FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Ashley Garcia
Marketing and Communications Manager
communications@wepan.org

WEPAN Welcomes New Leaders for Its NSF-funded Initiatives

WEPAN Welcomes New Leaders for Its NSF-funded Initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC, June 14, 2021 – The Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) announces new leaders for their NSF-funded initiatives the ARC Network and ACCESS+. Andrea Lucy Putwen, Cedric Miller, Virginia Rhodes, Ashley Garcia, and Elizabeth Scire each bring years of experience to WEPAN and the drive toward equity in STEM.

“I am very excited about the growth of the WEPAN team! Each of the new staff members brings a tremendous amount of talent and relevant experience in their respective fields that is going to be crucial to helping us reach our goal of advancing cultures of inclusion and diversity in engineering,” says WEPAN Executive Director, Dr. Ershela Sims.

WEPAN’s ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network initiative is funded by a multiyear grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under awards HRD-2121468 and HRD-1740860. The ARC Network seeks to achieve intersectional gender equity for faculty in higher education science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The ARC Network draws on the efforts of ADVANCE, the NSF’s program addressing systemic inequities in academic STEM, and produces new perspectives, methods and interventions with an intersectional, intentional and inclusive lens.

The Amplifying the Alliance to Catalyze Change for Equity in STEM Success (ACCESS+) initiative, funded by an NSF ADVANCE Partnership award (HRD-2017953), aspires to leverage STEM professional societies to accelerate systemic STEM culture-change  to advance gender diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The ARC Network is a partner on the ACCESS+ grant, and Dr. Metcalf and WEPAN Executive Director Dr. Ershela Sims serve as co-PIs of ACCESS+.  

Andrea Lucy Putwen, a US Air Force veteran, joined WEPAN as the ACCESS+ Project Manager in May of 2021. Lucy Putwen is responsible for managing the ACCESS+ initiative and leading day-to-day operations. Prior to joining WEPAN, Lucy Putwen earned her BAS in technology management and worked with various religious, educational, and STEM non-profits in community engagement and communications roles.

Cedric Miller joined WEPAN as the Grants and Contracts Manager in April of 2021. Miller manages WEPAN’s grants and contracts portfolio which includes ARC Network and ACCESS+ grants. Miller’s responsibilities include coordinating budget and portfolio compliance to ensure WEPAN’s success in its grant-funded initiatives and contracts. Prior to joining WEPAN, Miller worked in sponsored projects in both pre- and post- award grants administration with the University of Georgia and The Ohio State University.

Virginia Rhodes, M.S. joined WEPAN in June of 2021 as the ARC Network Project Director.  Rhodes is responsible for the strategic management of the ARC Network. She will also provide leadership and direction for day-to-day operations of the ARC Network to ensure that goals and objectives are accomplished in line with the time frame and funding parameters of the grant. Prior to joining WEPAN, Rhodes was the Project Coordinator for IUPUI’s NSF ADVANCE Adaptation grant as well as a research associate at the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute.

Ashley Garcia, J.D. joined WEPAN in June of 2021 as the Marketing and Communications Manager. Garcia is responsible for marketing and communications strategy development and implementation for WEPAN, ARC Network, and ACCESS+. Prior to joining WEPAN, she was the account manager for the Office to Advance Women, Equity & Diversity (AWED), planning and executing communications strategies for AWED and FIU ADVANCE, FIU's National Science Foundation Institutional Transformation project.

Elizabeth Scire, M.P.A joined WEPAN in June of 2021 as the Operations and Database Associate. Scire’s role will include operational, administrative, and database management activities for WEPAN and ARC Network. Prior to joining WEPAN, she served the Operations and Database Associate for the Association for Women in Science.

“The synergy that the ACCESS+ and ARC Network initiatives bring to WEPAN expand our network and resources allowing us to leverage additional research and best practices to foster an environment of equity and inclusion in engineering. The addition of these new staff will round out our team and allow us to not only move forward in an efficient and collaborative manner, but also develop and implement a plan to sustain the work we are doing,” says Sims.

WEPAN is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1990. Recognized as the leading champion in North America for leveraging research and best practices to propel the inclusion of women in the field of engineering, WEPAN advocates to fully embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion to meet the demands of today’s innovation and performance-driven business culture. Dedicated to advancing cultures of inclusion and diversity in engineering higher education and workplaces, WEPAN connects people, research, and practice to increase participation, retention and success of women and other under-represented groups in engineering from college to executive leadership.

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About the ARC Network: Funded by the National Science Foundation ADVANCE program, Awards HRD 2121468 and HRD-1740860, the ARC Network seeks to achieve gender equity for faculty in higher education science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. As the STEM equity brain trust, the ARC Network recognizes the achievements made so far while producing new perspectives, methods and interventions with an intersectional, intentional and inclusive lens. Learn more about the ARC Network at https://www.equityinstem.org and on social media using #EquityInSTEM.

About ACCESS+: The Amplifying the Alliance to Catalyze Change for Equity in STEM Success (ACCESS+) Initiative, funded by National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE  Partnership grant #2017953, aspires to leverage STEM professional societies to accelerate systemic STEM culture-change to advance gender diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

About WEPAN: WEPAN is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1990. Recognized as the leading champion in North America for leveraging research and best practices to propel the inclusion of women in the field of engineering, WEPAN advocates to fully embrace diversity, equity and inclusion to meet the demands of today’s innovation and performance-driven business culture. Dedicated to advancing cultures of inclusion and diversity in engineering higher education and workplaces, WEPAN connects people, research, and practice to increase participation, retention and success of women and other under-represented groups in engineering from college to executive leadership. To learn more, visit www.wepan.org.

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