September 19, 2002

C.U. Awards Seven PCCW Grant Funds

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The President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW) has awarded this year’s Affinito-Stewart grants to seven women faculty members, as reported by the Cornell News service.

The goal of the PCCW is to help increase the number of tenured women faculty at the University.

The grants this year were awarded to Marianella Casasola, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, Elizabeth DeLoughrey, professor of English, Karen Graubart, professor of history and Tamara Loos, professor of history, all in the College of Arts and Sciences; Kathie Hodge, professor of mycology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Katerina D. Papoulia, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and Mildred Warner, professor of city and regional planning in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning (AA&P).

In order to be eligible, applicants had to be Cornell faculty members.

“Grants are specifically given to aid female faculty to aid them in getting tenure,” explained PCCW chair Martha Coultrap.

In addition, applicants were judged on scholarly merit, research design, feasibility and relevance.

“Basically we look for quality of research,” Coultrap said.

Grant recipients will receive a total of $41,538 in funding from PCCW this year to further their research and aid them in applying for other grants with the eventual goal of securing tenure.

In just over 10 years, PCCW has already had a significant impact with the percentage of tenured female faculty has risen from 17 percent to 27 percent since its founding and in that same time period 14 of the grant’s recipients have secured tenure. In addition to the organization, Coultrap credits University President Emeritus Rhodes for his foresight in working with the PCCW to address these issue.

Formed in 1990 through the efforts of Lilyan Affinito ’53 and Patricia Carry Stewart ’50, after they noticed with dismay that there were few women trustees and only a limited number of women faculty, the purpose of the PCCW has been to find female Cornell graduates who have been successful in their professions, who had not otherwise been affiliated with the University and bring them to Cornell and use their expertise in solving these issues.

This alumni organization now advises the president and attacks the issue of limited women faculty.

Despite the advances, women still only make up 14% of the University’s full professors. Graubart, who plans to use her grant to further her research on the role of indigenous women in colonial Peru, says that she was extremely satisfied upon learning she had received the grant.

“I was very pleased to learn that Cornell had a program that gave financial assistance to women faculty members prior to tenure. It indicates that Cornell is serious about increasing tenure rates for women and that they understand some of the burdens upon younger women faculty members,” she said.

Archived article by Gautham Nagesh