Dr. Wendy Heller has been named a University of Illinois Presidential Fellow. The fellowship program supports faculty members across the University of Illinois system whose projects help realize the institution’s goal of promoting the public good in the state and beyond. Dr. Heller will coordinate the Leadership Initiative for Women Faculty, a program that strives to eliminate the barriers to academic leadership roles that have led to an underrepresentation of women at the top levels of academia.
Dr. Heller is the Head of the Psychology Department (currently on sabbatical) and is affiliated with the Neuroscience program, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, the Gender and Women’s Studies program, and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She has co-authored scholarly work identifying the structural, interpersonal and psychological barriers that inhibit women’s advancement in the field of Psychology. She also has been involved in initiatives to encourage adolescent girls to pursue STEM education as well as efforts to retain and support women faculty in the STEM pipeline. She has published research on the psychological well-being of women across the lifespan, including the transition to parenthood. Dr. Heller was selected for the fellowship based on her extensive leadership experience and her understanding of the resources needed to retain faculty throughout their careers.