Marietta Schwartz, associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, will join the Executive Leadership In Academic Technology and Engineering (ELATE) program this fall. The part-time fellowship allows female senior faculty members in STEM to learn skills they need to advance their careers. ELATE is administered by the Drexel University College of Engineering. Fellows complete most of their activities online, traveling to Philadelphia for special workshops throughout the fellowship year. Schwartz will focus on implementing programs that will help her become a more effective leader at UMass Boston.
When Schwartz started working at UMass Boston more than 20 years ago, she was the only woman in the chemistry department.
“There were very few female chemistry majors at the time,” says Schwartz. “Now there are equal numbers of men and women in my capstone class. There are five chemistry faculty members who are women.”
According to Schwartz, the number of undergraduates studying chemistry and the number of women in lower level faculty positions is growing, but many women struggle to advance in STEM fields. Schwartz has often served as a mentor to younger chemists.
“I was 27 when I started teaching here, and the average age of the students was also 27,” says Schwartz. “I didn’t look like the other chemistry professors.”
As a part of the ELATE program, Schwartz will take leadership courses and compare experiences with her peers. She will also implement a project that will help to grow the College of Science and Mathematics.
Schwartz says she is most looking forward to meeting other women at the same place in their careers: “It’s going to be really great to meet my peer group.”