AWIS Announces Partnership with UMBC

March 15, 2023



Shelley O’Brien

Association for Women in Science Announces Partnership with University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

WASHINGTON DC, March 15, 2023 – The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) announces that the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has elected to partner with AWIS to provide members of the UMBC community with access to online resources, programs, scholarships, and networking opportunities to support their journeys as students and professionals.

“UMBC’s unwavering focus on inclusion and innovation aligns well with the AWIS mission and programs,”  said Meredith Gibson, AWIS CEO. “We are delighted to enhance their existing efforts which support their STEM community members as they build on their strengths, reach their goals, and rise to their potential.”

UMBC ranks #6 among all U.S. universities for undergraduate teaching and #6 on the Most Innovative Universities list according to U.S. News and World Report. In the latest Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) survey, UMBC is a leader in federal research support in fields from geosciences, atmospheric sciences, and ocean sciences to physical sciences.

“Partnering with AWIS aligns well with our ethos of inclusive excellence,” said William R. LaCourse, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences. “UMBC is nationally known for its commitment to welcoming and supporting inquisitive minds from all backgrounds.”

UMBC is ranked first nationally among institutions graduating Black students who go on to earn PhDs in the natural sciences and engineering and MD/PhDs. In 2003, UMBC received an NSF Institutional Transformation grant to support recruitment and advancement of women faculty. Since then, UMBC’s ADVANCE program has increased the number of women tenure-track faculty in STEM by 70% and women full professors in STEM by 180%. Yet women are still underrepresented overall in several STEM fields.

According to Research in Higher Education, women faculty in the United States tend to carry a larger share of family responsibilities at home and service responsibilities within their academic departments than their male colleagues do. This burden causes many women to leave their careers or to advance at a different pace.

“We know how important a sense of community is for persistence in a degree program and retention of faculty members,” said Dean LaCourse. “The AWIS community provides yet another source of connection and support, in addition to resources available within UMBC, for our women students, staff, and faculty. There is always room to improve. Therefore, it is important to have as many support opportunities as possible.”


About UMBC: The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a leading public research university known for innovative teaching, relevant research across disciplines, and a supportive community that empowers and inspires inquisitive minds. UMBC serves 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students and is one of the country’s most inclusive education communities. U.S. News & World Report has named UMBC a national leader in both innovation and undergraduate teaching and has recognized UMBC’s graduate programs as among the nation’s best. More than 130 companies are located at the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park, which is also home to Maryland’s first cyber incubator. To learn more, visit and @UMBC on Twitter and Facebook, or @UMBClife on Instagram.

About AWIS: Founded in 1971, AWIS has been the leading advocate for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to achieve business growth, social change, and innovation. We are dedicated to driving excellence in STEM by achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors. In addition to scholarships, AWIS provides career resources, professional development, as well as networking, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities to build leadership skills. To learn more, visit and @AWISNational.