UVa CHARGE Program

U.Va. CHARGE People

The Principal Investigator (PI), holds primary responsibility for oversight of ADVANCE grant management, including organizing the five 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 U.Va. CHARGE Program, she has been the PI on two empirical research studies at U.Va. that have helped provide the substance and design for several of the U.Va. 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
Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs 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 U.Va. to her current position as one of the few female scientists holding an endowed chair at U.Va., 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. Pam will alos be the Interim PI for academic year 2015-2016.

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 UVa, 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 will be the Interim Program Director for academic year 2015-2016.

Co-PIs, including Pam Norris, will be 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 will investigate how the physical environment may signal to women, particularly women of color, that they do not belong. This work will also develop and test interventions aimed at boosting women's sense of safety and place in STEM and STEM departments.

Implementation Team

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 U.Va.’s strategic plan—The Cornerstone Plan. In 2014, he was appointed Vice Provost for Educational Innovation & Interdisciplinary Studies. For this program, Archie provides outreach to departments and is the lead for the Tournament of Ideas.

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 will provide technical expertise for the search committee portal project.

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 Blemker is the U.Va. CHARGE Liaison to the Internal Advisory Board (IAB), ensuring that CHARGE’s activities are institutionalized at U.Va. so that systematic changes continues after the grant.

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.  

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 joined the CHARGE team in the fall of 2014. She will be focusing on the promotion and tenure features of the SEAS Contribution.

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 URM in electrical engineering, and will bring his knowledge and skills to CHARGE. Currently, he is contributing to the updated Faculty Guide which will now include information for candidates and new faculty. He is also interested in working on the Photo Exhibit and will be a good ally in SEAS.

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

Ana is also the former clinician at the Pediatric Intensive Care unit at UVa Hospital. She has a doctorate in instructional design and adult learning, and will be working with two CHARGE projects to develop training.

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 is currently working on the grant proposal to launch the pilot project from the Tournament.

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 codes oral history interview data for the U.Va. CHARGE photo exhibit. 

The Program Manager will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the U.Va. CHARGE activities, ensuring that the short and long term objectives and goals of the U.Va. CHARGE transformation project are developed and implemented.

Kelly FeltaultKelly Feltault, PhD
Program Manager, U.Va. CHARGE Program

For the last 20 years, Kelly has designed and implemented programs and program evaluations for international development organizations, including non-profits and the federal government. Her work has focused exclusively on gender in the areas of education, economic development, agriculture and the environment, and sexual violence. Before coming to U.Va., Kelly was a Senior Program Evaluator at the US Peace Corps where she designed and led the agency’s impact evaluations in 23 countries; trained staff in program management, strategic planning, and evaluation; and was part of a core team designing and implementing a sexual assault prevention and response program legislated by Congress. Kelly holds a doctorate in Anthropology and International Development. Her dissertation focused on the social construction of global food safety standards and the resulting production of nature and people through microbiology in global seafood value chains.

Program Staff

Dawn HuntDawn Hunt
Associate for Special Projects

Prior to coming to U.Va. 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 U.Va.’s nationally recognized online faculty search committee tutorial, Dawn does CHARGE-related writing and editing, provides web content and logistical support for events, and works on other aspects of the CHARGE program as needed.

Wende HopeWende Hope
Web & Communications

Wende comes to the U.Va. CHARGE program with over 15 years of experience in the internet technology and Web communication fields to include Web site design, Web application design and development, Web content management, and data warehouse management.  She currently hold dual roles at U.Va., the director of communications for the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering and web & communications lead for U.Va. CHARGE. The expertise she brings to U.Va. CHARGE includes strategic communication, Web and print graphic design, content management, copy editing and social media management.  

