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Provost’s WAVE Council – Women’s Advancement & Equity


The goal of the overall initiative is to develop progressive and innovative solutions and practices to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed, no matter what gender they identify with. The council will look closely at the university’s practices, culture and support structure for the broad array of women faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows at Vanderbilt.

The council will:

  1. Identify and define thematic pillars upon which to focus efforts and when appropriate convene working groups or mobilize existing relevant, “linked” committees to do work associated with a particular pillar;
  2. Review working group and committee reports and recommendations, and analyze them in conjunction with other thematic pillars to ensure progress is being made; and
  3. Be connected to and aware of related work across campus, partnering on areas of common efforts for staff.

The council has established four subcommittees to focus on key thematic pillars:

  1. Campus Climate and Sexual Harassment Subcommittee
  2. Institutionalized Professional Practice Subcommittee
  3. Parental Leave, Childcare, and Family Friendly Policies Subcommittee
  4. Compensation Equity Subcommittee

In response to the pandemic, a new task force has been established. The WAVE COVID-10 Task Force will work to address gender equity concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three established committees will be linked to the initiative to provide key insight. The council will engage these linked committees as appropriate to ensure coordination across all. Those three “linked” committees include:

Initiative on the Status of Women

2020-2021 WAVE Council Steering Committee Membership

Chair (Fall 2020) 

  • Cindy Kam, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of political science, College of Arts and Science

Chair-Elect (Chair in Spring 2021)

  • Catherine Gavin Loss, associate professor of the practice of leadership, policy and organizations, Peabody College of Education and Human Development

Representatives from university shared governance entities

  • Carcia Carson, graduate student, department of biomedical engineering, School of Engineering, and Graduate Student Council Vice President
  • Katherine Petosa, undergraduate student and Vanderbilt Student Government Speaker of the Senate
  • ReAnna Roby, postdoctoral scholar, Fisk-Vanderbilt Regional Center of Excellence and department of teaching and learning, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and Vanderbilt Postdoctoral Association Equity, Diversity, and Justice chair
  • Catherine McTamaney, associate professor of the practice of teaching and learning, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and Faculty Senate chair
  • Mark Magnuson, Louise B. McGavock Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine – Basic Sciences and Faculty Senate chair-elect

School/college representatives

  • Heather Conner, professor of piano and Chancellor’s Chair of Precollege Piano, Blair School of Music
  • Jennifer Escalas, professor of marketing, Owen Graduate School of Management
  • Jennifer Fay, associate professor of cinema and media arts and English, College of Arts and Science
  • Catherine Gavin Loss, associate professor of the practice of leadership, policy and organizations, Peabody College of Education and Human Development
  • Tina Iverson, Louise B. McGavock Chair, professor of biochemistry and pharmacology, School of Medicine – Basic Sciences
  • Melanie Lutenbacher, associate professor of nursing, School of Nursing
  • Jennifer Shinall, professor of law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Janey Camp, research associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, School of Engineering
  • Phillis Sheppard, associate professor of religion, psychology and culture, Divinity School


  • Amy Booth, professor of psychology and human development, Peabody College of Education and Human DevelopmentRe: COVID and Gendered Faculty Experiences
  • Virginia Moore, associate professor of nursing and director of Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner specialty, School of Nursing
  • Ron Schrimpf, Orrin H. Ingram professor of engineering, School of Engineering
  • Isaac West, associate professor of communication studies, College of Arts and Science


  • Rory Dicker, director, Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center
  • Tracey George, vice provost for faculty affairs and Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Chair in Law and Liberty, Law School
  • William Robinson, vice provost for academic advancement and executive director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, professor of electrical engineering and computer engineering, School of Engineering

2019-2020 Archive Committee List 


Vanderbilt climate surveys on sexual assault and misconduct show informed and engaged campus community, challenges remaining

Vanderbilt faculty and postdocs report few experiences with sexual harassment in survey, but concerns persist

WAVE Council town hall provides progress report on current and future initiatives to support women on campus

Provost’s Steering Committee for Initiatives Focusing on the Status of Women – Now Known as WAVE


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