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Organization

Mission

To build a community of women scholars that enriches the university, the Penn Forum for Women Faculty:

  • Advocates for policies and practices that promote equity for women faculty;

  • Creates opportunities for education, professional skill-building, networking, and cross-school and cross-disciplinary interactions for women faculty;

  • Provides advice to Penn’s administration on matters of significance to women faculty;

  • Enhances Penn’s visibility as a welcoming community for women faculty;

  • Engages with prominent women scholars and colleagues at other institutions to identify best practices for enhancing opportunities for women faculty;

  • Develops initiatives and programming to share with women faculty nationwide.

The Forum was conceived and developed by women faculty across all twelve schools at Penn, with support from the Office of the Provost and the Trustees' Council of Penn Women.

For more information, please contact forum@pobox.upenn.edu 

PFWF Council Members

The Forum is led by Amy Hillier (Past Chair), Associate Professor, School of Social Policy and Practice and Associate Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning, Penn Design; Marsha Lester (Chair), Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, School of Arts and Sciences; and Vera Krymskaya (Chair-Elect), Professor of Medicine, Pereleman School of Medicine.

Its activities are overseen by a council comprised of women faculty representing all 12 schools and all ranks at Penn. The Council also serves as an advisory committee to the Office of the Provost on issues of interest to the women faculty, including the development of centralized initiatives for women faculty and relevant reports to the University of Pennsylvania community.

Stephanie Abbuhl

Stephanie Abbuhl

Stephanie Abbuhl, MD, Perelman School of Medicine
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Abbuhl, Associate Professor in the Perelman School of Medicine, is Vice Chair of Emergency Medicine at Penn. She played a key role in the evolution of Emergency Medicine into a full academic department at Penn, and served as Medical Director of the Emergency Department for 14 years. Dr. Abbuhl’s research interests include operational and administrative issues in emergency medicine, pain management, and faculty development, particularly concerning women’s careers in medicine and biomedical research.
Teaching: Emergency medicine
Leadership/Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Abbuhl is the Executive Director of FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women, which strives to recruit, retain and promote women faculty in the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn. In 2004, FOCUS received the AAMC’s Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award. Dr. Abbhul has been involved in many key gender equity initiatives within the Perelman School of Medicine and across the University. Last year, she and her colleague, Jeane Ann Grisso, MD, MSc, were awarded a NIH grant to conduct a cluster-randomized intervention trial to improve the academic productivity, job satisfaction, and the overall quality of life for junior women faculty.

Samantha Butts

Samantha Butts

Samantha F. Butts, MD, MSCE, Perelman School of Medicine

Scholarship and Research: Dr.Butts is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and a trained clinical epidemiologist. In her clinical practice, she evaluate and treat multiple causes of infertility, seeing patients with hormonal problems related to reproduction and perform surgical procedures related to disorders of the reproductive tract (such as ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids).  Her research interests include reproductive aging, reproductive health disparities, the impact of nutritional and environmental factors on reproductive outcomes and obesity-related effects on reproduction. Specifically, she is building a program to understand the impact of preconception nutrition and environmental chemicals on fertility, miscarriage, and development of ongoing pregnancies and am amongst a group of investigators that is part of an NIH-funded program in Epigenetics and Reproduction to do this research.

Teaching: Dr.Butts is also involved in graduate medical education for the residents in obstetrics and gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  She supervises resident education in infertility and reproductive endocrinology, which involves a rotation that teaches gynecologic ultrasound, diagnosis and evaluation of infertility and of reproductive endocrine disorders.

Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr.Butsts  is dedicated to outreach that focuses on scientific education of high school students and engages members of the community to enhance awareness of topics related to the promotion of reproductive health.    

Chenoa Flippen

Chenoa Flippen

Chenoa Flippen, PhD, School of Arts and Sciences
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Flippen is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Research Associate at Penn’s Population Studies Center. Her research interests include racial and ethnic inequality; life-course and aging, especially with respect to minority well-being; and Hispanic immigrant adaptation, particularly across the southern US. She is an active member of both the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America, having organized sessions and led discussions at recent annual meetings. Her conference presentations and published articles frequently highlight family structure, work, and wages, as they intersect race, ethnicity, and gender.
Teaching: Population and Sociology
Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Flippen has mentored a number of students from undergraduates through to the PhD level, and has coordinated several workshops and colloquiums in the Sociology Department. She currently serves on the University Council Committee on Diversity and Equity, and has served on the Faculty Grievance Commission.

