Social Science Study

Objective: Investigate the campus climate pre-, mid-, and post-ADVANCE; Increase knowledge about women faculty, especially Hispanics, in STEM academic fields.

  1. Campus Climate Change Study. A quantitative study of climate change through the use of a longitudinal survey
    • As part of our ADVANCE initiative, we will survey the state of the campus climate at the beginning, middle, and at the end of the ADVANCE project period at both the general faculty and academic administrative leadership levels. The survey instrument will be informed by our baseline climate survey, the results of which are included in the narrative of this proposal. It will also include a series of questions related to the Psychologically Friendly Workplace framework (PHW), covering all five areas thereof. Questions will range from faculty perceptions about UTRGV’s organizational culture and leadership to the physical environment in which they work. The survey will be administered electronically to all faculty in at UTRGV, and in pencil and paper format for all members of the Academic Affairs Leadership Team.
    • We expect continuous improvement in the institutional climate at the University given our multifaceted approach to addressing gender diversity issues at all institutional levels.
  2. STEM Women & Hispanic Faculty Study. A qualitative study that includes interviewing of women and Hispanic faculty and analyzing their experiences through the lens of the psychologically healthy framework.
    • This study will analyze the experiences of female/male and Latino@/non-Latin@ STEM faculty at The University of Texas-Pan American (UTRGV) using qualitative methodology. Data will be collected via a pre-interview questionnaire and semi-structured interviews that will touch upon issues that enable us to understand how women attempt to integrate their academic and non-academic selves and lives, and what they think would help them achieve integration or better integration. The rich qualitative data to be collected will highlight experiences and issues faced by Hispanic women as compared to non-Hispanic women (such as White and international faculty), as well as Hispanic men in STEM, and will identify issues of particular concern to Hispanic women faculty. We will also explore the advantages and disadvantages that these women have experienced; how they define these experiences, and when and how they disclose information about their backgrounds, including difficulties and opportunities they have confronted. The proposed interviews will be conducted at the beginning and end of each year during the 5-year period of the ADVANCE program. Each interview will last about an hour. All interviews will be recorded and later transcribed. In order to maximize the confidentiality of participants, the interview transcripts will not have individual identifiers. The data in digital format will be physically stored on an encrypted removable USB drive with access restricted to study personnel. All the necessary IRB protocols, procedures, and requirements at UT-Pan American will be followed as appropriate.
  3. Relevance to ADVANCE goals. Furthering our understanding of the experiences of Hispanic women faculty at UTRGV will contribute to our ability to meet the goals of the ADVANCE program, including identifying ways to strengthen and improve our recruitment and retention programs; how to best mentor Hispanic women faculty; how to further improve the campus climate, especially developing a University culture where female faculty, and especially Latinas, feel welcomed and supported, and enhancing the effectiveness of various aspects of the program, such as the development and implementation of workshops, training seminars, and symposiums.


Margaret Graham

  • Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology

Laura Seligman

  • Associate Professor of Psychological Science