Sarah BauerSarah Bauer
Advocate and Allies Coordinator

Sarah is a Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UVa where she is researching the sustainable energy production of microalgae for use in algae-to-energy systems under the direction of Dr. Lisa Colosi Peterson.  Sarah earned her M.S. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UVa in 2015.  Her M.S. thesis research earned her first place at the 11th annual University of Virginia Engineering Research Symposium (UVERS), which lead her to be selected to represent the School of Engineering and Applied Science at UVa’s annual Public Day Exhibition.  Sarah currently holds the position of Vice Chair of UVa’s Graduate Engineering Student Council (GESC).  As a graduate research assistant for CHARGE, Sarah is working with Dr. Archie Holmes as the project manager for the Advocate and Allies initiative.


Kassie GrimesKassie Grimes
Graduate Research Assistant

While with CHARGE, Kassie matriculated as a second year M.S./Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at U.Va. where she is focused on research spanning the areas of emerging contaminant removal, algae-to-energy production, and wastewater treatment under the guidance of Dr. Lisa Colosi Peterson. She managd two groups of 4th year U.Va. undergraduate students with their capstone projects on topics related to her M.S. and Ph.D. research. She recently completed her M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at U.Va. in May 2016. As a graduate research assistant for CHARGE, Kassie is assisting with projects and planning events as they arise with a current focus on the grant proposal to initiate the pilot project from last year's Tournament of Ideas.


Evaluation U.Va. 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 will 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 and Director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (CASTL-HE) at the Curry School of Education

Karen has significant assessment experience and does research on group dynamics and team building.

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. Emorcia is the newest member of our team.

External Consultants

Rebecca Dohrman, Travis Tatum and Jenn Goodall are the Equity Consultants providing services to STEM departments.

Internal Advisory Board

The Internal Advisory Board (IAB) will meet quarterly with the Implementation Team to oversee project implementation, resolve project issues, and ensure that the project is on track for meeting its goals. Our IAB is populated with highly accomplished faculty members and administrators from across the university, with expertise and experience in diverse fields related to the grant.


The National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program aims to not only support the development of innovative ways to promote gender equity in the STEM academic workforce, but to also ensure that those innovations are sustainable. The ultimate goal of NSF is to foster lasting U.S. global competitiveness and innovation across all STEM fields. Sustainability is a key aspect of every ADVANCE grant and institutions are assessed on their ability to continue the work of their ADVANCE grant after the grant period ends. This means that all ADVANCE institutions are expected to integrate the projects and assessments into their daily fabric to create institutional change. NSF awarded an ADVANCE grant to U.Va. in part because they know that as an institution we have the capacity to incorporate and sustain the changes we have initiated after the funding period is over.

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 will be managed by the Internal Advisory Board (IAB). The IAB will oversee 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 will act as stewards 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.  


Bryan Garey, Interim VP for Human Resources
Kerry Abrams, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs & Chair, IAB
Ian Baucom, Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Craig Benson, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applies Science
Martin Davidson, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Darden Business School
Roseanne Ford, Cavaliers' Distinguished Teaching Professor and Chair, Chemical Engineering
Cassandra Fraser, Professor of Chemistry, Arts & Sciences
Hossein Haj-Hariri, Professor and Chair, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
John Hawley, Associate Dean for the Sciences and Professor of Astronomy, Arts & Sciences
Marcus Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity  
Leonard Schoppa, Associate Dean for the Social Sciences and Professor of Politics
George Stovall, Director of Institutional Assessment and Studies
Robert Tai, Associate Professor, Robert H. Tai Research Group (STEM Education), Curry School of Education
Carolyn Vallas, Assistant Dean for Diversity, Director of the Center for Diversity in Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science

External Advisory Board

The External Advisory Board (EAB), which will meet annually in Charlottesville 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


U.Va. CHARGE Organizational Chart (pdf)

Norris Research Group

National Center for Women & Information Technology

Teaching Resource Center



© Copyright 2012-2015 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

This is an ambitious effort that will require the assistance of many! If you are interested in getting involved, we welcome your participation. Please send an email to the team at uvacharge@virginia.edu. Feedback and suggestions are also welcome.

U.Va. CHARGE Program | Rice Hall 85 Engineer's Way | P.O. Box 400239 | Charlottesville, VA 22904