Carmen Guerra

Carmen Guerra

Carmen E. Guerra, M.D., M.S.C.E.

Scholarship and Research: Dr. Guerra is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine.  Dr. Guerra is also the Associate Chief of Staff and Associate Director of the Abramson Cancer Center.  Dr. Guerra’s research and scholarship has focused on better understanding and addressing barriers to accessing cancer screening, research and clinical services experienced by underrepresented minorities and other vulnerable populations.  Dr. Guerra also has implementing her research through the creation of several cancer screening navigation programs for underserved populations and as founding Director of the Abramson Cancer Center’s Office of Diversity.  These programs have provided access to cancer screening tests to hundreds of underrepresented minorities in the Philadelphia region.

Teaching: Dr. Guerra’s primary teaching is in the core and elective courses in Master of Science of Clinical Epidemiology and Master of Science in Health Policy Research training programs, where she teaches questionnaire design, implementation and analysis and qualitative research methods.

Leadership/Mentorship of Women Faculty: In 2015, Dr. Guerra worked in collaboration with the Department of Medicine leadership and the Wharton School Faculty to create the Edward S. Cooper Leadership Training Program, a program supported by the Office of the Provost and the Department of Medicine.  The participants of the leadership training program were predominantly (80%) women and diverse faculty from the Department of Medicine.  The program was a great success and plans are in place for to offer the training program to faculty from across the Perelman School of Medicine and to emerging leaders from across the university through the Penn Fellows program.  Dr. Guerra is a former Penn Fellow and currently serves on the University Senate Committee for Faculty Development, Diversity and Equity.  Dr. Guerra is also the President of the American Cancer Society, East Central Division and serves on the national Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society. 

Femida Handy

Femida Handy

Femida Handy, PhD, School of Social Policy & Practice, Past Chair
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Handy, Professor of Social Policy & Practice, researches the economics of the nonprofit sector. She studies the micro-foundational issues of the nonprofit sector, as well as NGOs and volunteerism. Dr. Handy is the editor-in-chief of the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, the top-ranked journal in its field. In 2010 and 2008, Dr. Handy was awarded the Editors’ Prize for Best Scholarly Paper Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Jossey-Bass Publishers. She was also the recipient of the Outstanding Dissertation Award of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) in 1996.
Teaching: topics related to the nonprofit sector, the economics of human behavior and organizational life, economics of social welfare, economics of environmental issues.
Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Handy is the 2011 recipient of the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program, University of Pennsylvania. Her research empowers and informs women through the questions it raises and answers. In 2010, she became a co-investigator on a grant examining “Social Business and Marginalized Social Groups,” and the previous year she was a co-investigator of a grant entitled “Women’s nonprofit organizations; Does feminist discourse define organizational identity?”

Amy Hillier

Amy Hillier

Amy Hillier, PhD, School of Design, Past Chair

Scholarship and Research: Dr. Hillier, Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning, studies geographic disparities in health and housing. Her research makes extensive use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and spatial analysis to understanding redlining and housing discrimination, access to healthful foods, park use, and exposure to outdoor advertising. She co-directs The Ward: Race and Class in Du Bois’ Seventh Ward, a public history, research, and teaching project dedicated to sharing the timeless lessons about racism and the role of research in affecting social change from W.E.B. Du Bois’ 1899 book, The Philadelphia Negro (www.dubois-theward.org).

Teaching: Dr. Hillier teaches graduate courses in community development and public health as well as graduate and undergraduate courses in GIS mapping in urban studies, city planning, public health, and social work. 

Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Hillier serves as a diversity search advisor for PennDesign. Throughout her research career, she has mentored a wide range of high school, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, most of them women, through research internships. She is excited to serve on PFWF where she is mentored by women faculty leaders and able to provide support to other colleagues. 

