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University Womens Professional Advancement

Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity


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Mission Statement: UWPA is dedicated to creating a vital, productive and empowering environment for all Faculty, Staff and Students by advancing a climate of excellence and service at SIU Carbondale. The mission of UWPA in particular is to create and support equitable opportunities for all women throughout the SIU Carbondale campus and community. This intention is met through UWPA’s signature programing, advisory board and ongoing support for women’s professional development, social empowerment and personal advancement.

Photos from our "Lean In" Leadership Workshop Series

Featuring Dr. Suzanne Altobello, 
Associate Professor of Marketing, College of Business, SIU Carbondale

modeling successSpeaking to a nearly full house.

modeling success An encouraging message from Doctor Altobello.

modeling success

SIU students shared their perspectives.

modeling successSIU staff members offered many ideas.

modeling successThe physical posture of success.

modeling success
A diverse group of students from Carbondale Community High School attended.

Celebrate Women!

Anna Jackson: 2013 UWPA Mentorship Award Winner

celebrate womenProfessor Jackson has supported generations of teachers and students through her teaching of Young Adult Literature and her work in the educational community.

Celebrate Women Thanks!

celebrateDr. Janet Fuller (left) and Melinda Yeomans (right) with graduate student scholars.


  • We believe in supporting fair and just treatment for all human beings. 
  • We appreciate and value professionalism and, thereby, believe equal opportunity should be available to everyone.
  • We believe that, where barriers exist, procedures and legislation must be amended to expedite the removal of such barriers. 
  • We believe women's capabilities should be acknowledged and fully utilized.
  • We believe in an equitable reward system for everyone.
  • We believe that special efforts to improve the professional development and advancement of women of all ethnicities will ultimately enhance the social development and status of the University.
  • We believe that through cooperation and collaboration we can enhance the social, intellectual and economic quality of SIU Carbondale.

About UWPA

In October 1987, a Presidential Task Force to study women’s issues was convened on the SIU Carbondale campus. One year of work was completed by approximately 30 faculty and staff who proposed several specific recommendations to President John Guyon. Afterwards, he appointed a permanent committee which was led by Dr. Uma Sekaran who then further examined the status of women at SIU Carbondale.

In August 1999, Dr. Janice Schoen Henry became the first coordinator of University Women’s Professional Advancement (UWPA). Since its establishment, UWPA has had a strong and effective presence on the SIU Carbondale campus collaborating and advocating for inclusive excellence and women. 

UWPA Objectives 2013-2014 Academic Year

advisory board
UWPA Advisory Board Meeting.

UWPA Advisory Board

  • Bi-Monthly Meetings
  • Discuss and plan programing and trajectory together
  • Creation of sub-committees to serve projects

Professional Development Opportunities

  • UWPA Leadership Series: Monthly Workshops
  • Mentoring female Faculty, AP and Civil Service
  • Travel/research grants for Faculty, AP, Civil Service and Students
  • Civil Service Connections Group Support and Network
  • Civil Service Professional Development Programming

Awards and Scholarships

  • UWPA University Women of Distinction
  • Joint Awards with WGSS
  • Research Grants
  • Graduate Student Scholarships

Event Programing

  • UWPA Civil Service Luncheon
  • UWPA Faculty Social and Mentoring Start-Up
  • UWPA Mentoring Socials for AP, NTTs and Civil Service
  • UWPA Open Houses Fall and spring
  • Celebrate Women (w/ WGSS and AAUW)
  • UWPA Open Houses Fall and spring
  • HERS Collaboration
  • Guest Speakers, Scholars & Leaders (Hosting Native American Poet, Joy Harjo and other speakers, films and dialogues)
  • Women’s History Month & Scholars Conference (w/ WGSS)
  • Illinois Women in Leadership Panel (Chancellor Rita Cheng invited to commence this late fall or early spring)
  • Faculty Scholars' Panel
  • Graduate Scholars' Panel

Advocacy & Campus Education

  • UWPA Leadership Series: Monthly Workshops
  • Civil Service Resource List
  • UWPA Resource Library
  • Parental Leave Brochure (An educational tool for faculty and staff created with Dr. Fuller, WGSS)
  • Workshop(s): Progressive Gender Dynamics: Creating a Climate of Mutual Respect and Empowerment For Men and Women

Service Projects

  • The Working Mother Project: Providing Job Skills Growth to Underserved Women in the Carbondale Community
  • Community Service for Youth in Southern Illinois - The Professional Advancement Project

Gender Climate Research