Spotlight on Women Faculty Leaders

Senior University Leaders

Ann Cudd, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, discusses leadership. Dr. Cudd holds three degrees from Dietrich School graduate programs in Economics and Philosophy.



Patricia Beeson, Provost Emerita, Professor of Economics, University of Pittsburgh, discusses role models, leadership, and risk taking.



Kathy W. Humphrey, Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Secretary of the Board of Trustees. Dr. Humphrey, who holds a Master of Arts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University, has been recognized by the YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award, the 2016 Nellie Leadership Award, the 2019 Onyx Woman Leadership Award, and the Pitt African American Alumni Council’s Sankofa Award. She serves on numerous boards, including the executive committee of the International Women’s Forum of Pittsburgh, and is chair of The Forbes Funds.

Amanda Godley, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Leading in the School of Education, with secondary appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program in the Dietrich School. She serves as a Community Health Deputy with The Neighborhood Resilience Project and a member of the Advisory Board for the Hill District Children’s Zone. In 2020, Dr. Godley was part of a University-community partnership that was honored with a Partnership of Distinction Award for educational enrichment for refugee and immigrant communities.

Kathleen Blee, Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and College of General Studies, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, and formerly Director of the Women's Studies Program, Chair of the Department of Sociology, and the Dietrich School's Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. For a precis of Dean Blee's scholarship, and her contributions as a pro-bono consultant/advisor on violent extremism to numerous civic, religious, and governmental bodies, see here.

Belkys Torres, Executive Director of Global Engagement at University of Pittsburgh, discusses Latina role models, risk-taking, and leadership. Dr. Torres holds a Ph.D. in English with a specialization in Latinx Cultural Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame.



Tara Meyer, Senior Advisor to the Dean on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and former Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences; Professor of Chemistry. Winner; Award for Encouraging Women into the Chemical Sciences (Greater Pittsburgh Women Chemist's Committee, 2014).



Sylvia Rhor Samaniego, Director and Curator, University Art Gallery, and Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Architecture. Holding a Ph.D. in History of Art from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Rhor Samaniego recently completed the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Professionals. She served on the Pittsburgh’s Art Commission from 2010 to 2015.



Natural Sciences

Kay Brummond, Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, discusses mentorship, collaboration, and female leadership in synthetic chemistry. Winner, ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in Chemical Science (2020).



Marta Lewicka, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (class of 2021). In 2020, Dr. Lewicka organized a session on "Infinite Possibilities: What Can I Do with a PhD in Mathematics" at the Women in Tech Summit.



Chandralekha Singh, Professor of Physics, Director, Discipline-based Science Education Research Center. Provost Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring (2020).President of the American Association of Physics Teachers (2020). Professor Singh’s website features a section on Women and Other Underrepresented Groups in Physics. With her graduate student Danny Doucette as first author, Dr. Singh recently published “Why Are There So Few Women in Physics? Reflections on the Experiences of Two Women,” The Physics Teacher 58, 297 (2020).  See also Dr. Singh's personal reflections, "Justice Ginsburg’s Struggles Resonate with me since I am Underrepresented in my Discipline" (2020) and her Scientific American article, "The Quantum Computer Revolution Must Include Women" (2021).


Social Sciences

Yolanda Covington-Ward, Associate Professor and Chair of Africana Studies.  Chair, Provost's Committee on Anti-Black Racism and Transformative Pedagogy.  Recipient, Equipoise Creating a Just Community Award (2021)




Lise Vesterlund, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Economics, Director of PEEL, Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award (2021), for research on "gender and competition [that] is transforming not only experimental and behavioral economics but also the workplace." Dr. Vesterlund discusses her research: "Breaking the Glass Ceiling Gender Differences in Task Allocation" (2019); "Gender Differences in "Volunteering" for Non Promotable Tasks" (2019).



Melanie Hughes (Sociology) and Müge Finkel (GSPIA), co-directors of GIRL, present virtually at UNDP report launch (2020). In 2020, Dr. Hughes was selected to serve as Sociology Program Director with the NSF. Supporte by a grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Drs Finkel and Hughes and their team recently prepared a new global report on gender equality in public administration (GEPA) as a joint Pitt-UNDP effort, launched in July 2021.


Arts and Humanities

Keisha N. Blain, Associate Professor of History, Member, Provost's Committee on Anti-Black Racism and Transformative Pedagogy. President, African American Intellectual History Society. Editor for Washington Post’sMade by History’ section. An award-winning historian of the 20th-century U.S. with broad interests in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and the history of women and gender, Dr. Blain's recent public writings include “The Black Women Who Paved the Way for This Moment”, Atlantic (June 2020) and “A short history of black women and police violence,” The Conversation (June 2020). Watch Dr. Blain's Feb. 2021 CBS interview, with Ibram X. Kendi, as co-editors of Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 (2021).

Nicole Mitchell Gantt, William S. Dietrich II Endowed Chair in Jazz Studies, Director of Jazz Studies. Member, Provost's Committee on Anti-Black Racism and Transformative Pedagogy. Dr. Mitchell hosts Jazz Talk  and is part of  the We Have Voice collective.



Dawn Lundy Martin, Toi Derricotte Endowed Chair of English and Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP). Member, Provost's Committee on Anti-Black Racism and Transformative Pedagogy. Winner of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Good Stock Strange Blood. In the Poetry Library With Dawn Lundy Martin.


Khirsten Scott, Assistant Professor of English, is the co-founder of DBLAC (Digital Black Lit and Composition), a digital network of Black scholars in the United States. With Jennifer Josten, Associate Professor and Chair of History of Art and Architecture, she is also inaugural winner of the Dietrich School Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentoring (2020).


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