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Statler College announces 2023 Thriving Women Program recipients

Jennifer Jones and Soumya Srivastava

Pedro Mago, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University, has announced the two recipients of the College’s Thriving Women Program grants, intended to empower female faculty and staff to advance in their professional careers through individual or community transformation.

Story by Paige Nesbit, Director of Marketing


"In our third year of the Thriving Women’s initiative, I am truly inspired by the submissions of our female faculty and staff,” said Mago. “These individuals are passionate about creating a community of positive collaborations and an environment for all of us to thrive.” 

The program, designed by Cerasela Zoica Dinu, associate dean for student, faculty, and staff engagement and Mago, was funded by dedicated alumna Dianne Anderson and am offers support for two applicants over a one-year period. 

“We wanted to provide additional means to support our women faculty and staff passion to make a difference through professional or community transformation” said Dinu. “This endowment allows the Statler College employees to put their great talents into action to succeed, grow and thrive towards their and others full potential.”   

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. 

Jones intends to implement the concepts and approaches learned through this professional development opportunity to support our students and our Statler College community in her role as a Sr. Academic Adviser.  

“I was inspired to submit for the Thriving Women when I read the scholarship form, especially the goal of 'empowering female faculty and staff to further develop their professional values and goals in order to become more engaged citizens of West Virginia University and the Statler College,’” said Jones. “I am so fortunate to work with amazing women every day, including our strong and independent female students and my Statler colleagues in the Advising Center, Student Services, and Recruiting (to name a few). The opportunity the Thriving Women grant presented will allow me to grow and stretch professionally as well as equip me with more resources to use with my students.” 

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.  

“I wanted to build a strong community for our female engineering students based on my experience from the national network of women chemical engineers,” said Srivastava.  

Additional support from the grant will provide Srivastava’s professional transformation associated with her participation in the WIC meeting of the AIChE Conference. The WIC of the AIChE is a professional organization and provides its members with a space to assemble and promote women within the chemical engineering and related fields. 



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135