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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.

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

UWPA Advisory Board Meeting Picture

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
  • Women’s History Month & Scholars Conference (w/ WGSS)
  • Illinois Women in Leadership Panel
  • 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