Denise Sekaquaptewa to lead U-M’s ADVANCE Program


Provost Laurie McCauley has appointed Denise Sekaquaptewa to be the next director of the U-M ADVANCE Program, effective Sept. 1.  She will succeed Jennifer Linderman, becoming the third director in ADVANCE’s history.

Sekaquaptewa, professor of psychology in LSA and a faculty associate in the Institute for Social Research’s Research Center for Group Dynamics, will bring to the director role strong administrative leadership experience and a distinguished record of research and scholarship focused on gender, race and ethnicity and social justice.

Photo of Denise Sekaquaptewa
Denise Sekaquaptewa

An expert on the scientific study of bias and bias interventions, Sekaquaptewa has served as principal investigator on multiple awards from the National Science Foundation for work focused on the impact of bias and stereotyping in learning and learning spaces in higher education.

“Professor Sekaquaptewa’s work as a social psychologist finds many parallels in that of the ADVANCE Program she will soon lead,” McCauley said. “She has spent much of her career asking questions about how we can create an inclusive academic community and answering those questions through thoughtful experimental research.

more information

“She also demonstrates her values as a dedicated adviser and mentor for students. Professor Sekaquaptewa is the ideal candidate to leverage the ADVANCE Program’s evidence-based approach to positive institutional transformation.”

Among her notable contributions, Sekaquaptewa has previously served as associate director of ADVANCE, associate chair of the Department of Psychology, and as a member of the LSA Executive Committee. In 2019, she was named a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor.

The ADVANCE Program focuses on four areas relevant to the success of a diverse and excellent faculty: recruitment, retention, climate and leadership development.

Initially focusing on institutional transformation with respect to women faculty in science and engineering fields, the program has expanded to address necessary institutional changes to support the needs of a diverse faculty in all fields.

ADVANCE works directly with many departments, schools and colleges to support their efforts to bring positive changes to the work environment.

“Professor Sekaquaptewa’s knowledge of ADVANCE and its signature programs, combined with her understanding of current campus challenges, strongly positions her to lead in the critical work of evidence-based support for institutional change,” said Sara Blair, vice provost for academic and faculty affairs.

“Her distinguished record of service to that mission is matched by a deep commitment to collaborations that will advance it in all parts of campus.”


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.