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Prof. wins BioMed's first women's advancement award

Maureen Phipps, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, has been recognized with the University's first Dean's Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty within the Division of Biology and Medicine.

"By identifying an individual, we create a certain public visibility of this position," Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences Eli Adashi said.

In his remarks at the April 3 ceremony in Sydney Frank Hall for Life Sciences, Adashi cited Phipps's "research initiatives focused on improving health access and outcomes for underserved women" and being the co-principal investigator in the National Children's Study research program as key reasons for her recognition. Phipps is also director of the Brown University/Women and Infants Hospital National Center of Excellence in Women's Health.

Adashi said the "award is part of a larger strategy to establish offices for the advocacy of women and faculty designed to see to it that women faculty are developed, supported and promoted."

"It was unbelievable. It was a surprise and I felt incredibly honored," Phipps said of the award. "The spirit in the room was amazing."

Phipps is most proud of her work encouraging women leaders, she said. She is involved with a quarterly mentoring award and encouraging collaborative, interdisciplinary research.

At the award ceremony, Phipps received a plaque and $2,000 from the BioMed division. She said she has not yet decided what the money will be used for.

Phipps said she was thrilled to receive such a personal recognition but added the best part was "being able to have the people who supported me and the program there and being able to give them some recognition. I may have lead the program, but I certainly didn't do it alone."

Both Phipps and Adashi believe that this award will strengthen the Alpert Medical School community. Adashi said he expects that the award will inspire other women to "strive to receive this recognition."

Phipps completed her medical training at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and earned a masters in public health at the University of Michigan. She completed her residency at Brown Medical School and joined the faculty in 2001.

The Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty will be given annually to a man or woman who has "demonstrated a commitment to the recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty through new or established programs and activities," the Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island wrote in an April 7 press release. Candidates will be nominated and selected by a small committee each year.


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