Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Swanier Awarded ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant in Support of Black Women United 

Cheryl Swanier
Cheryl Swanier

For the second consecutive year, Senior Teaching Faculty Cheryl Swanier in the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) at UMass Amherst has been announced as a 2023-2024 ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant recipient for her involvement with the winning mutual mentorship proposal, "Black Women United." 

The ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring program supports faculty at all career stages in developing robust professional networks within and outside the UMass Amherst campus, reaching across faculty ranks. ADVANCE mutual mentoring groups receive up to $6,000 in funding a year. 

Black Women United serves as a cross-campus professional and social network co-led by Swanier and Felicia Griffin-Fennell, Department of Sociology, in partnership with Judyie Al-Bilali, Department of Theater, and Maria Rios, W. E. B. Du Bois Library. The team aims to promote the advancement of Black female faculty across UMass Amherst while offering a dedicated space that champions mentorship, community development, and career advancement. 

Swanier's current research interests are in computer science education, human-computer interaction with a specific focus on visual programming of educational simulations with end-user programming and educational gaming technologies, and broadening participation in computing by leveraging equity, diversity, and inclusion. Swanier earned doctoral degrees in computer science and educational leadership from Auburn University; a master's in theology from Emory University; a master's in mathematics from Columbus State University; a master's degree in computer science from SUNY Binghamton; and a bachelor's in computer science from Albany State University. She joined CICS in 2021. 

Learn more about the UMass Amherst ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant and the 2023-24 Recipients