Lisa DeFrank-Cole (director of the Leadership Studies Program at West Virginia University), has been termed the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Harriet E. Lyon Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies.
The unique new professorship acknowledges the interdisciplinary contribution of women’s and gender studies on the WVU grounds and is intended to support the propagation of understandings sensitive to gender and places women’s apprehensions, viewpoints and interests at the focus of the scholarly enterprise.
“DeFrank-Cole has already made great contributions to the study of women and leadership and has made efforts to integrate her work with women’s and gender studies,” stated Kasi Jackson, the interim director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.
“As I share information about the field of leadership, I will also enjoy learning more about the interdisciplinary field of women’s and gender studies. I look forward to a deeper understanding of the scholarship in this field in general and specifically about feminist theory,” Lisa stated.
“We do not have anything like the institute I envision in the state of West Virginia,” she stated. “It would be a data-driven research center for leadership issues affecting women not only in our state, but across the nation.”
“With a dearth of women in most senior leadership positions, I hope to not only encourage women to apply for such positions but also expand the definition of leadership to include roles that are not paid or business-focused. By identifying leadership as a process rather than a position, more women may be recognized for the contributions they are making,” DeFrank-Cole adds. “Simultaneous to expanding roles for women, my focus is to expand opportunities for men to take on larger roles in their homes and families, if they choose, and push back again gender norms that relegate men to only the paid-work world and hyper-masculinity.”
“Our Center for Women’s and Gender Studies has a long and outstanding tradition of excellence that is in no small part due to the vision and efforts of Stitzel. She continues to enhance this great program through her efforts in establishing the Lyon Professorship,” told Gregory Dunaway, the dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. “This professorship will provide great opportunities to promote gender scholarship, education and outreach. I am extremely proud that DeFrank-Cole will be our Lyon Professor. There is no doubt she will fulfill the high expectations that this great opportunity affords.”