Two upcoming events: mindfulness and politics

Managing with Mindfulness: Meghann Gerber, PsyD and licensed psychologist, will be giving Women in Chemical Sciences an introduction to mindfulness meditation on Friday, July 29, at 10:00 AM in CHB 239. Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves cultivating attention to the present moment in a nonjudgmental manner. Over time this practice strengthens attention and promotes an open attitude that is particularly helpful for responding to life’s challenges. Please come and enjoy a relaxing wind-down from your week!

Women in Science & Politics: Women in Chemical Sciences will host a talk by UW Chemistry alumna Jennifer Brookes (PhD ’15). As a SPIE/OSA Arthur H. Guenther Congressional Fellow, Dr. Brookes spent the last year in Washington, D.C. working as a special legislative assistant for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D–NY). She will talk about her experience as a scientist working on public policy issues around gender in science and education, and how her work is more broadly connected to the underrepresentation of women and their voices in Congress. The talk will be held on Monday, August 1, at 5:00 pm in 261 Bagley Hall, and all are welcome to attend.

Member meeting Friday 6/24 at 9 in BAG 464

Our first WCS member meeting of the summer will be this Friday, June 24th, at 9:00 am in Bagley 464 (if you’re standing at Drumheller Fountain and facing Bagley, it’s in the back left corner of the building, on the fourth floor). There will be donuts and/or banana bread!

We have a bunch of things to discuss, including several potential summer events (mindfulness meditation workshop, summer picnic/outing, workshops with the career center) and some ongoing or upcoming projects (new outreach activities, diversity in STEM summit this fall, and more). If you have any other ideas or topics to discuss, please email us!

See you Friday!

Book club week 1: prologue

This year for our summer book club, we’re reading Lab Girl by Hope Jahren! Meetings are on Thursdays at noon in CHB 439; you can sign up and find the reading schedule here. At our first meeting, we read the prologue together and discussed our first impressions. Here’s a few notes on what we talked about…

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Recap: Dan Grunspan, UW Anthropology, on Gender Bias amongst Undergraduates in STEM Courses

grunspan

Hi folks! Happy Memorial Day. Here’s my take on Dan Grunspan’s talk, titled “Old Boys’ Club Starts Early: Males Under-Estimate Academic Performance of Their Female Peers in Undergraduate Biology Classrooms.” After I give my two cents, I’ll provide some cool links! Some notes: Dan’s research differentiated between people using the words “male” and “female.” In order to stay true to his analysis, I will do the same (even though gender is a spectrum and male and female are technically references to “biological sex,” whatever that is).

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Thursday 5/26 at 5:30 in CHB 102: discussion of gender in undergraduate biology classes with Dan Grunspan, UW Anthropology

Please join us on Thursday, May 26th at 5:30 pm in CHB 102 for “Old Boys’ Club Starts Early: Males Under-Estimate Academic Performance of Their Female Peers in Undergraduate Biology Classrooms” with Dan Grunspan. Dan is a UW anthropology graduate student and author of a recent study investigating how gender influences students’ perceptions of their peers in undergraduate biology classes at UW.

Here’s the abstract for Dan’s talk; you can also check out the whole paper here.

Women leave STEM fields at a higher rate than their male peers. Inequitable social environments in undergraduate classrooms may contribute to this gap in retention rates. We examine how gender influences student perceptions of one another in undergraduate Biology courses by asking students to list peers they feel are strong with the course material. We asked this question eleven times over three iterations of the same large introductory Biology course. We find that males are more likely than females to be listed by their peers as strong with the course material. Social network models which control for students’ grade, whether they were outspoken, and the course structure, reveal that this bias is driven by males under-nominating their female peers, and over-nominating their male peers. Females, on the other hand, nominated equitably based on student performance and outspokenness. The most renowned students in all three classes are male. The results of this survey may reflect differences in the social environments faced by male and female students, which could influence self-confidence, and ultimately persistence in this STEM discipline.

This event will be a great way to learn more about gender in STEM education and how it affects us as students, teachers, and scientists. Special thanks to Women in Genome Sciences for hosting a similar discussion last month in their department; we’re excited to bring this conversation to chemistry. Hope to see you there!

Mentoring tips and resources from our peer mentoring workshop

Here are some notes about mentoring from yesterday’s workshop, “I’m an experienced graduate student?! Tips and advice for sharing your knowledge.” Thanks to Janice DeCosmo, Lindsey Madison, and Julie Cass for contributing their mentoring expertise! Thanks also to everyone who submitted questions for the panel.

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