fall leaves on Davis campus
Photo credit: Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

This article originally appears on the Global Affairs website on October 27, 2020.

The University of California, Davis, and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), along with nine other APRU member institutions have launched the pilot of the Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program

The year-long pilot program is bringing together 30 mentor and mentee participants from 10 universities around the Pacific Rim region to grow the pipeline of aspiring women leaders, increase awareness of challenges that aspiring women leaders face, and introduce global and intercultural dimensions of women leadership across the APRU network and beyond.

The APRU APWiL is led by co-chairs Sabrina Lin, senior advisor to the president at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of Global Affairs and a professor of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at UC Davis. Along with Global Affairs at UC Davis and HKUST, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UC Davis, is a co-leader of the initiative. The program coordinator is Chelsey Hawes, study abroad enrollment and operations officer in Global Affairs. 

“We’re thrilled to see what started as an idea bloom into what we hope will be the beginning of a new way of mentorship and relationship building for the future of women’s leadership around the Pacific Rim,” said Regulska.

“Many of the current challenges around the world related to COVID-19 are amplifying the obstacles women face as they continue to advance their professional career, as they continuing to balance their professional work and their work at home, taking care of family members, and despite of this hard work they are losing ground. This program will build a network of leaders around the Pacific Rim to mitigate some of these and other ongoing challenges," said Regulska.

Through the program, mentors and mentees will develop a mentoring agreement, identifying goals for the program and meeting virtually throughout the year. They will also have access to an online resource library and attend online group workshops focused on women’s professional growth, equity, leadership, and network building.

“In addition to strengthening the network of leaders around the Pacific Rim to address obstacles that women face in professional advancement, we hope that the network will also add to the collaborative efforts in teaching, learning, and research across the APRU network,” said Lin. 

Among the 30 participants are four UC Davis faculty and administrators: 

  • Louise Ferguson, professor and extension specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (Mentor); 
  • Christopher Glick, assistant dean of development and external relations, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (Mentor); 
  • Maureen Kinyua, assistant professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering (Mentee); and 
  • Jessica Bissett Perea, assistant professor, Department of Native American Studies, College of Letters and Science (Mentee).

“The APWiL program is significant because it seeks to balance the gender equity scale by bringing together talented scholars from universities around the world, and positioning women in international networks to share best practices and different structures, all of which contribute to building emerging leaders,” said Renetta Garrison Tull, vice chancellor of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“Both the mentors and the mentees will have opportunities to learn from one another, and the experience will provide each with new global perspectives and tools to shape leadership in their respective institutions and disciplines, and abroad," said Tull. 

Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Mentoring Program Participants

  • Maureen Kinyua, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, UC Davis (Mentee)
  • Natalie Munro, Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Sydney (Mentor)
  • Jessica Bissett Perea, Assistant Professor, Department of Native American Studies, College of Letters and Science, UC Davis (Mentee)
  • Yvonne Ai-Lian Lim, Director, Department of Parasitology, University of Malaya (Mentor)
  • Kira Jen Mendelsohn Matus, Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy, Division of Social Science, and Division of Environment and Sustainability, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Mentee)
  • Louise Ferguson, Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis (Mentor)
  • Joy Becker, Associate Professor, Aquatic Animal Health and Production, University of Sydney (Mentee)
  • Christopher Glick, Assistant Dean, Development and External Relations, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis (Mentor)
  • Azusa N. Hattori, Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy, Division of Social Science, and Division of Environment and Sustainability, Osaka University (Mentee)
  • Stephan Tillman, Professor, Geometric Topology, University of Sydney (Mentor)
  • Charmaine C.M. Yung, Assistant Professor, Department of Ocean Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Mentee)
  • Masae Kuboniwa, Associate Professor, Department of Preventive Dentistry, Osaka University (Mentor)
  • Derjung Mimi Tarn, Associate Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine, and University of California systemwide University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, UCLA (Mentee)
  • Keiko Okawa, Professor, Graduate School of Media Design; Research Institute for Digital Media and Content; School on Internet Research Institute Co., Ltd., Keio University (Mentor)
  • Hang Fang Carole Hoyan, Associate Professor, Department of Chinese Language and Literature; the Yale-China Chinese Language Centre, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Mentee)
  • Christine Dunkel Schetter, Professor, Psychology and Psychiatry; Faculty Development, UCLA (Mentor)
  • Hisayo Ogushi, Professor, Dean, Keio University International Center, Keio University (Mentee)
  • Fanny Cheung, Senior Advisor, Faculty of Social Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Mentor)
  • Mihoko Maruyama, Associate Professor, Institute for Advanced Co-Creation Studies, Osaka University (Mentee)
  • Haibin Su, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Mentor)
  • Nazia Abdul Majid, Lecturer, Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of Malaya (Mentee)
  • Mariko Okada, Professor, Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University (Mentor)
  • Roxanna Pebdani, Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Rehabilitation Counselling, University of Sydney (Mentee)
  • Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice-Provost, Equity & Inclusion Office, University of British Columbia (Mentor)
  • Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard, Lecturer, Landscape Architecture, UNSW Sydney (Mentee)
  • Noor Ismawati Jaafar, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business and Accountancy, University of Malaya (Mentor)
  • Suat Yan Lai, Senior Lecturer, Gender Studies Program, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya (Mentee)
  • Helene Hoi-Lam Fung, Professor, Department of Psychology; Centre for Positive Social Science; Institute of Ageing, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Mentor)
  • Surabhi Chopra, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at Chinese, University of Hong Kong (Mentee)
  • Cindy Fan, Vice Provost, International Studies and Global Engagement, UCLA (Mentor)

To stay up-to-date on the mentoring program and Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership, follow APRU on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn

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Global Affairs brings the world to UC Davis, welcoming more than 10,000 international students, scholars and leaders, and hosting programs that inspire global curiosity, understanding and engagement. Compelled by the valuable outcomes of thinking globally, we make transformative opportunities a reality by supporting the thousands of students and faculty learning and researching globally—and by facilitating collaborations that tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through more than 150 global partnerships.

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