ADVANCE Program Makes Awards to Women Faculty in the Sciences

Monday, February 27, 2012
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Serita Frey

Serita Frey

Serita Frey, professor of natural resources and the environment, and Lynn Kistler, professor in the Space Science Center of the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) and department of physics, are recipients of recent Karen Von Damm Leadership Development Grants from the UNH ADVANCE program. The grants, funded with support from the National Science Foundation, are part of an ongoing effort to support the advancement and leadership of women faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at UNH.

Frey received the 2011 Karen Von Damm grant, named in honor of the world-renowned UNH chemical oceanographer who passed away in August 2008. This funding will provide summer salary for two years for Frey to support her leadership roles both professionally and within UNH, where she chairs the Natural Resources and Earth System Science Ph.D. program.

Kistler received the 2012 Karen Von Damm Leadership Development Grant. This award will enhance her leadership roles both at the university and in her scientific community, allowing her to pursue a “Mission of Opportunity” proposal under the auspices of the NASA Explorer Program, which provides a chance to fly a US instrument on an international mission.

UNH’s ADVANCE program has also awarded a 2012 professional development grant to Michele Dillon, professor and chair of the department of sociology. The funds will be used to support her leadership position as the president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR), a professional association of scholars from different disciplines (including sociology, psychology, economics, and history) who are dedicated to the scientific study of religion. Dillon will be the eighth woman to assume this important leadership role in the Society’s 60-year history.  

In addition, ADVANCE awarded the Collaborative Scholarship Advancement Awards, designed to enhance collaboration between research and tenure-track faculty in the STEM disciplines, to the following teams:

Lynn Kistler

Lynn Kistler

Adrienne Kovach, research associate professor in the department of natural resources and the environment, Eleanne Solorzano, associate professor in the department of decision sciences, and William Kelly Thomas, professor in the department of molecular and cellular biology received an award that integrates genomic and statistical tools for enhancement of research and teaching using the population genomics of the saltmarsh sparrow.

Elizabeth Fairchild, research assistant professor in the department of biological sciences and Linda Kalnejais, assistant professor in the department of Earth sciences received an award to study the effects of ocean acidification on fish development. They will conduct preliminary testing of a carbon dioxide-injected seawater system on winter flounder embryonic development.

Heidi Asbjornsen, assistant professor in the department of natural resources and the environment and Michael Palace, research assistant professor in the Earth Systems Research Center of EOS received an award to understand tropical ecosystem responses to climate change from leaves to landscapes.

Research assistant professor Li-Jen Chen and professor Roy Torbert, both of the Space Science Center in EOS and the department of physics, received an award to conduct a joint study on magnetopause reconnection. The new research results and activities will form the core materials of a new course “Magnetic explosions in space,” which will be open to all CEPS graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

A new call for proposals for both awards is available with due dates of April 2, 2012. Information is available on the UNH ADVANCE website ( or by calling the Leitzel Center at 862-0718.

Photo of Lynn Kistler by K. Donahue, UNH EOS
Photo of Serita Frey by Perry Smith, UNH Photographic Services