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What is INSPIRE?

Applications are now open! Please visit this page for more information.

INSPIRE is a three-year program (sophomore to senior) with three cohorts simultaneously developing skills necessary to achieve the highest levels within their chosen fields. INSPIRE was created in response to the continuing inequalities in educational attainment and career advancement for women. INSPIRE offers a unique opportunity for young women to come together across disciplines, schools, areas of interest, ethnicity, and life experience to learn the value of diversity and how to successfully communicate across cultures. Students develop inclusive leadership skills by reflecting on their own social identities; how structural exclusion can separate us, and practice outreach strategies for their lives and careers.

INSPIRE is a unique and transformative space at UT. While students are provided professional development workshops, travel to conferences, and assistance as they work on group and personal projects, the biggest impact of this program might be that it provides the space and time to step back and reflect on what it means to be a female student, more than likely a first generation college student, and more often than not in male dominated careers.

INSPIRE’s curriculum is based on a scaffolding approach to follow a program timeline – broken down by year and semester – in which each objective builds upon the last as a means of learning leadership skills, practicing those skills on campus and in the community, and finally taking the initiative to lead. To accomplish this:

  • Students participate in activities that encourage group cohesion and receive leadership training with specific preparation for their internship/service project.
  • Students receive guidance on research preparation for writing a scholarly paper to be presented at a conference.
  • Students meet successful women in workshops on professional development, mental health/self care, and conflict resolution/negotiation, etc.
  • Students actively engage in learning how to be leaders through the constantly evolving practice of leadership as they work together to serve the campus and the community.
INSPIRE does not have a course requirement, but we do expect the students in the program to attend twice monthly meetings on Friday afternoons. There are additional occasional activities/opportunities outside of these meetings but none are mandatory.

For more information, please contact Nancy Ewert at 512-471-5680 or

For program support, we thank The Mary Braunagel-Brown Excellence Fund for Young Women Leaders, the Jody Conradt Excellence Fund in Equity and Leadership, the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, the Creekmore and Adele Fath Charitable Foundation, and our many individual donors.



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  • Center for Women's & Gender Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    Burdine Hall 536
    2505 University Avenue, A4900
    Austin, Texas 78712