Meeting recap 9/4/2014

We have lots of exciting events and projects coming up! October will be a particularly busy month for WCS-UW. Here’s a recap of some topics discussed at last week’s meeting.

Outreach opportunity: STEM-OUT is a partnership between UW and TAF Academy, a diverse, STEM-focused 6-12 school in Kent. The program is looking for UW students and other young STEM professionals to participate as mentors and meet regularly with students. Contact Elaine at for more details and to sign up!

Other ongoing projects:

Mentoring toolkit: Addie, Scott, and Joan are continuing to develop the graduate student/PI mentoring toolkit and related resources, and working with the department to implement it. The next iteration of the toolkit will be sent out soon, but we’re excited about this recommendation from the ACS Graduate Student Survey Report:

“Graduate programs in chemistry should formalize an annual review process to ensure that graduate students receive timely feedback on progress toward degree and appropriate guidance in preparing for their careers. Creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that is reviewed and updated on an annual basis would provide graduate students with such feedback and guidance.”

The report also recommends educating faculty and students on implicit bias, and providing graduate students with detailed information about the benefits and resources available to them. We’re excited that some of the things WCS is trying to do are being recognized as important by the ACS.

Book club/discussion group: Our discussion of Whistling Vivaldi is almost over, but discussion meetings will continue into the fall. We’ll meet every other week to have lunch and discuss women-in-science-related topics, ranging from global news to our own lives. There will be a Google doc and/or email list where everyone can post interesting or relevant links, articles, papers, etc. More information about the time, place, and logistics will be sent out soon.

Upcoming events:

Gender sensitivity workshop: Thursday, October 2nd from 12 to 1:30 in CHB 239. This event has been organized by Addie and will be led by Q Center staff. Everyone is welcome, and pizza will be provided.

Sally Ride science festival: Saturday, October 4th. This event is a science festival for middle school girls, hosted by UW-Bothell. WCS may be presenting a workshop – more details will be sent out soon, but if you’re super interested in helping organize this event, let us know ASAP!

Christy Haynes visit: Tuesday, October 21st. Professor Christy Haynes, from the University of Minnesota, will be visiting UW to give an analytical department seminar on Monday, October 20th. WCS is hosting her for an extra day, during which she will give a talk (tentatively about her story and how she ended up in science) and spend some time with our members. Stay tuned for more information about the schedule for Christy’s visit!

Officer elections: Elections for the 2014-2015 academic year will take place during the week of October 27th. Officer positions include president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, webmaster, and outreach coordinator. We are also considering adding a new position for an undergraduate chair/liason/coordinator, with the goal of getting more undergrads involved in our group and targeting some events toward undergrad audiences. More details about elections will follow in October.

Jill Cornell Tarter: WCS is again co-sponsoring the Danz Lecture, part of the UW Graduate School Public Lecture series. Jill Cornell Tarter will visit UW to give a talk entitled “SETI: Past, Present, and Future – Finding Aliens and Finding Ourselves” on March 3rd. More information can be found here.

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