Villanova University’s dedication to achieving greater gender equity in engineering and STEM fields is evident in its continued and past support for female engineering students and faculty. The Clare Boothe Luce Program is pleased to advance Villanova’s efforts to provide female students with distinctive research experiences and mentorship opportunities through a grant for 18 undergraduate research awards.
Over the past decade, Villanova University’s College of Engineering has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading engineering programs for women. In the gender diversity of its faculty and student body, the College consistently exceeds national averages for the percentage of women teaching and studying engineering. In addition, there are a variety of K-12 STEM outreach programs and support services and resources across campus that demonstrate Villanova’s commitment to ensuring greater gender equity in engineering and STEM disciplines. These were among the factors that led the Henry Luce Foundation’s Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Program, a national leader in promoting women in STEM, to award Villanova $236,635 in support of 18 undergraduate research awards for women in the College.
Nationally, women earn only 23.6% of doctoral degrees in engineering and represent only 17.4% of the discipline’s tenured/tenure-track faculty (ASEE, 2018)—statistics that have seen only moderate increases in the past decade. The Clare Boothe Luce Engineering Scholars Program at Villanova (CBL-ESP) aims for greater gender parity at the PhD level by supporting female engineers throughout their educational journeys and into research-oriented professions, both inside and outside academia. The goal of CBL-ESP is to provide female students with three distinctive research experiences from freshman through junior year, along with intentional mentorship from College faculty, alumnae and graduate students. The program will also ignite the College’s new initiative: WE_CAN—Women Engineers in Community at Nova—which creates an umbrella for all Villanova Engineering-sponsored initiatives designed to help aspiring and current female engineers reach their full potential from primary school to career.