Leslie Tower, a professor of social work, has been named director of the WVU Women’s Resource Center, effective Nov. 1. A passionate advocate for policies that support women’s full participation in society, Tower has published research on women and work, adult learners and violence against women. Her recent scholarly work focuses on gender inequality in institutions of higher education.
Tower’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture as well as private foundations. Tower led the policy development component of the WVU ADVANCE grant, resulting in numerous work-life integration policies, including WVU’s Lactation Network, Supportive Lactation Program, paid parental and family leave for 9-month faculty and free membership to Care.com. She was co-investigator on the original National Science Foundation grant. One of her publications from the project, entitled, Work/Life Satisfaction Policy in ADVANCE Universities, was highlighted in Science.
Tower also has served in leadership roles with the Council on Social Work Education, including as chair/co-chair of the Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education from 2012-2015 and, currently, as chair of the CSWE’s Annual Program Meeting Feminist Scholarship Track. Tower has served as a faculty member since 2002 and currently serves as assessment coordinator in the School of Social Work. She has taught courses in social welfare policy and social work research methods.
Reporting to Associate Provost Melissa Latimer, Tower will amplify efforts to transform the Women’s Resource Center into a one-stop-shop for women’s resources for faculty, staff and students. The Center will assume responsibility for the WVU Lactation Network, host a number of skill-building and networking events, and identify and advocate for the implementation of best practices to support women in higher education. One of Tower’s initial goals will be to focus on staff, developing a recognition program and creating networking opportunities. Charlotte Hoelke, assistant director and clinical assistant professor, will continue in her work for the Women’s Resource Center.