News Service


Ardith Maney, Political Science, (515) 294-3824
Mary Ann Evans, IWISE, (515) 294-5883
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's International Women in Science & Engineering (IWISE) program has received a $300,000 U.S. Information Agency grant to develop re-training programs for women scientists in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

"Kharkiv enjoyed a well-earned reputation as one of the top education and science centers of the former Soviet Union, and today occupies an important place as an intellectual center in independent Ukraine," said Ardith Maney, IWISE co-director and political science professor. "However, as a result of the economic shocks which have hit Ukraine, thousands of women with advanced scientific and technical training are currently unemployed or under-employed in Kharkiv and the surrounding region."

The IWISE program, in collaboration with the Kharkiv State Polytechnic University, will help women scientists in the Kharkiv region improve employment opportunities and assume a greater role in economic and political decision-making in the new Ukraine, said Maney. IWISE is a program of the International Institute of Theoretical and Applied Physics, a collaboration between Iowa State and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The IWISE program will be specifically targeted at retraining women scientists for new careers in such areas as business management, computing and environmental engineering. In October, Maney will lead an ISU team that will work with Ukrainian counterparts to design and conduct a workforce needs assessment. Then, in March the first group of Ukrainian faculty, administrators and women scientists will come to Iowa to develop curriculum materials, after which Mary Ann Evans, IWISE co-director and director of ISU's Program for Women in Science & Engineering, will lead a second ISU group that will launch the retraining program in Ukraine. Retraining courses and exchanges between Ukraine and ISU will continue through 2001.

The IWISE program is supported by ISU's Provost's Office, the Program for Women in Science & Engineering, and the International Institute of Theoretical and Applied Physics. Since 1996, IWISE has hosted more than 35 women scientists from Albania, China, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Panama, Romania, Russia, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Ukraine to work with ISU scientists and participate in leadership seminars.

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