OSU Institute of Technology is a 2023 recipient of a Partnering to Impact grant to fund ‘Growing DivHERsity,’ a campus initiative to support women in male-dominated technical programs.
OSUIT has taken significant strides to create a sense of belonging for female students with increased recruitment through partnerships and scholarships.
“Industry demands call for larger female representation entering the workforce; we as an institution are hard-pressed to meet that demand,” said Taler Adney, OSUIT School of Arts, Sciences & Health instructor. “The DivHERsity program will give these females a space to be included and a sense of belonging as they support each other during their time at OSUIT. They can mentor and rely on each other as they further their education and industry experience.”
To amplify the current efforts to recruit, retain and graduate female students in male-dominant industries, this project will create and promote a Women in Industry student organization that is student-centered and student-led to foster academic and career female advancement.
The organization will promote a female-driven sense of belonging with peer-supported growth as its root to recruit, retain and dynamically transform the OSUIT campus. The goal is to help support all female students enrolled at OSUIT, encourage female guest lecturers and increase the female presence across campus.
Partnering to Impact is a donor-funded grant program to support the university in a way that strengthens the engagement of the Women for OSU Partners. Each year, Partnering to Impact awards grants to areas that focus on the four following initiatives: Health and Wellness, Education, Campus Beautification, or Arts and Culture at Oklahoma State University.
“OSU Council and its partners saw a real need at OSUIT to recruit and reward women with interest in technology-based programs,” said Gwen Shaw, committee chair for Partnering for Impact. “The grant will help establish peer-based groups to foster acceptance and support for experiences and challenges women face that their male counterparts don’t, and that appealed to us.”
The funding will be used for scholarships for female industry students as an added incentive to pursue these programs. Once grant funds have been exhausted; industry partners will help provide future funds.
To qualify, applicants must be enrolled full-time at OSUIT and continue their program for at least two semesters after receiving the scholarship. Students need to be involved in community service and share a desire to make a difference in their community.
Applications for scholarships will open from October through December each year, and students can apply online during that timeframe.