A woman investing in women

Dr. Brandi K. Ormerod, associate professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, knows how important it is to inspire other women.

Ormerod is the current President for the Association for Academic Women (AAW) at the University of Florida. She joined the organization in 2013. “As AAW president, I work within our association and with other groups to provide networking opportunities for women and to provide information that fosters the advancement of women in their careers. I hope to use our collaborative strength to build and support a community that inspires women,” she said.

Women academics sometimes face unique challenges to their entry and advancement in the academic profession, among them potential inequities in salary and promotion rates and discriminatory treatment. Ormerod says the AAW has been a source of support and inspiration for her and she sees the importance of supporting women through the challenges they face in their professional careers. “My main objective as president is to empower women with the information and confidence they need to thrive in their careers.”

The AAW is a networking and informational platform for women in faculty, administrative and professional roles on campus. The AAW also strives to empower women to promote the success of their careers at all stages.

Each year, AAW campus leadership programs shape the lives of college women to be the next generation of leaders. The AAW holds formal events, after-work socials and monthly luncheons throughout the year. These events offer an opportunity to learn new things and meet peers from across campus.

The AAW provides an interdisciplinary, university wide platform for networking opportunities among women who often find themselves isolated on campus (or off). The AAW is a training ground for women interested in informal leadership and mentoring opportunities. AAW members also have the opportunity to interact directly with speakers who are chosen to speak specifically because of their impact on UF women.

Ormerod was recently promoted to Director, BME Graduate Student Diversity & Professional Development. “Brandi is committed to building a supportive BME community which recognizes that a diverse student body is essential in academics so we can remain an engaged and relevant institution,” said Dr. Christine E. Schmidt, Pruitt Family Professor and Chair. “She is a champion for women’s rights and student development. It was a natural transition.”

For AAW events, please visit their Facebook page.