UT Senate to give first woman of excellence award

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The Senate of College Councils named pharmacology professor Andrea Gore as the first recipient of the Edith Clarke Woman of Excellence Award on Monday.

Gore was selected for her experience, research, mentorship program among her lab assistants and her involvement with the Faculty Council and Gender Equity Council according to  Zachary Long, human relations sophomore and Senate Faculty Affairs Committee co-chair. Gore also runs a mentorship program in her research lab.

“While I don't discriminate against anyone who asks for mentorship, I think the fact that I am a woman makes me more approachable by female students and faculty,” Gore said. “I have also gone out of my way to mentor women in the sciences, because we need to work harder to overcome biases that women are not good at science and math. I hope that by showing them that women can be successful in the world of scientific research, they can gain the confidence to do this themselves.”

The legislation creating the Edith Clarke award passed unanimously at the Feb. 11 General Assembly meeting.

“The Senate of College Councils decided to create this award because we noticed a lack of recognition of extraordinary female faculty members,” said Elizabeth Roach, history junior and Senate Faculty Affairs Committee co-chair. “So many of our female faculty dedicate their time to the betterment of women not only in their specific field, but throughout the University and world.”

The award is named for Edith Clarke, the first female electrical engineering professor in the country, who taught at UT.

“We're looking for a female faculty member who has served as a trailblazer for women and who has played the role as a mentor to all people, specifically women, on this campus,” Long said. “[Clarke] was an inventor and she shattered a lot of expectations and is an amazing role model for women.”

Bringing recognition to female professors also emphasizes the fact that men on staff outnumber women especially in science, technology, engineering and math Osterloh said.

“By increasing the visibility of female faculty, female students (especially in STEM) will feel empowered,” Rachel Osterloh, Senate of College Councils president and philosophy and government senior said in an email. “We hope the establishment of this award sparks conversations about increasing the amount of female professors with tenure and the wage gap.”

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