Olena Jacenko

Olena Jacenko

Olena Jacenko, PhD, School of Veterinary Medicine
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Jacenko, Associate Professor of Physiology, investigates how blood disorders such as bone marrow failure and immune dysfunction, as well as certain cancers, may involve a link between skeletal formation and establishment of the marrow environment. Dr. Jacenko’s laboratory explores mechanisms linking endochondral skeletal development and establishment of the marrow microenvironment (e.g., the niche where blood cells develop).
Teaching: Histology and biochemistry. Dr. Jacenko has won numerous teaching awards, including awards voted for directly by the students.
Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Jacenko helped initiate a mentoring program for junior faculty in the Vet School, one of the first formal mentoring programs at the University. She currently sits on the mentoring committees for all junior faculty in the Vet School and is a member of the University Faculty Senate Committee on Faculty Development, Diversity, and Equity.

Viviane Khoury

Viviane Khoury

Viviane Khoury, MD, Perelman School of Medicine

Scholarship and Research: Dr. Khoury is an assistant professor of Radiology in the Musculoskeletal Division at Penn. She specializes in all aspects of musculoskeletal imaging, including MRI, CT, and fluoroscopically-guided procedures. In addition, she is the Director of Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, a new service at UPHS available since 2012, where diagnostic and minimally invasive US-guided treatment of bone, joint, tendon, and muscle disorders are performed. Dr. Khoury is board-certified by the American Board of Radiology, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the College des Medecins du Quebec. She is a member of the Radiological Society of North America, the American College of Radiology, the International Skeletal Society, and the Society of Skeletal Radiology. She sees patients at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
Teaching: Dr. Khoury is actively involved in national and international organizations for hands-on training of her subspecialty. Her research interests include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound of sports and overuse injuries.
Leadership and Mentorship of Women Faculty: Dr. Khoury serves on the Council for the Penn Forum for Women Faculty.

Vera Krymskaya

Vera Krymskaya

Vera P. Krymskaya, PhD, MBA, Perelman School of Medicine, Chair-Elect

Scholarship and Research: Dr. Krymskaya, Associate Professor of Medicine, specializes in rare and common lung diseases including lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), Tuberous Sclerosis (TS), Birt-Hogg-Dube, idiopathic Multicentric Castelman’s disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma. Focus of her studies is on determining molecular targets for potential therapeutic intervention. Dr. Krymskaya’s seminal discoveries in LAM and TS impacted the fields’ understanding of molecular mechanisms and development of new clinical treatment for LAM and TS. Dr. Krymskaya received the Science Advancement Award from the LAM Foundation, and was elected a fellow of the College of Physician’s of Philadelphia.
Teaching: Director of Education at the Airway Biology Initiative, Department of Medicine; Director of the Research Conduct and Bioethics course, the Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Division; Cell and Molecular Biology graduate group, Cell Physiology and Metabolism Program, Perelman School of Medicine.
Leadership/Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Krymskaya is an active participant of the FOCUS on Health and Leadership for Women at the Perelman School of Medicine. She has mentored numerous women-trainees from undergraduates to the Associate Professor levels on career development in academic environment. She served on search committees for Physician-Scientist at the Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care Division, Department of Medicine, Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility, and Hearings List for the Faculty Grievance Commission.

Anh Le

Anh Le

Anh D. Le, DDS, PhD, School of Dental Medicine

Scholarship and Research: Dr. Anh Le, Norman-Vine Professor, is Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dentistry and the Penn Medicine Health System. She is Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Her research interests include orofacial tissue wound repair/regeneration, development of experimental disease models in inflammatory diseases, benign tumors and cancer of the head and neck, and advances therapeutic intervention with stem cell based therapy.

Teaching: Oral and maxillofacial surgery; stem cell biology; oral cancer

Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Le has been recognized for her strong advocate to effectively mentor faculty at early stage of his/her career development. Several of her mentees now hold successful academic positions worldwide in different specialties. She was the 2012-2013 fellow in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women. She has spearheaded several initiatives supported by the University Vice-Provost’s Office to develop strategies and best practices to promote and sustain academic excellence through diversity. 

Sophia Lee

Sophia Lee

Sophia Z. Lee, PhD, JD, Penn Law

Scholarship and Research: Sophia Lee is a Professor in the Law School with a secondary appointment in the History Department. She is a legal historian who focuses on the impact that the modern administrative state has had on constitutional movements and constitutional law. She has written about administrative agencies' role in shaping constitutional law; civil rights and labor advocates' challenges to workplace discrimination during the early Cold War; and conservative legal movements in the post-New Deal era. Her book, The Workplace Constitution from the New Deal to the New Right, was recently published by Cambridge University Press.
Teaching: Employment Law, Administrative Law, The Constitution Outside of the Courts, The History of Privacy and the LawLeadership/Mentorship for Women Faculty: Before becoming a legal historian, Dr. Lee worked on issues facing low-income families, including education, child welfare, income assistance, and criminal justice. Since joining Penn, she has taught about sex discrimination, actively mentored students, and been involved with student groups working on women's and feminist issues. 

