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FORWARD announces Advocate appointments

The FORWARD project and the Advocates group have selected four male faculty to join the current group of Advocates. The newly appointed Advocates include Andrew Mara, assistant professor of English; Dilpreet Bajwa, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Benjamin Balas, assistant professor of psychology; and Robert Herren, professor of agribusiness and applied economics. A complete list of FORWARD Advocates and the FORWARD Allies is available at

The Advocates will continue to offer training for male faculty who want to serve as Allies. Ally training is designed to provide male faculty with strategies to help improve the overall climate for all faculty at NDSU and to identify ways to better recruit and retain women faculty. The next Ally training is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Memorial Union. Lunch will be provided. Registration is requested and registration information can be found on at

As part of their application to become a FORWARD Advocate, male faculty were asked to identify reasons why they wanted to serve in this role. The responses offered a range of perspectives and motivations for their interest and commitment to be involved in this way in the FORWARD project. Some of the reasons included:

  • “To support faculty women, improve gender diversity, equality and ensure fair and unbiased treatment.”
  • “To effectively utilize all faculty talent and skills, for development of individual faculty as well as for department success.”
  • “I would like NDSU to be a more impactful university, and I think equity is critically important to that goal.”
  • “I would like to formalize my relationship with FORWARD, as I already strive to be an advocate in my personal and professional lives.”
  • “To ensure fairness for all faculty members, particularly in areas where female faculty are often disadvantaged.”

For more information about the FORWARD Allies program, contact Sean Sather-Wagstaff, advocate coordinator, at or 701-231-8105 or Canan Bilen-Green, FORWARD director, at or 701-231-7040.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
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Last Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013
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