Patricia Hyer receives Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network University Change Agent Award

Patricia Hyer

Patricia Hyer

BLACKSBURG, Va., July 10, 2009 – Virginia Tech's Patricia Hyer, associate provost for academic administration, was awarded the University Change Agent Award at the Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network (WEPAN) national conference in Austin, Texas.

The University Change Agent Award honors an individual who has had positive impact within their academic institution with regard to the climate for women in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, with an emphasis on engineering.

WEPAN noted that Hyer is a leader in promoting gender equity for women in academic careers with a particular focus on women in science and engineering. In her role at the university, she has implemented crucial innovations in policies and procedures that govern faculty members’ lives. In addition to drafting policies and shepherding them through the approval process, she has developed training for department chairs and other academic leaders to make these key administrators aware of gender bias and to improve their overall management skills, key components of a welcoming climate for women in science, and engineering.

As a career administrator, Hyer has worked tirelessly to support individuals whose advancement in academia has been challenged by institutional barriers. She has carefully crafted institutional changes that improve working conditions, provide opportunities for advancement, and recognize the important contributions of women and underrepresented minorities in academic science and engineering. Hyer’s leadership has been pivotal to the overall success of the AdvanceVT program in increasing the recruitment, retention and advancement of women science and engineering faculty.

WEPAN is the nation's leading organization and catalyst for transforming culture in engineering education to promote the success of all women. WEPAN mobilizes diverse, inclusive, and collaborative stakeholders; fosters diversity in engineering graduates, our innovators of tomorrow; inspires a network of advocates to empower and advance the education of women pursuing engineering and related disciplines; and translates research into practice and develops national models to attract and retain women in engineering. Founded in 1990, WEPAN helps meet strategic engineering workforce demand by promoting the success of girls and women who traditionally have not pursued engineering — an untapped national resource.

WEPAN members are professionals who recruit, retain, and develop female engineering talent in both university and corporate settings. WEPAN is the single provider of a professional community, network, body of knowledge, and resource hub specifically for campus and corporate-based women in engineering experts.