Marsha Lester

Marsha Lester

Marsha I. Lester, PhD, School of Arts and Sciences, Chair
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Lester, the Edmund J. Kahn Distinguished Professor in the Department Chemistry of the School of Arts & Sciences, served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry from 2005 to 2009 before assuming her new role as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Chemical Physics. She has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Chemical Society. Her research focuses on experimental and theoretical studies of reaction mechanisms, including chemical intermediates involved in key atmospheric, environmental, and combustion processes.
Teaching: Chemistry of the environment and molecular spectroscopy and dynamics
Leadership and Mentorship of Women Faculty: As the first woman Chair of Chemistry and, at the time, the only woman Chair of a Natural Science Department, Dr. Lester has been a leader and role model for other women faculty at Penn. She has been an organizer of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women Lecture in Chemistry since its inception in 1994 and concomitantly an advisor to the Graduate Women in Chemistry Mentoring Program. Dr. Lester is a founding member of the Penn Forum for Women Faculty.

Jessica Lingel

Jessica Lingel

Jessa Lingel, PhD, Annenberg School of Communication

Scholarship and Research: Jessa Lingel is an assistant professor at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, she was a post doctoral research fellow at Microsoft Research New Englang, working with the Social Media Collective. She received her PhD in communication and information from Rutgers University. She has an MLIS from Pratt Institute and an MA from New York University. Her research interests include information inequalities and technological distributions of power.

Janice Madden

Janice Madden

Janice Madden, PhD, School of Arts and Sciences
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Madden, Professor of Sociology, Real Estate, and Regional Science, was the Robert C. Daniels Term Chair in Urban Studies and served as Penn’s Vice Provost for Graduate Education for eight years. In addition, she served as the Interim Director and the Director of Graduate Studies at the Fels Institute of Government and the Chair of the Graduate Program in Demography. She frequently works as an expert in labor economics and statistics in class action discrimination litigation in federal courts. Her research focuses on the effects of changing racial, gender, and ethnic compositions of the U.S. labor force on labor market outcomes and also on the structure of cities.
Teaching: Labor and Urban Economics
Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Madden has twice held the position of Director of the Alice Paul Research Center and the Women’s Studies Program, and remains an affiliated faculty member of the program. She was a founding member and Vice President of Women for Equal Opportunity at the University of Pennsylvania and was faculty affirmative action officer for the social sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences. She has served on the board of the women’s center for the last 25 years. As Chair of the Faculty Senate Committee on the Faculty, she wrote Penn’s first policy on maternity leave, and, as a member of the original Gender Equity Report Committee, conducted the statistical analysis of salary for the first report. She has served as a Penn Representative to the Nine Universities Group. She served two terms on the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession at its founding. She is a founding member of the Penn Forum for Women Faculty.

Ani Nenkova

Ani Nenkova

Ani Nenkova, PhD, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Nenkova is an Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her main areas of research are computational linguistics and artificial intelligence, with emphasis on developing computational methods for analysis of text quality and style, discourse, affect recognition and summarization. She obtained her PhD degree in computer science from Columbia University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University before joining Penn.
 

Laura Perna

Laura Perna

Laura Perna, PhD, Graduate School of Education
Scholarship and Research: Laura W. Perna is a James S. Riepe Professor and founding Executive Director of the Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy (AHEAD) at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also serving as past chair of the Faculty Senate at the University of Pennsylvania, chair of the Higher Education Division of the Graduate School of Education, faculty fellow of the Institute for Urban Research, faculty affiliate of the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative, and member of the advisory board for the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. She holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned her master’s in public policy and Ph.D. in education from the University of Michigan.

Holly Pittman

Holly Pittman

Holly Pittman, PhD, School of Arts and Sciences
Scholarship and Research: Holly Pittman has excavated in Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran and has had primary publication responsibilities of the art and especially the glyptic art from the sites of Malyan in the Fars province of Iran; Uruk period Tell Brak; and Uruk period Hacienbi Tepe. She co-curated the traveling exhibition of the "Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur" from the University Museum. Her current research interests revolve around the excavations of the sites of Konar Sandal South and North in the region of Jiroft in south-central Iran. Dr. Pittman has participated in two seasons of excavation of the two mounds and the exploration and survey of the region.

