Associate Vice President for Research
Faith Kirkham Hawkins, Associate Vice President for Research at IU, works with faculty, administrators and staff across the university to make it easier for faculty to do outstanding research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields. She oversees internal grant programs, coordinates efforts for funding opportunities and assists with the strategic development of proposals.
“It is a bit like being a first year undergraduate,” said Hawkins on why she loves her job. “I am constantly being introduced to fields that are new to me. I don’t always understand the details, but the passion and energy with which faculty members tackle their research and creative activity is always amazing.”
The same questions always energized Hawkins, attracting her to the research field. “What makes people think? Why do any particular people do or believe particular things?” She received her undergraduate degree from Smith College with a double major in sociology and economics. After teaching high school for several years, she received a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in New Testament and Early Christianity from Emory University.
Though Hawkins says she is “one of those folks who tends to be a bit afraid of technology,” she wishes she wasn’t. “I’m proud that I’ve been able to establish myself in the area of research development, a field that tends to be dominated by those in the sciences,” she said. “It’s happened only because I’ve been really honest about what I don’t know, and done what I need to learn.”
For those entering STEM fields today, Hawkins says her advice is the same as it is for those entering any field. “Don’t listen to the voices telling you you can’t do something just because you’re young, or female, or the first person in your family to go to college, or a minority, or you are in some way different,” said Hawkins. “You might not be able to do something because you don’t (yet) know how, but if you ask questions and don’t feat making mistakes, there’s almost nothing you cannot do.”