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Programs, resources, and research supporting faculty recruitment, retention, climate, and leadership.

Our Mission

The ADVANCE Program focuses on four areas relevant to the success of a diverse and excellent faculty: recruitment, retention, climate, and leadership development. Together, these encompass not only multiple stages of faculty careers but also multiple mechanisms by which faculty diversity and excellence at U-M are enhanced. The strategies we use to address our goals can be broadly categorized as: research and evaluation; knowledge and skill development; community building; and resources and support.

Initially focusing on institutional transformation with respect to women faculty in science and engineering fields (2002 NSF ADVANCE IT Grant proposal), the program has expanded to address necessary institutional changes to support the needs of a diverse faculty in all fields. Many of the strategies we develop also are relevant to postdoctoral fellows, students, and staff. As such, we consult and collaborate with various campus constituents and welcome requests to tailor our programs to specific institutional needs or goals.

ADVANCE works directly with many departments, schools and colleges to support their efforts to bring positive changes to the work environment. We also offer many documents (handbooks, and handouts), research reports, lists of resources and programs (workshops, group discussions, seminars) that are designed to facilitate departmental, school and college efforts.

Our Leadership Team & Staff


Jennifer Linderman, Ph.D.

Director of ADVANCE

Jennifer oversees all of ADVANCE’s activities. In addition, she is a faculty member in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and an affiliated faculty member in the Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics. Her research interests include mathematical/computational modeling with applications in tuberculosis, immunology, cancer and tissue engineering.

Lilia Cortina, Ph.D.

Associate Director of ADVANCE

Lilia provides leadership to the ADVANCE program, especially to meet faculty needs in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. In addition, she is a faculty member in Psychology and Women’s Studies, with a courtesy appointment at the Ross School of Business. She researches workplace victimization, especially incivility and harassment based on sex, sexuality, and gender.

Isis Settles

Associate Director of ADVANCE

Isis Settles is Professor of Psychology and Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She received her BA from Harvard College and her PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan. After working at Michigan State University for 15 years, Dr. Settles joined the faculty of UM in 2016. Using an intersectional framework, her research focuses on the experiences, perceptions, and consequences of unfair treatment (e.g., sexual harassment, racial discrimination) directed at devalued social group members (e.g., racial minorities, women). Dr. Settles is a fellow of the Society for the Psychology of Women, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation.

Cynthia Hudgins, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Administration

Cynthia is responsible for unit administration, including finance, human resources, facilities and operations. She works closely with the Director to develop and implement strategic plans to meet ADVANCE’s mission. She has been at the University since 1991 and with the ADVANCE Program since 2004. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Indiana University and her Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Michigan.

Janet Malley, Ph.D.

Director of Research and Evaluation

Janet is responsible for evaluations of all program initiatives, internal research studies and climate assessments undertaken by the program. Prior to that she was associate director of U-M’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She received her Ph.D. in personality psychology from Boston University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Survey Research. She has significant expertise and experience with quantitative and qualitative data analysis of institutional data.


Wendy Ascione-Juska, MSW

Event Manager

Wendy coordinates events for the ADVANCE networks and LIFT as well as school/college-specific programming. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women’s Studies and a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan.

Shawn Beard

Research Associate

Shawn is ADVANCE’s staff lead for the U-M President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. He also assists with administrative matters, programming, and STRIDE. He works closely with the Associate Director of Administration on day-to-day operations. He has been with the ADVANCE Program since 2009, and is currently working towards a degree in Elementary Education.

Nitya Chandran, Ph.D. MPP

Postdoctoral Fellow

Nitya is a postdoctoral fellow with the Research and Evaluation team. Nitya earned her doctorate in Cellular and Clinical Neurobiology at Wayne State University and most recently, a Masters in Public Policy at the Ford School of Public Policy. At ADVANCE, Nitya works on the campus wide climate studies, while also pursuing her interests in institutional research and policy.

Anne Cope

Administrative Assistant

Anne works closely with leadership and staff to coordinate office operations and provide administrative support. She provides assistance with scheduling, finances, travel coordination, facilities & operations, and procedure documentation. Anne is responsible for providing executive level support to the Director and for managing her calendar.

Joanna Frye, Ph.D.

Senior Research and Evaluation Manager

Joanna coordinates many of the ADVANCE Program’s research activities and data management efforts. She began her work at ADVANCE as a postdoctoral fellow in 2016 after earning a doctorate in higher education at U-M.

Sasha C. Mejia, MA

Research and Evaluation Manager

Sasha works on the Research and Evaluation team to report on institutional data, evaluate ADVANCE events and workshops, and conduct surveys about campus climate. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California Santa Barbara, an MA in Secondary Education from Eastern New Mexico University, and, most recently, an MA in Program Evaluation and Improvement Research from the School of Education at U-M.

Michelle Pham

Assistant Program Manager

Michelle serves as an Assistant Program Manager. Her responsibilities center around the administration of the Launch Program at ADVANCE. Michelle’s recent work was as a researcher of climate and inclusion within STEM workplaces. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Women’s Studies at Rice University.

Jamie Saville, MPA

Project Manager

Jamie works with our collaborators to organize our STRIDE Committee, NextProf initiatives, Faculty Development Workshops and additional events and program initiatives. After spending 14 years helping to direct the University of Michigan’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program, Jamie is now applying her program management and development experience, as well as her passion for diversity initiatives, to U-M faculty.


Dominique Acosta

Masters in Higher Education Student Access and Success

Erick Aguinaldo

Joint Psychology and Women's Studies PhD

Zoe Cutler

Master of Music in Trombone Performance

Ben Greenberg

Undergraduate in Psychology

Jordan Hudgins

Undergraduate in Data Science

Jessica Kiebler

PhD Program: Joint Program in Psychology and Women's Studies