research director for UD ADVANCE.  Her current focus is on diversity in the academic workforce. She is also well known for her numerous publications on ethnicity and human evolution as well as the concept of race in medicine.  She is on the editorial board of journal Critical Philosophy of Race and was the editor for a special edition of the journal The Monist. Dr. Andreasen was an active participant in University of Delaware’s ADVANCE PAID grant and continues to devote her time to projects that aim to improve the advancement women faculty at UD.


Heather Doty, Co-PI

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Heather Doty is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. She earned her Ph.D. in physics at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she studied the electronic properties of semiconductor heterostructures at low temperatures and high magnetic fields. She worked as a patent examiner specializing in semiconductor devices before coming to UD. As co-PI and UD ADVANCE Faculty Associate to the Provost, Dr. Doty is primarily responsible for overseeing ADVANCE activities that directly impact faculty (e.g., faculty workshops and panels). Dr. Doty advises UD’s Women in Engineering Graduate Student Steering Committee and is a member of the College of Engineering’s Diversity Committee and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment’s Diversity Committee. She is the 2017 recipient of UD’s Trabant Award for Women’s Equity. Dr. Doty conducts research on diversifying the academic STEM workforce and teaches classes that apply physics concepts (thermodynamics and classical mechanics) to engineering applications.


John Sawyer, Co-PI

Associate Provost for Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Professor, Management

Dr. John Sawyer (Ph.D. University of Illinois) is Professor of Management in the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics and the Associate Provost, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at the University of Delaware. Sawyer’s research has focused on science and technology management, organizational-technology systems, and negotiations.  As associate provost he works to assure accessibility, transparency and usefulness of data and information for institutional decision-making.


Image result for shawna vican Shawna Vican, Director UD ADVANCE Institute

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice

Shawna Vican is a sociologist who studies processes of organizational and institutional change, with a particular focus on the adoption and implementation of new employment practices and corporate social behaviors.  Across her research, Shawna seeks to understand how organizational practices, managerial behavior, and workplace culture shape individual career outcomes as well as broader patterns of labor market inequality.  Shawna received her Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University and was previously a Research Fellow at Catalyst Inc.


Yvette Jackson, ADVANCE Senior Researcher

Yvette Jackson – Ph.D., The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica, recently retired from The UWI, where she was Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry with research interests in the synthesis and chemistry of bioactive heterocyclic compounds and their analogues. Her most recent appointment at The UWI was as Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies, with responsibility for graduate education across all campuses of the university. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Professor Jackson joined the UD Advance Institute in September 2017.

Maddy Guidash, ADVANCE Undergraduate Research Assistant 

Maddy Guidash is a senior in the Exercise Science program and plans to pursue a doctorate degree in Applied Physiology. She has been a part of the ADVANCE team for almost a year.



 Nayely Rojas, ADVANCE Undergraduate Research Assistant

Nayely Rojas is a junior, majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. She plans to attend Law School after college. She has been working as part of the ADVANCE team since the summer.






Cindy Hall, Communications and Marketing

Cindy Hall is a communications director in UD’s Office of Communications & Marketing. Cindy joined UD in 2013 and brings nearly 20 years of experience in communications, marketing and public relations. She provides strategic counsel, planning, writing and editing for the University and key initiatives including ADVANCE.




Asia Friedman, ADVANCE Social Science Researcher

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice

Asia Friedman is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware. Her research examines how the sociology of cognition and sensory perception offers a transformative analytical perspective applicable to a diverse range of existing sociological subfields. Although intellectually rooted in cultural sociology, particularly the sub-areas of cognitive sociology and the sociology of the senses, the impact of this research agenda necessarily extends beyond culture, cognition and perception. Dr. Friedman’s recent publications, for example, have addressed gender, the body, and race, in each case using an analysis of social patterns of thought and sensory perception to bring productive new questions to ongoing debates in the field. Her first book, Blind to Sameness: Sexpectations and the Social Construction of Male and Female Bodies (Chicago, 2013), which won the 2016 Distinguished Book Award from the Sex and Gender Section of the American Sociological Association, draws on more than sixty interviews with two very different populations – the blind and the transgendered – to answer questions about the relationships between gender, biology, and visual perception.


