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Coronavirus Update

In-person classes will not resume for the spring semester. Classes resumed through remote instruction on March 30 and will continue until the end of the semester. Find full details of changes to the University’s schedule and operations, and additional information regarding our response to COVID-19 at www.hartford.edu/health-coronavirus.

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Student Programs

Are you interested in joining a program where you can grow and learn to become a leader?

The Women’s Advancement Initiative uniquely positions women for success through education and leadership programs, research and scholarship opportunities, and career connections and experiences.

Our Programs

The LEAD Program

student programs

The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program is an exclusive leadership development, resilience coaching, and career readiness program for undergraduate women.

Designed to respond to the unique opportunities and challenges of female students at each stage of their undergraduate experience, LEAD provides students with the tools, training, and community to successfully navigate the journey to and through college to life and careers. 


What are the benefits of participating in LEAD?

  • Being inspired to lead and take pride in your individual and collective achievements.
  • Feeling empowered through experiential leadership training and problem-solving opportunities.
  • Experiences to build a resume including job shadowing, internships and community service.
  • Exploring scholarship opportunities offered by The Women's Advancement Initiative.
  • Getting connected to a supportive network.
  • Lessons in life and career preparation including salary negotiation, personal finances, and interview skills.
  • Opportunities to attend outings and events, forums, and conferences.
  • Professional, practical-life skill and leadership development sessions twice a month for all four years while you are at the University of Hartford.
  • Cultivate lifelong bonds with fellow women who empower each other.

Who can apply for the LEAD program?
LEAD is for female undergraduate students at University of Hartford. Its cohort program is limited to 25-30 students per graduation class.

The call for LEAD applications is sent every spring to incoming first-year students.

Dorothy Goodwin Scholars

The Dorothy Goodwin Scholarship is dedicated to supporting selected sophomore, junior, and senior female students and their faculty or staff mentors who are engaging in innovative research or creative projects. Scholarship awards are between $1–5,000.

The scholarship was created to honor Dorothy Goodwin, an educator, politician, world traveler, visionary, and family member, who inspired women and girls to live beyond limitations and realize their full potential. She recognized and modeled that reaching one’s potential requires challenging opportunities, committed mentors, and financial support. In honor of her influence and philanthropic spirit, The Women’s Advancement Initiative is proud to announce this annual scholarship program.

Proposal Deadline: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019

Who is eligible?

Dorothy Goodwin Scholars will be creative self-starters who meet the following criteria:

  • Female students who will be sophomores, juniors, or seniors in the fall of 2019 at any school or college at the University of Hartford studying any academic discipline are eligible to apply.
  • Good academic standing (3.0 or above for overall GPA; 3.5 or above for major).
  • Creation of an original scholarly or creative project that will be explored in partnership with a University of Hartford faculty member (adjunct faculty or staff may participate) for a minimum of 200 hours during the academic year. Research will likely take place on campus, but might also be pursued in other geographic locations if appropriate for the participants and the project.
  • Applicants must participate in additional events throughout the academic year.
  • Examples of possible projects: A student musician might explore the works of a little-known composer, crafting a performance bringing the life and works of the composer into greater public knowledge. A student scientist might pair with a faculty mentor in carrying out a particular set of experiments as an independent project or as one aspect of a greater research agenda; the results compiled into a poster session for a professional conference or a paper co-authored and submitted to an academic journal. A student sociologist might select a discrete social issue, designing an intervention that might be implemented, measured, and evaluated.
Award Detail

Selected student applicants will receive a total award package of $1,000 - $5,000, payable in two installments. This includes submission of updates for Women’s Advancement’s social media and e-newsletters once a month, thank you letters to donors who make this program possible, and completed final report.

Specific uses of the award will be reviewed with individual recipients, and may include scholarship dollars, project materials, conference registration, travel, etc. In addition, faculty mentors will also receive $500 toward professional development in recognition of their service and project oversight.

Application Process:
  • Applicant name, address, email (University and personal), phone (cell and home), expected graduation date, college, department, and major transcript (unofficial copies will be accepted)
  • Resume
  • Narrative: In up to three double-spaced pages, please describe the following elements of your proposed research or creative project:
    • Scholarship Period: Spring 2020 or Spring/Summer 2020
    • Project: Describe project in up to 200 words.
    • Project Plan:  What are the goals of your project? What role will you play in accomplishing these goals?
    • Project Timetable: When, and in what sequence, will project activities take place?
    • Personal Goals: What do you anticipate learning from the research project, and from your faculty mentor? How does this connect with your future plans? How will receiving this scholarship make a difference in your life?
    • Financial Plan: Awards of $1,000 - $5,000 are available to Dorothy Goodwin Scholars. How do you anticipate to use this award, both personal and project-related? Include a table that summarizes your financial plan.

Faculty mentors will submit the following:

  • Mentor name, address, email, phone (office and cell), college, department, and faculty rank
  • Bio – limited to one page
  • Narrative: In up to three double-spaced pages, please describe the following:
    • Project Plan: What are your goals for this project? What role will you play in accomplishing these goals; what role do you anticipate the student researcher will play? Does this proposed project relate to your own area of expertise or research? If so, how?
    • Project Timetable: Confirm timetable of project included in student’s submission (timing and sequence of project activities).
    • Mentoring Goals:  How will you collaborate with your student researcher? What do you anticipate offering to the student and learning from the student?
Proposal Review

Proposals will be judged by a committee representing the Board of The Women’s Advancement Initiative and/or community leaders. Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Quality of project 
  • Originality of research or creative project
  • Feasibility of research or creative project
  • Student applicants’ capacity to contribute to, and benefit from, mentor partnership
  • Faculty mentors’ capacity to contribute to, and benefit from, mentee partnership
  • Student’s availability to participate in academic-year programming

Applicants will receive a response from the Committee by Dec. 1, 2019.

Additional Requirements

Awardees will be expected to participate in periodic workshops and advising sessions with staff and volunteers of The Women’s Advancement Initiative that will enhance their experience. Additionally, students will be expected to take an online assessment and have a one-on-one meeting to review results.

All Dorothy Goodwin Scholars will publicly present their projects at The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s Annual Symposium scheduled for April 2, 2020. Students must include–This project is made possible with underwriting support from The Women’s Advancement Initiative–on Power Points, handouts, or other public presentations.

Students are required to submit a monthly short project update (one or two paragraphs) and photos of their project’s development.

These updates may appear in The Women’s Advancement Initiative’s social media and e-news publications.  Participants need to complete a final report on their research by May 15 for spring projects or by September 15 for spring/summer projects. After this final report and thank you letters are submitted, students will receive the second part of their award.

Submit completed proposals to The Women’s Advancement Initiative Assistant Director Dina Morris, via email at womenadv@hartford.edu or glmorris@hartford.edu. Proposal assistance is also available. Call 860.768.5961 or email Amy Jaffe Barzach at barzach@hartford.edu.

Submit proposal to womenadv@hartford.edu by Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.

Robert E. Donovan Scholarships

Created by his widow, Margaret Donovan, the Robert E. Donovan Scholarship Fund honors and celebrates the life of Robert E. Donovan who believed in the transformative power of education. These scholarships are given each year to one or more female students studying engineering who are on track to complete their degrees, but who need financial assistance in order to continue.