ADVANCE OSU seeks to develop a more diverse workforce by advancing women faculty in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) divisions and departments. With this aim, we are enhancing the excellence of our university.

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and matching university funds, the three-year grant seeks to educate faculty and administrators on gender equity issues, develop a mentoring system for tenured STEM faculty, identify barriers to women's advancement, and collect institutional data on the climate, support and resources for women's advancement.


Principal Investigator: Jean Van Delinder, PhD

Department of Sociology

Jean Van Delinder is Professor of Sociology at Oklahoma State University. Her primary research area is on gender and race in American society. Her book, Struggles Before Brown: Early Civil Rights Protests and Their Significance Today (2008) examines the early years of the civil rights movement in the Midwest. Her research in the area of gender and science is focused on the differential experiences of women in higher education.

She served as Chair of the General Faculty and Faculty Council in 2008-09. She was a founding member and Director of the Women's Studies Program (2005-2008) and chair of the Women's Faculty Council (1999).


Co-Principal Investigator: Robert Miller, PhD

Regents Professor and Head
Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Bob Miller first became interested in microbiology as a high school student in Modesto, California when he was given an internship to work in the microbiology research laboratory of Gallo Winery. His interest in microbiology grew when, as an undergraduate at the University of California at Davis, he earned a BA in microbiology and worked for Robert Hungate, the founder of "anaerobic microbiology," as an undergraduate assistant. His education continued at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he trained in molecular biological aspects of microbiology with Paul Sypherd and received his PhD in 1972. His interest in bacterial genetics was kindled with his postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, Berkeley where he studied molecular aspects of recombination and DNA repair under the mentorship of Alvin J. Clark the discoverer of the recA gene in Escherichia coli. His friend and colleague Gary Sayler introduced ecology to Bob when they were both young and naive Assistant Professors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Upon moving to the Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University of Chicago, in 1980, he began to combine these interests into the study of the evolution, mechanisms of genetic exchange, and DNA-damage coping mechanisms of environmental bacteria. He has continued these interests since moving to Oklahoma State University in 1991 where he has studied lateral gene transfer and DNA repair in organisms from various "extreme" environments including Antarctica, the hypersaline Great Salt Plains of Oklahoma, the deep subsurface, and the caves of Carlsbad Caverns. Ham currently Regents Professor and Head of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at OSU. Bob is director of the Native American in Biological Sciences program designed to enable American Indian student to succeed in graduate PhD programs and enter the professorate in biomedical research.

He is director of the OSU Regents Professors Mentoring Program that is designed to guide young faculty through the hurdles necessary to gain tenure. He serves as a mentor in the OklahomaRegents for Higher Education Summer Grant Writing Workshop. He has authored over 200 publication and several books.


Co-Principal Investigator: John Veenstra, PhD

Professor and Head of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa - B.S., Biology, May 1975
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa - M.S., Environmental Engineering, December 1976
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa - Ph.D, Civil and Environmental Engineering, December 1979

John Veenstra's research focuses on treatment processes for waste materials (air, wastewater and contaminated soils) and water treatment. Journals that include papers authored by Dr. Veenstra include Water Science and Technology, Global NEST Journal, Water, Air and Soil Pollution, Remediation, Water Environment Research, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Water Research, and Journal of American Water Works Association. Over 100 graduate students have completed their degrees with Dr. Veenstra as their major advisor.

National Professional Service

  • 20 years of service for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying for the Civil Examination Committee, and 10 years of service for the Environmental Examination Committee. He is currently the past chair of the Civil Examination Committee.
  • Post doctoral award reviewer for the National Research Council and as an unsolicited environmental proposal reviewer for National Science Foundation.
  • Associate Editor of the Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management Journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

OSU Service

  • CEAT Faculty Council serving twice as the chair during three terms
  • Chair of the Special Committed on Research Enhancement
  • Melvin R. Lohman Medal Selection Committee
  • University Safety Committee
  • Academic Reinstatement Appeals Board (member and chair)
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Environmental Sciences Program as the Award Committee Chair and on the Steering Committee
  • Oklahoma Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology
  • Evaluation Committee For 5-year Report for the Oklahoma Water Resources Research Institute
  • University Water Center Advisory Committee
  • Faculty Council, Vice Chairman of the OSU Faculty Council after serving one year as the Secretary and two terms a representative of CEAT to the University Faculty Council and as a previous Budget Committee Chair


Co-Principal Investigator: James Wicksted, PhD

Department of Physics

Dr. Wicksted received his B.A. degree (1975) from New York University and his M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1983) from the City University of New York. He became a member of the Department of Physics at Oklahoma State University in 1985, where he is currently a full professor and Head of the Department as well as a Noble Research Fellow in optical materials. He is also the Associate Director of the Oklahoma EPSCoR Program and the Director of the Oklahoma DOE EPSCoR Program. He is currently the Co-Principal Investigator of a $15 million Research Infrastructure Improvement Grant funded by the NSF EPSCoR Program. His current research interests include the optical studies of various types of nanoparticle complexes that have potential biosensing and biomedical applications.

Dr. Wicksted has also collaborated with the Biomedical Engineering Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston since 1992 where he has worked with medical doctors and bioengineers on the noninvasive applications of lasers in diagnosing disease. Dr. Wicksted was a member of the Sensors Expert Panel of the Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) Project for the State of Oklahoma.


Senior Investigator: Lu Bailey, PhD

College of Education


Senior Investigator: Melanie Page, PhD


Melanie C. Page received her Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from Arizona State University in 1998. I am currently an associate professor at Oklahoma State University. Because of my quantitative training, I have the unique opportunity to contribute significantly in my career to several research areas and not just one. Although a bit untraditional, I view this as strength. My research interests are mainly in prevention/intervention research; I am currently involved in several projects. My major project is looking at decreasing childhood overweight through family and peer interventions (FiSH project) with colleagues in HDFS. I also have the opportunity to work with a variety of research teams, including looking at family and child functioning in chronic illness, family functioning in Head Start programs, and girls' and womens' achievements in math and science.

My research collaborations have resulted in nearly 3 million dollars in state and federal funding while at OSU. In addition, I have been the external evaluator on several local and federally funded projects. Recent publications appear in Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Early Childhood Research Quarterly & Children's Health Care. I teach undergraduate and graduate statistics and undergraduate psychological testing and am the Director of the Lifespan Developmental Psychology Ph.D. program. I am also a wife and a mother to two young boys, 6 and 9.


Data Specialist: Amy Madewell


Grant Administrator: Janet Hagan

Janet Hagan began her collegiate studies obtaining an Associate Degree in Mechanical Design Technology from Oklahoma State University. From there she went on to receive a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Tulsa, and to study solar energy systems at Trinity University in San Antonio Texas earning a Masters Degree in Engineering Science in December 1983. With a booming US economy during that time she was able to work a variety of jobs before devoting herself to a family. She is pleased to see the opportunities for, and acceptance of, women and minorities in science related jobs progressing.