Sharon Neal, ADVANCE Scholar, YR 2

Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Sharon L. Neal is an analytical chemist in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, Her research is focused on the development of multidimensional spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis methods for monitoring and photokinetic characterization of pollutants, pharmaceuticals and molecular probes. During her tenure at the University of Delaware she has served as a rotating program officer in the Chemistry Division of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and spent a sabbatical leave as a visiting professor in the Biology Department at the University of New Mexico. Before moving to UD 1998, she was an Assistant Professor at Spelman College and UC Riverside. She also worked as a staff chemist in Corporate Quality Assurance at The Coca-Cola Company prior to completing her graduate degree. Prof. Neal earned the B.S. in Chemistry at Spelman College and the Ph.D. in Chemistry at Emory University, both in Atlanta, GA. She conducted post-graduate research at the University of Washington and Naval Research Laboratory. She is a member of several professional societies including the American Chemical Society, the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and the Biophysical Society. She serves on the advisory boards of the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh) and the Open Chemistry Collaborative in Diversity Equity (OXIDE). She is also a past member of the advisory committee of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) Directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the A-Page Advisory Panel at Analytical Chemistry.



Mellissa Gordon, ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Sciences

Mellissa Gordon is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development & Family Sciences. She earned a B.S. in Psychology and anM.S. in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences from the University of Florida, and a Ph.D. in Human Science: Family Relations from Florida State University. Her primary research area centers on the influence of family-of-origin on positive adolescent developmental outcomes such as academic achievement during adolescence and young adulthood, career outcomes in young adulthood, and intimate partner relationships. She also addresses the mediating and moderating influence of community factors such as community poverty from a multilevel perspective on this association. She is the UD ADVANCE Faculty Fellow for the College of Education & Human Development.


Regina Wright, ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

Associate Dean for Diversity, College of Health Science, Associate Professor, School of Nursing

Regina Wright is a psychologist and associate professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Delaware where she teaches primarily in the PhD in Nursing Science program. She is also Associate Dean for Diversity for the College of Health Sciences. Dr. Wright earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Delaware, an M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Villanova University, and a Ph.D. in Research Neuropsychology from Howard University. Her program of research is focused on examining relations between cardiovascular risk factors and cognitive function among older adults, with a specific interest in patterns of association in vulnerable populations. She has published widely in gerontological, neuropsychological, neurological, and special population journals. She is an ADVANCE Faculty Fellow for the College of Health Sciences.



Chad Forbes, ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

Associate Professor, Director, Social Psychology Graduate Program 

Chad Forbes earned a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach, and an M.A. in Social Psychology and Ph.D. in Social Psychology with a second emphasis in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Arizona. His research utilizes cognitive neuroscience methodologies such as electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and lesion studies to investigate how different contexts affect the way we attend to and interpret information. He is the UD ADVANCE Faculty Fellow for the College of Arts and Sciences.


Jennifer Joe, ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

Whitney Family Professor of Accounting, Chief Diversity Advocate of Lerner College

Jennifer Joe earned a B.B.A. in Accounting, magna cum laude, from Bernard M. Baruch College and a Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on audit judgment and decision making, fair value accounting, and internal controls and fraud evaluation. She is the UD ADVANCE Faculty Fellow for the Lerner College of Business & Economics.



Saleem Ali, ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment

Saleem Ali currently holds the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professorship in Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, and is also a Senior Fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Sustainable Investment and Georgetown University’s Center for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Studies. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, from Tufts University, an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from MIT. He was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011 and received an Emerging Explorer award from the National Geographic Society in 2010. He is a member of the United Nations International Resource Panel, The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and serves on the board of the Diamonds and Development Initiative. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of environmental conflicts and how ecological factors can promote peace. Much of his empirical research has focused on environmental conflicts in the mineral sector and the extractive industries. He is the UD ADVANCE Faculty Fellow for the College of Earth, Ocean, & Environment


Jung-Youn Lee, ADVANCE Faculty Fellow

Professor, Plant & Soil Sciences

Prof. Lee received her Ph.D. in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Her research focuses are on elucidating how pant cells communicate through plasmodesmata, plant-unique intercellular communication channels by identifying the molecular components and investigating their roles in plant growth and development. She is the UD ADVANCE Faculty Fellow for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.