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TWU becomes only women-centric university in Holmes Program

The College of Professional Education (COPE) at Texas Woman’s University has been selected to participate in the Holmes Program, sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). It aims to support women and people of color who are working towards a graduate degree in education.

“We know that there is a lack of diversity in teachers and also a lack of diversity in leaders that hold higher ed positions of power,” Associate Dean for Education Preparation Gina Anderson said. “This program was brought about to help further that goal.”

The candidates participating in the program include Phyliciá Anderson (reading education), Nicole Hall (child development and early education), Kimberly Lawson (reading education), Kiana Moore (child development and early education) and Marilyn Roberts (special education). They are required by COPE to commit for three consecutive years with plans to pursue a career as a researcher, faculty member, public policy expert or a leadership role in education.

“I was very grateful, honored and surprised,” Lawson said. “It’s my first scholarship outside of high school.”

TWU is the only women-centric university to participate in the Holmes Program. The program was founded in 1991, and it provides professional development opportunities, mentorship and peer support for doctoral students.

“It’s so exciting,” Anderson said. “I think it really helps us showcase exactly how unique we are here at TWU and that we have such a unique mission.”

The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership will provide additional funding to the program. The AACTE does not provide funding, so the program has to make sure they are able to fund what they need through other ways, Anderson said.

“We were very lucky to secure funding through the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership,” Anderson said. “That is going to help fund some leadership boot camps, supplies and registration to events. It’s going to be able to support them with that funding. It would be very difficult to do without funding.”

Anderson said she knows the program will be rewarding for the candidates and that she is excited to be in a mentoring relationship and to learn from them.

“I’m looking forward to developing relationships with these five candidates,” Anderson said. “I see this as being a way that we will learn from each other, but just to also be able to share this journey with them and feel so happy for them when they are successful.”

Laura Pearson can be reached via email at

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