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News: Dr. Menear completes HERS Institute leadership program

September 13, 2019
UAB News, by Adam Pope

Sue Feldman, Ph.D., and Kristi Menear, Ph.D.
Sue Feldman, Ph.D., and Kristi Menear, Ph.D.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Kristi Menear, Ph.D., and Sue Feldman, Ph.D., recently completed the Higher Education Resource Services program, a leadership development and research organization dedicated to women in higher education. The program was held at the 2019 HERS Institute at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.

Recent research has concluded that women hold less than 40 percent of tenured positions, only 36 percent of full professorships and only 30 percent of president roles at the nation’s colleges and universities. To combat this undeniable gender gap, the HERS Institute, a leadership development program, was created to proactively fill the higher-education leadership pipelines across the United States with dynamic women. It aims to provide participants with the opportunity to develop their individual leadership strengths and boldly lead change on their campuses and in their roles. It also seeks to expand their knowledge of the national higher-education landscape and become even stronger assets to their institutions.

Menear and Feldman joined 63 other competitively selected women leaders from across the United States and Canada to partake in the intensive, residential leadership development program at Bryn Mawr.

Menear has been the founding director of the School of Education’s research, grants and faculty development since February. Feldman serves as associate professor and director of Graduate Programs in Health Informatics within the School of Health Professions.

“My HERS Institute individual Leadership Project was to engage with colleagues from across the country to learn more best practices related to pre-award grant development and faculty development for scholarship and teaching in preparation for launching this new office,” Menear said. “My experience at HERS affirmed many of our plans for the office and provided new ideas to explore. I also gained an incredible network of colleagues whom I can connect with in the future as the office evolves over time. The new office will be a service to faculty in relation to each of the five pillars in the school’s new five-year strategic plan.”

Each attendee of the HERS Institute is required to complete a self-designed Leadership Project for her respective institution, which serves as a personal case study that pursues organizational change on campus. Examples of a participant’s case study work could include creating a new institution program, launching a campus center or spearheading other types of campus initiatives, like grant applications. A participant’s leadership development begins on her HERS Institute application and continues throughout her residency.

“My HERS individual Leadership Project is to lead faculty through a curriculum redesign as we move from content-based to competency-based education in health informatics,” Feldman said. “Through meeting with others who have led faculty through change, I was able to learn about what worked and what did not work. The colleagues who are so willing to share and the larger HERS network have already helped me apply what I learned and think differently.”