Early Pathways to Career Success Program


The CWIMS-Early Pathways to Career Success program is a year-long program for new faculty, identifying as women, to elucidate early pathways of academic success. Skills training in advocating for yourself, education about key best practices for obtaining promotion and tenure, faculty resources for wellness, balance, and peer mentoring are shared, in addition to specific logistics related to human resources such as FMLA, disability, stop-the-clock, and others. The program consists of small cohorts that meet for 1.5 hrs monthly over one academic year starting in November (November-August). Meetings are typically held remotely over Zoom between 8-9:30am.

Interested in participating in an all-genders cohort? The Office of Faculty Affairs has scaled up our program and is now offering additional opportunities through their OFA Early Pathways to Career Success program.

Questions? Contact CWIMS at cwims@umn.edu

Scholar Nomination Process

No Longer Accepting Self-Nominations for the 2022-23 Cohort
The deadline to submit a self-nomination was Oct. 31, 2022. We will announce self-nominations for the 2023-24 cohort in Spring 2023.
Current 2020-2021 Cohort
  • Mahsa Abassi, DO, Medicine (Division: Infectious Diseases)
  • Amy Beckman, MD, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (division: Hematopathology)
  • Louise Evans, PhD, Surgery
  • Lauren Fontana, DO, Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine)
  • Rocio Gomez-Pastor, PhD, Neuroscience
  • Julia Liu. PhD, Integrative Biology and Physiology
  • Kimberley Monden, PhD, Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Rachel Poeppelman, MD MHPE, Pediatrics
  • Beth Thielen, MD, PhD, Pediatrics
  • Alexandra Zachwieja, Biomedical Sciences (Duluth)
2019-2020 Cohort
  • Casey Burrows, PhD, LP, Pediatrics
  • Raluca Gray, MD, Otolaryngology
  • Sobia Khaja, MD, Otolaryngology
  • Sarah Lacher, PhD, Biomedical Sciences (Duluth)
  • Linda Skalski, PhD, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Shahnaz Sultan, MD, MHSc, AGAF, Medicine
  • Anjali Goel, MD, MPH, Pediatrics
  • Laura Speltz, MD, Neurology
  • Jessika Ralph, MD, MSCI, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health
  • Andrea O'Shea, MD, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health
  • Christina Camell, PhD, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
  • Anna Selmecki, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology

Guiding Assumptions:

  • When faculty feel connected, supported and a sense of “home” within a small group of colleagues, they are more likely to experience personal wellness and professional success

  • When faculty are engaged with peers and institutional programs, they are more likely to be retained in their positions

  • There are key skill sets that can support the success of academic faculty in their careers. Some of these skills expand beyond traditional academic career development and include factors such as work-life balance and financial wellness. 

    • Faculty who identify as women experience unique barriers to building these skill sets

Program Goals:

  • Increase average rates of retention for new faculty identifying as women through increasing new faculty engagement, creating a sense of small group connection, and promoting strategic peer mentoring  

  • Provide early pathways to career success for new faculty identifying as women through skills training, opportunity sharing, and peer mentoring 

  • Increase the success of promotion and tenure in women faculty

Conceptual Framework:

CWIMS-Early Pathway to Success Conceptual Framework

Program Officers

Rahel Ghebre, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health; CWIMS Retention and Recruitment Action Group Member

Sade Spencer, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology; CWIMS Retention and Recruitment Action Group Member