Skip to main content

Thriving Women Program

Thriving Women Program

The Thriving Women Program was developed to empower female faculty and staff to further develop their values and personal goals to become more engaged citizens of West Virginia University and the Statler College with a global and inclusive perspective for societal and community impacts and increase their potential and impact by contributing, instilling and/or implementing a narrative change and/or viable practices guided for creating the foundation for our University and College community to thrive.

Program is geared towards:

  1. Individual transformation aiming to advance individual career trajectory in the college by either enhancing professional development skills, supporting professional goals related to networking, creating a stronger presence in professional societies or research settings just to name a few.

  2. And/ Or

  3. Community transformation aiming to create supportive community networks for College stakeholders to ultimately serve as a safe and welcoming environment.

Program is accepting applications; please submit your application by clicking here.

The Thriving Women Program Recipients

Funded by dedicated alumna Dianne Anderson, the program offers support of up to $2,000 for applicants over a one-year period.

2023 Recipients


Jennifer Jones, senior academic adviser in the Statler College Advising Center will use the funding to support her professional development through the Successful Strengths Coaching virtual course offered by Gallup. By attending this course, Jones will learn core principles and practices of coaching that change lives and helps people get better results both in their professional and personal settings. At the heart of this course is Clifton Strengths, Gallup's unique and proven approach to talent discovery and development. 

Soumya Srivastava, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Area Chair of the Women in Chemical Engineering Committee in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, will use the grant to develop a women professionals seminar series at the level of the College. The focus areas of these seminars will include work-life balance, leadership, navigating career path, building collaborations, and finding mentors to support and enhance the academic experience for women students. 

2022 Recipients


Michelle Poland, director of the Statler College Advising Center and academic adviser, will use the grant to support her travel to the National Academic Advising Association’s Administrators Institute in February 2023. Participants of the Institute will develop action plans under guidance of Institute faculty that focus on a key issue or concern that they would like to make significant changes and improvements to within their university, college, or unit.

Susie Huggins, administrative assistant in the Fundamentals of Engineering Program, plans to distribute books related to engineering to the free Little Libraries across Preston County as well as the local high school media center. Huggins will also begin the lifelong dream of achieving a PhD in Education this fall with support and networking from the Thriving Women Program.

2021 Recipients


Xinyu Zhang, teaching assistant professor of fundamentals of engineering, intends to advance her career trajectory and knowledge of engineering education by obtaining her professional engineering license and engage in SWE activities as a University leader, as well as work with other faculty and SWE advisers for broader impact activities.

Leslie Hopkinson, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, plans to develop a new general education course that covers the history of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to contribute to a positive and inclusive University community.