Elizabeth Rhoades

Elizabeth Rhoades

Elizabeth Rhoades, PhD, School of Arts and Sciences

Scholarship and Research: Dr. Rhoades completed an undergraduate degree in Physics at Duke University, and  a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Michigan.   Following postdoctoral work at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Cornell University studying protein folding and aggregation, she spent 9 years as a professor in the Department of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry at Yale University.  She joined the Chemistry Department at the University of Pennsylvania in July 2015.  Research in the Rhoades group is focused on the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. 

Teaching: Chemistry 

Leadership/Mentorship for Women Faculty:  While at Yale, Dr. Rhoades worked with WISAY, a group for female graduate students and postdocs in engineering and science. She also participated the annual Yale Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics and has mentored more than 15 female undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs.  She is looking forward to becoming involved in mentoring activities at Penn.

Diana Robertson

Diana Robertson

Diana Robertson, PhD, Wharton

Scholarship and Research: Dr. Robertson is the James T. Riady Professor and Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics in the Wharton School. Prior to coming to Penn, she served on the faculties of London Business School and Goizueta Business School, Emory University. Dr. Robertson’s research centers on business ethics and corporate social responsibility, including research using neuroimaging technology to explore an individual’s decision making about ethical issues.

Teaching: Corporate Responsibility and Ethics, International Business Ethics. Dr. Robertson has won several teaching awards including the Wharton Undergraduate Excellence in Teaching Award, 2012 and 2013 and the MBA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2010.

Leadership and Mentorship for Women Faculty: Dr. Robertson was formerly co-director of the Wharton Women Faculty Forum.  She has served as a faculty member and director of the International Teachers Programme, dedicated to enhancing the pedagogical skills of business school faculty globally. At present Dr. Robertson serves as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council on the Role of Business.

Megan Ryerson

Megan Ryerson

Megan Ryerson, PhD, School of Design
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Megan Ryerson's research is on the design and management of resilient and sustainable transportation systems, particularly the air transportation system. Dr. Ryerson's recent work focuses on the following areas: airport infrastructure planning; intercity transportation network geography evolution; optimal aircraft diversions in a disaster scenario; the impact of fuel prices on the intercity transportation system; the comparative environmental impact of aviation and High Speed Rail Systems. Professor Ryerson is a member of three Transportation Research Board (TRB) aviation committees. She serves on the Airport Cooperative Research Board Graduate Student Award Panel, the Program Committee for the International Conference on Research in Air Transportation, the INFORMS TSL Dissertation Prize Committee, and the Board of the Women’s Transportation Seminar Philadelphia Chapter Transportation YOU Program.

Kimberly Trout

Kimberly Trout

Kimberly Trout, PhD, CNM, APRN, School of Nursing
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Trout teaches midwifery and women’s health at Penn Nursing. Through her nurse-midwifery clinical practice at Pennsylvania Hospital, she integrates didactic lessons with clinical teaching. Dr. Trout precepts midwifery students, medical students, interns and residents, and views each birth and opportunity to “catch a baby” as a reminder of why she teaches midwifery and conducts research on gestational diabetes. Though gestational diabetes is the most common type of diabetes during pregnancy, and one of the most common pregnancy complications, there have been few studies on diet recommendations, other than to restrict carbohydrate intake. With funding from the Diabetes Research Center at Penn, Dr. Trout is working on establishing evidence-based guidelines for carbohydrates, protein, and fat consumption in patients with gestational diabetes. Dr. Trout’s study investigates manipulated levels of carbohydrates and the impact of varied protein consumption on controlling blood glucose.

Susan Volk

Susan Volk

Susan Volk, PhD, VMD
Scholarship and Research: Dr. Volk is an Assistant Professor of Small Animal Surgery in the School of Veterinary Medicine. The goals of the Volk laboratory are to understand regulatory mechanisms governing dynamic interactions between cells and their surrounding extracellular matrix in the wound healing-fibrosis-cancer progression triad and to apply this knowledge to develop innovative regenerative and oncologic therapies for veterinary and human patients.