Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Swanier, Zick Receive 2022-23 ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grants

CICS Senior Teaching Faculty Cheryl Swanier and Assistant Professor Yair Zick

Senior Teaching Faculty Cheryl Swanier and Assistant Professor Yair Zick of the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) at UMass Amherst have been announced as 2022-2023 ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant recipients for their involvement with the winning mutual mentorship proposals, “Black Women United” and “Transdisciplinary Future Studies,” respectively. 

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. 

Transdisciplinary Future Studies is a network of academics from creative and research-based disciplines that aims to combine an interest in future studies with the desire to promote environmental and social justice. The team is led by Julie Brigham-Grette, Department of Geosciences, and includes Zick as well as Sonya Atalay, Department of Anthropology; Sandy Litchfield and Ray Mann, Department of Architecture; Malcolm Sen, Department of English; Martín Medina Elizalde, Department of Geosciences; Alice Nash, Department of History; and Laure Katsaros, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Cheryl Swanier is a Senior Teaching Faculty who joined CICS in 2021. Her 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. 

Yair Zick joined CICS as an Assistant Professor in 2020. He works on the allocation of indivisible resources, focusing on justice criteria such as envy-freeness, stability, and diversity. He obtained his doctorate in mathematics from Nanyang Technological University and bachelor’s in mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

Learn more about the UMass Amherst ADVANCE Mutual Mentoring Grant and the 2022-23 Recipients