Apr 21, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
Three OHIO women leaders have been nominated and selected to attend the prestigious Higher Education Resource Services leadership institutes in Bryn Mawr, Penn. and Denver Colo.
Ohio University’s Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Christine Mattley, Chillicothe Campus Associate Dean Brenda Phillips, and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Christine Sheets will attend the leadership institutes this summer. Mattley will attend the leadership institute in Denver, Colo., and Phillips and Sheets will attend in Bryn Mawr, Penn.
Just 24.53 percent of women hold leadership positions in higher education, according to the Colorado Women’s College 2013 Benchmarking Women’s Leadership in the United States report. In an effort to help advance women to senior leadership positions throughout the ranks of faculty and staff in higher education, HERS has provided a curriculum of leadership development for nearly 40 years.
Ohio University’s Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit is a graduate of HERS and a strong proponent of the program for women leaders at OHIO. ”My professional life continues to be positively impacted by my experiences as a HERS graduate,” she said. “I am so pleased that my office could partner with Women in Philanthropy, Student Affairs, and Regional Higher Education to send three of our most promising professionals to HERS this year.”
Another graduate of HERS is Shari Clark, vice provost for Diversity and Inclusion, who called the experience life-changing and has been asked to return as a guest speaker to speak about diversity in higher education. “I immersed myself completely in the program during the four weeks and left myself open to listen and learn,” she explained. “Experts in a variety of fields shared personal insights, success stories and lessons learned in the academy. I became like a sponge to soak in all the learning. I utilized a number of HERS lessons to chart a course for my career and to recognize the importance of working with passion – which I do daily.”
Mattley is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She began serving as department chair on July 1, 2013 and also is in her second year as chair of Graduate Council. She specializes in social psychology and has expertise in self and identities, gender performance, sociology of the body and embodiment, sociology of emotion, and sex work. Her work has been published in numerous journals and books, and she has received several teaching awards. Most recently, she received the Eric A. Wagner Endowed Teaching Professorship.
Mattley said attending the HERS Institute was an opportunity for professional development and the next natural step in her commitment to the educational mission at the University. Since becoming department chair, Mattley said she recognizes she has a wonderful opportunity to mentor women and encourage them to take on leadership and administrative positions within the discipline and University.
"I was one of the first women hired by my department and at the time there were not many women administrators at Ohio University, but those who were here did a great job of encouraging me,” she said. “I now feel that I am in a position to do the same and I look forward to mentoring young faculty members, especially women. I am thrilled to have been selected to represent Ohio University at HERS this summer. Women who have attended HERS talk about their experiences as transformational and I look forward to learning everything I can to become a stronger leader at Ohio University."
Mattley’s attendance at HERS is being sponsored by the Institute Tuition Scholarship from Ohio University’s Women in Philanthropy.
Phillips joined OHIO as associate dean of the Chillicothe Campus and professor of sociology in July 2013 after serving as graduate student coordinator and professor of the fire and emergency management program in the Department of Political Science at Oklahoma State University. Since joining the University, she has developed a campus-wide schedule of all courses for spring, summer and fall semesters and is chair of the OUC Personnel Committee.
She has a doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degree in sociology, built a coalition of first-responders and emergency managers across Ross County and strengthened a coalition of university-community members working to end domestic violence. She has been published in approximately 50 book chapters and journal articles, as well as seven books.
“As part of the HERS application, we had to develop our desired professional outcomes. Mine includes advocating for this regional campus and its mission to serve the community and area within the broader Ohio University system,” she explained. “I am very excited to have been selected for HERS. I intend to make the most of this experience for my campus, for regional higher education and for Ohio University. I will return the investment made in me by Ohio University.”
She was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for Women in Emergency Management and Homeland Security in 2013, received the Blanchard Award at the Federal Emergency Management Agency Higher Education Conference in 2012 for excellence in emergency management education, and received the Mary Fran Myers Award in 2010 from the international organization, Gender and Disaster Network, for scholarship and practical application to reduce the impacts of disasters on women and children. She has lectured or consulted in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada and the People’s Republic of China. She has assisted with the development of emergency management degree programs in Mexico, Canada and New Zealand, and her research has been funded several times by the National Science Foundation. Her tuition and travel costs are being sponsored by Regional Higher Education.
Sheets is the assistant vice president for Student Affairs and is a native of Athens County and an alumnus of Ohio University. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration from the College of Business. She has been employed at the University for more than 28 years with more than 11 years of experience in the management of University Residential Housing Operations and Residential Education programming. In 2009, she was recognized as one of three for the outstanding administrator’s awards. She provides planning and oversight of capital projects encompassing more than 30 percent of the Athens Campus to include Residential Housing, University apartments, campus recreation facilities, Baker University Center, and other event management grounds and facilities under the leadership of Student Affairs.
She serves on a variety of University committees, including the Campus Capital Planning Committee as well as Facilities Planning Advisory Council, Master Planning Committees for Residential Housing, Campus Recreation and the overall Campus Master Planning. Sheets’ tuition and travel costs to HERS will be shared by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and Vice President of Student Affairs.
Sheets said attending the HERS Institute will provide an opportunity to learn from top women leaders in the nation and provide an opportunity to expand her network of women colleagues.
“I look forward to understanding their challenges, sharing experiences, and gaining insight,” she said. “I have been given many opportunities while employed at Ohio University, both personally and professionally. During my long tenure, I have observed the changing roles of women in leadership in teaching and administration. I have observed the diversity that has allowed women to be involved in campus planning, administrative policy, and future visioning and want to further support women’s involvement at Ohio University.”