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Our Team

Cynthia Werner

Cynthia Werner

Director of ADVANCE
Phone: (979) 845-4274
Email: werner@tamu.edu

Dr. Cynthia Werner is the Director of ADVANCE. In this role, she plays a key role coordinating the activities and research, and setting the future direction of ADVANCE. She reports to the Dean of Faculties and works closely with the Office for Diversity, as well as faculty and administrators across Texas A&M's 16 colleges and schools and two branch campuses. Dr. Werner received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University. She joined the faculty at Texas A&M as an assistant professor in 2001, and served as the head of the Department of Anthropology from 2011-2019. She has also been an active member of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Texas A&M. Dr. Werner’s research is geographically based in the region of Central Asia, an area that includes the former “Muslim republics” of the Soviet Union. She has published research on a variety of topics, including rural household survival strategies, memories of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan, the repatriation of ethnic Kazakhs from Mongolia to Kazakhstan and the unusual marriage practice of bride kidnapping. Given that Soviet and post-Soviet efforts to manage ethnic relations and to change women's lives are themes that cut across all of these areas of inquiry, these research projects have provided her with a unique lens for understanding race, ethnicity, and gender in connection with the experiences of faculty from underrepresented groups on U.S. campuses. Dr. Werner is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Research Council, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. She is also the past president of the Central Eurasian Studies Society. 

 


Susan Burton

Susan Burton

Program Coordinator
Phone: (979) 845-4272
Email: susanm17@tamu.edu

Susan recently joined our ADVANCE team in January of 2020. As the Program Coordinator, she serves as the primary point of contact for ADVANCE programs and activities, and serves as the assistant to Cynthia Werner, the Director of ADVANCE. She received her Bachelors degree in General Studies, with an emphasis in Psychology, from Wichita State University in Kansas. She recently moved to Texas from Florida where she worked as a Program Coordinator at Full Sail University supporting the Director of Visual Arts and three separate degree programs. She has also worked as a Children’s Ministry Director at North Lake Presbyterian Church and a Volunteer Services Manager at Arnold Palmer and Winnie Palmer Hospitals in Orlando, Florida.

 


Elizabeth Jenkins

Elizabeth Jenkins

ADVANCE Graduate Assistant
Email: elizabeth.jenkins@tamu.edu


Elizabeth Jenkins is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program. Her research interests broadly center around diversity and inclusion within the workplace with a specific focus on researching stigmatized or minority employees’ (e.g., women, people of color, obese people, ex-offenders) treatment within the workplace in order to improve and understand their work lives. She has presented several peer-reviewed conference presentations at the annual Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology Conference. For her research and dedication to improving diversity and inclusion in organizations, she has also received an honorable mention from the Ford Foundation  Fellowship administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

 


Vansa Shewakramani Hanson

Vansa Shewakramani Hanson

ADVANCE Graduate Assistant
Email: vansa@tamu.edu


Vansa Shewakramani Hanson is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University.  Her research areas include social stratification, education, social policy, and the measurement of contextual effects.  She is particularly interested in the interaction between individual- and institutional-level sorting mechanisms and the extent to which they reproduce existing inequalities.  Her master's thesis aimed to (1) develop mesaures for department climate and job satisfaction, and (2) estimate the extent to which they were distinct laten constructions. She utilized longitudinal data from the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute's (WISELI) faculty work-life survey to construct and test her measures. Vansa received her Masters degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked for five years as a Senior Research Analyst at the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) at Rice University.