APAW names Bette LaSere Erickson
Woman of the Year" at URI
KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 19, 2002 -- To acknowledge her many contributions to the University and to women in particular, Bette LaSere Erickson of Kingston has been named "Woman of the Year" by the URI Association of Professional and Academic Woman.
The award recognizes an individual who has gone beyond job requirements in working for equity for professional and academic women. The association plans a luncheon Thursday, May 9 from noon to 2:30 in her honor.
"Bette said she was surprised to be receiving the honor since everything she has done, she has done collaboratively," said URI English Professor Karen Stein. "I told her that that is one of her greatest strengths and contributions and an excellent reason to be honored.
"Bette is the kind of person who sees a need and does something to fill it," continued Stein, noting that Erickson helped Grace Frenzel of URIs Counseling Center to reenergize monthly luncheons for URI women in science. "It has proven to be a great resource for women scientists to share experiences and exchange views. Women are not represented in large numbers in the sciences and some may be the only one in their departments. The lunches help combat feelings of isolation," notes Stein.
Erickson is assistant director of URIs Instructional Development Program. The program exists to help faculty members in their teaching responsibilities. Erickson provides individual consultation, offers workshops on learning and teaching, consults and assists in developing and evaluating experimental programs.
Since joining the IDP in 1975, Erickson has been instrumental in a wide range of successful, innovative programs, including one that incorporates diversity into the classroom, curriculum, and community discussions. The Multicultural Faculty Fellows program, co-sponsored by the IDP and the Multicultural Center, has been part of that diversity effort for the past four years, thanks to the support of a Hewlett Foundation grant.
Erickson also conducts yearlong seminars for faculty Teaching Fellows program, designed to bring faculty together for a yearlong intensive exploration of university teaching and learning.
In another initiative, she helps provide comfortable learning communities for women in math and science, coordinating an interdepartmental teaching assistant training program in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.
In still another, Erickson has worked to ensure that students with disabilities receive a quality education. As part of that program, she, Director of Disability Services Pamela Rohland and Susan Roush, an associate professor in the Physical Therapy Program, designed and conducted a four-day training program to prepare faculty to serve as mentors to other faculty in supporting such students.
Teaching college freshmen presents a number of unique challenges and opportunities. Erickson instructs faculty on how to give and get the best from students. In fact, she co-authored a book on the subject. Teaching College Freshmen, a revised version of the book, is under contract for publication in 2003.
Erickson was the recipient of the 1999 URI Multicultural Center Award for Outstanding Faculty Service Advancing the Cause of Multiculturalism and the URI Foundations Administrative Excellence Award in 1998.
For Information: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116