Kelley Barsanti in the CE-CERT Facility

Women's Faculty Association


Sharon Walker

Sharon Walker

Sharon Walker is currently the Dean of Drexel's College of Engineering. At UCR, she served as Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, John Babbage Chair in Environmental Engineering and Interim Dean of the Bourns College of Engineering. She arrived at UCR in January 2005 and previously served as Associate Dean in Graduate Division and Associate Dean in BCOE. Currently, she serves as Interim Dean of BCOE. She was a co-PI on the NSF Advance Grant (2012-2015) that initiated the Women’s Faculty Association and organized, along with Yolanda Moses (PI), Cindy Larive (co-PI) and Marylynn Yates (co-PI) the first four years of retreats and programming for WFA. She also lead the efforts for the WFA mentoring program in 2013-2015.

Elaine Wong

Elaine Wong

Elaine Wong joined the School of Business in 2012, and is currently an Associate Professor of Management. She also serves as the Associate Dean for the Academic Undergraduate Business Program. Upon joining UCR, Elaine was immediately excited to discover the Women's Faculty Association. The organization's retreat and luncheon series have not only provided key information, but also a supportive community that has been central to her career at the University. She chaired the WFA from 2015 to 2017.

Cynthia Larive

Cynthia K. Larive

Cynthia Larive began serving as the Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz on July 1, 2019  and previously served as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of UCR, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Interim Dean of the College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences. She joined the UCR faculty in 2005 as professor of chemistry, a department she chaired in the 2012-13 academic year. She then served as Divisional Dean for Physical and Mathematical Sciences from 2013 until 2016. Along with Sharon Walker, Yolanda Moses, and Marylynn Yates, she helped relaunch the WFA after a decade of dormancy, served as co-PI on the NSF Advance grant, and helped organize the annual retreats funded by the grant.

The History of the WFA at UCR

Our NSF-supported FORWARD program has provided the impetus to reinvigorate the UCR Women's Faculty Association, providing a mechanism to sustain the programming developed through our ADVANCE program beyond the grant period. The Women's Faculty Association is open to all ladder rank faculty. Many of our activities are also open to lecturers and research professionals who do not have formal academic appointments, for example agriculture extension specialists.

The UCR Women's Faculty Association was an important institutional presence on our campus for many years. Started by Prof. Betty Lord and later shepherded by Prof. Nancy Beckage, the Women's Faculty Association fostered community and provided a voluntary mentoring service connecting junior faculty with more senior mentors outside their department. As the driving forces behind the Women's Faculty Association transitioned to retirement, the organization became inactive.

Through our NSF ADVANCE grant, the Women's Faculty Association has sponsored a series of lunch meetings that provide opportunities for women to share in a lecture/discussion of general interest, meet informally and develop a support community outside of their department. During the 2011-2012 academic year, luncheon topics included a discussion of the promotion and tenure process at UCR, strategies for effective mentoring, women's health and well-being, the extraordinary differences between males and females in the animal kingdom, and how the myth that women faculty can 'Just Say No' to service obscures and promotes gender inequities.