July 23, 2008
Contact: Erika Farmer
Director of Development & Corporate Relations
Nancy Steffen-Fluhr Receives WEPAN University Change Agent Award
Dr. Nancy Steffen-Fluhr is a determined, energetic, and effective catalyst for change to help transform culture in engineering education to ensure the success of all women engineers.
Denver, July 23, 2008 –The University Change Agent Award honors an individual who has had a positive impact on their institution with regard to the climate for women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, with an emphasis on engineering. The award was presented June 10 at the WEPAN National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
The 2008 University Change Agent Award was presented to Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Director of the Murray Center for Women in Technology the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
Dr. Steffen-Fluhr began her NJIT career in 1971 and she has been a consistent and effective change agent working to support the advancement of women students, faculty, and staff by establishing effective partnerships for change.
In the 1980's, she collaborated with Dean of Students Constance Murray to write the university's first Affirmative Action Grievance Procedure and to seek funding for programs. She is one of the founders of NJIT's first organization for women faculty and staff (now ACENET) and is a long-time member of the Affirmative Action Council. Additionally, she is the founding Chair of Committee on Women's Issues (CWI), which advises the president on gender equity. As the chair of CWI, she led successful efforts to establish on-site childcare, a Tenure Clock Pause policy, and an 'Active Service Modified Duties' policy providing teaching relief for faculty following an adoption or birth of a child.
Nancy Steffen-Fluhr was also instrumental in the creation of NJIT's Murray Center for Women in Technology. Serving as the Center's director throughout its 13-year history, she oversees the center’s networking and mentoring programs and works with academic departments to foster research-based best practices in recruitment and retention of women students and faculty.
She designed NJIT's Gender, Technology, and Diversity minor (GTD) and has taught the GTD "Women in Technology" course for more than a decade. From 2000-2005, she co-chaired an investigatory Status of Women Faculty Committee and authored its 2003 and 2005 climate study reports. Many of the recommendations from these reports have subsequently become policy and practice.
Dr. Steffen-Fluhr has also served on two strategic planning taskforces for increasing recruitment and retention of women/minority students and faculty. She has helped to design diversity training for all new employees, conducts best practices training with faculty search committees, and designed the university's Work/Life Balance Resources website. In 2006, she received a three-year $780K Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science foundation for her proposal “More than the Sum of Its Parts: Advancing Women at NJIT through Collaborative Research Networks”.
In the words of one of her nominators, Dr. Nancy Steffen-Fluhr has been a determined, energetic, and effective catalyst for change throughout her 37-year career at NJIT, creating a powerful network for the advancement of women faculty and students in science, technology, engineering and math.
WEPAN, Women in Engineering ProActive Network, is the nation’s leading organization and catalyst for transforming culture in engineering education to promote the success of all women.
WEPAN works to improve the education experience for aspiring women engineers by:
- Mobilizingdiverse, inclusive, and collaborative stakeholders.
- Fosteringdiversity in engineering graduates, our innovators of tomorrow.
- Inspiring anetwork of advocates to empower and advance the education of womenpursuing engineering and related disciplines.
- Translatingresearch into practice and develops national models to attract and retainwomen in engineering.
- A nonprofit educational organization founded in 1990, WEPAN’s network includes:
- Over 175 womenin engineering programs and initiatives at American colleges anduniversities serve 42,890 female engineering students
- Over 600members, including Women in Engineering professionals, faculty, departmentchairs, and deans, leading campus-based initiatives to retain women inengineering
- 60 executivesfrom corporate, government, and non-profit sectors
- WEPANmembership spans the nation and crosses international borders and isheadquartered in Denver, Colorado.