Biography

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Dr. KerryAnn O'Meara is Professor of Higher Education, Director of the ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence, and Affiliate Faculty in Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. O'Meara's research examines organizational practices that support or limit the full participation of diverse faculty and the legitimacy of diverse scholarship in the academy with an eye toward changing those practices to be more inclusive, equitable and agency-enhancing for all faculty.  Her recent work examines how work environments influence faculty agency and departure, the role of peer networks in advancing equity and inclusion, and gender equity in workload and distribution of campus service.  Her work has been published in the Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education and Gender and Education, among other venues. Professor O'Meara is P.I. of the NSF funded ADVANCE IHE-PLAN, Faculty Workload and Rewards Project (2015-2020), an action research project among natural science, math, engineering, and social science departments in three public state systems to design and implement department-based organizational practices that make faculty workloads more transparent and equitable. She consults with higher education institutions interested in adapting their promotion and tenure policies to acknowledge broader definitions of scholarship and support diverse faculty and to reform their workload, retention, and faculty development systems.  

Background

Higher education institutions are working hard to attract and retain more women and under-represented minority faculty into faculty careers.  More faculty scholarship is engaged, interdisciplinary, collaborative and crafted for public, as opposed to disciplinary, audiences. Greater diversity in our scholars and scholarship can be the greatest strength of a higher education system set in a diverse democracy.  However, academic institutions are not yet structured to fully include and embrace all scholars and their contributions.  Faculty regard systems need to change if they are to acknowledge the full range of scholarship of a diverse faculty.

Grounded in the latest insights from behavioral and social science research, KerryAnn's recent work has focused on the retention and advancement of women faculty, faculty professional growth, reform of promotion and tenure systems, and organizational practices that advance engaged scholarship and equity in faculty workload.

KerryAnn received the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award (University of Massachusetts, 2003), Early Career Research Award (IARSCLE, 2008), Graduate Mentor of the Year Award (University of Maryland, 2012), and Outstanding Woman of the Year Award (University of Maryland, 2013) for her work advancing women at UMD. In 2014 she became a Fellow of the Academy of Community Engaged Scholarship. KerryAnn serves on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Higher Education and as Associate Editor for the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. She is Director of the University of Maryland’s ADVANCE grant, an institution-wide effort to invest in the professional growth of women faculty, and transform organizational practices in work environments to support inclusive excellence and the full participation of all faculty.

In 2017 KerryAnn received an Award of Distinction from the Ohio State University for making a difference in the lives of others through outstanding professional, personal, and community contributions.

KerryAnn lives in Columbia, MD with her three daughters and partner Dan Schreier. She is a lifelong fan of anything Lord of the Rings, Pat Conroy/ Charleston, South Carolina, the national women's soccer team, and Long Beach Island, NJ.


Honors & Awards

Outstanding Woman of the Year
University of Maryland, (2013).

Graduate Mentor of the Year Award
University of Maryland, (2012).

Early Career Research Award
International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, (2008).

Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award
School of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst, (2003).

Emerging Leader Award
National Society for Experiential Education, (1998).

Academy of Community Engaged Scholarship, Fellow (2014)

Award of Distinction, the Ohio State University (2017)