URI program administrator to be honored for advancing women in science, May 4

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KINGSTON, R.I. – April 26, 2101 – A program administrator who has been at the forefront of enhancing women’s opportunities at the University of Rhode Island has been named the 2010 Woman of the Year by the Association for Professional and Academic Women.

The association will honor Barbara Silver during ceremonies Tuesday, May 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the University Club, 95 Upper College Road, Kingston. Tickets are $25 prior to the event and $30 at the door. For further information, contact Mailee Kue at maileekue@uri.edu or 874-5829.

Among her many accomplishments, Silver’s key role in helping to bring a $3.5 million, 5-year National Science Foundation Grant to the University stands out as one that has transformed the University. The ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Project allowed the University to hire women faculty in the science, technology, mathematics, and engineering fields. These faculty members are gaining national and international recognition for their research in biomedical science, physics, engineering and environmental sciences. In 2007, Sliver became the principal investigator of the grant, for which she has overseen recruitment, retention, and faculty development programs, research, assessment and work-life issues.

The Stonington, Conn resident now serves as a research coordinator at URI’s Schmidt Labor Research Center, where she focuses on effective work-life policy and practices, and as program director of the URI Lactation Program. In that role, she administers an Elsevier Foundation grant that helped the University establish a lactation policy for new mothers returning to work.

She is also an independent consultant with the Brown University ADVANCE IT Program and is an adjunct professor of psychology and women’s studies at URI, Connecticut College and the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, Groton, Conn.

Silver is a member of the URI President’s Commission on the Status of Women, the URI Equity Council, and the URI Work-Life Committee. With her colleagues at URI, she has presented at numerous conferences on such topics as work/life balance in academia, faculty mentoring, developing a more family-friendly university and retaining and promoting women in science.

“Barb Silver is quite simply an outstanding advocate for women,” said Andrea Rusnock, president of the association and URI associate professor of history. “She has helped transform URI through her work on ADVANCE and by creating institutions such as the Work-Life Committee that will continue to champion women’s issues and equity issues on campus. It is our great pleasure to recognize and celebrate her inspirational leadership and innovative work.”