After 11 years at Case Western Reserve University, Dorothy Miller, director of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, will retire at the end of this semester.
Miller came to Case Western Reserve in 2002, after she was recruited from Wichita State University to establish the new women’s center at Case Western Reserve.
Under her leadership, the center has grown dramatically, from a one-person office to one that now includes six full-time staff, nine student interns and close to $2 million in endowments. With a gift from the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae, the center was renamed in 2006 after Flora Stone Mather, a Cleveland philanthropist who gave generously to Case Western Reserve.
“Dr. Miller’s accomplishments are huge. Her ability to forge strong cross-campus and community relationships, her fearless advocacy on behalf of women, her creative programming, management acumen, and scholarship on women’s issues have built an amazing center here,” said Lynn T. Singer, deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Throughout her tenure, Singer said, Miller accomplished the initial goal of serving every constituency of women on campus, including faculty, staff, students and alumnae as well as men. Center staff members collaborate with virtually all campus offices, all of the schools and numerous community organizations.
Student programs that have become standard in the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women include counseling for women, increasing awareness of violence against women, workshops on healthy relationships, and the annual Program on Men and Gender, at which men can talk about masculinity. More than 1,000 female students from science, technology, engineering and mathematics field have participated in the Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable, adopted in the fall of 2006. The center also is engaged in leadership training and development with student interns as well as education about women during Women’s History Month.
The annual Women of Achievement Luncheon and the Spotlight Lecture Series have become hallmarks of the center’s focus on faculty. Miller’s initiative also led to the establishment of the Women Faculty Leadership Development Institute and the Women Staff Leadership Development Institute.
From the beginning, Miller saw the need for a community and alumnae connection. Today, the center’s 24 Community Advisory Board members act as ambassadors for the center and implement programs, including a popular Salon Series, a career re-entry series, and the new Flora Award to recognize women’s grassroots community leadership.
Miller also works with colleagues in Student Affairs, the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, and across campus to create policies and practices that recognize women’s issues and promote their accomplishments.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, Miller is a prominent feminist activist and scholar in social policy and planning. In addition, she has served on the Governing Council of the National Women’s Studies Association and authored/edited more than 35 papers, monographs and books, including Socializing Care: Feminist Ethics and Public Issues. She plans to spend more time writing and doing research in her retirement, as well as playing more golf.
The university is conducting a national search for a new center director. B. Jessie Hill, professor of law, chairs the search committee. Other committee members include: Jennifer Bartholomew, graduate student at the Mandel School; Marcia Beasley, assistant vice president of human resources; Diana Bilimoria, KeyBank Professor and professor of organizational behavior; Melissa Burrows, faculty diversity officer; Jim McGuffin-Cawley, professor of materials science and engineering; Helen Day, executive assistant to the deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs; Denise Douglas, senior associate dean, Graduate Studies; Beth Embrescia, president of the Community Advisory Board for the Center for Women; Laura Hengehold, associate professor of philosophy; Kathryn Karipides, Samuel B. & Virginia C. Knight Professor Emerita of Humanities and member of the Community Advisory Board of the Women’s Center; Thomas Matthews, executive director of the Career Center; Meeyoung Min, research assistant professor at the Mandel School; Anna Pimentel, undergraduate student; Sue Nickel-Schindewolf, associate vice president, campus life; Usha Stiefel, assistant professor in the School of Medicine and president of the Women Faculty School of Medicine; and Amy Zhang, associate professor in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.