Women Faculty, Staff Help Female Students Dress for Success

From Tech Today 17 February 2015:

More than two dozen women students will be attending today’s Michigan Tech Career Fair and the job interviews that follow dressed as the professionals they will soon become, thanks to a brainstorm by a couple of women faculty members at Tech.

When Amy Lark, an education instructor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, discovered that the Campus Bookstore does not sell women’s business attire, she and Susan Amato-Henderson, chair of cognitive and learning sciences, discussed alternatives. They came up with the idea to ask faculty and staff to donate women’s business clothing that female students could wear.

With just two days’ notice, approximately 15 people donated, and academic advisers were invited to let their women students know that clothing in sizes 4 to 20 was available.

“On Sunday between 1 and 3 p.m., we were able to outfit about 25 students,” Amato-Henderson said. “We had clothes left over, and a few more donations came in Monday morning, so we still have students coming in to get  business clothing. The students were so grateful. It was a wonderful experience.”


C-Cubed Lunches, Second Week

The second week of  C-Cubed (Conversation, Community, Collegiality) lunch will be held Thursday and Friday 19-20 February 2015 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in MUB B001.  All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

The menu this week includes:

Thursday 19 Feb 2015

  • Three Cheese Macaroni with Tomatoes
  • Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots
  • Pear Jicama Salad with Lime Yogurt Dressing

Friday (20 Feb 2015)

  • Chicken or Veggie Fajita’s with Cilantro and Yogurt ( action station)
  • Mango-Cucumber Fried Rice Salad
  • Holy Mole Guacamole Served with Cut Veggies

C-Cubed University lunches will be offered on Thursdays and Fridays through the end of the spring semester in MUB B001. Lunch is $10; attendees may bring their own lunch instead of purchasing the buffet. Coffee, tea, cookies and fruit will be available for all. Come and help make this community-building initiative a success.

Conversation-Community-Collegiality, C3 University Lunches Scheduled

See also Tech Today, 9Feb2015
“We thought it would be nice to provide an opportunity for relaxed interaction across campus,” says Faith Morrison, member of the Steering Committee for the C-Cubed (Conversation-Community-Collegiality University Lunches) group. Norma Veurink adds “In our teaching and support roles with students, we always seem to be in discharge mode. We need a venue to recharge with colleagues.” Nilufer Onder contacted Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, who, it turns out, was already working with a pair of University Senators on a related idea. It all came together for Thursdays and Fridays this semester.

“It,” that came together is the C-Cubed University Lunches set to start February 12 and 13 in MUB B001 (ground floor; former billiards room). Faculty, staff, and their guests are invited to buy lunch (buffet will be offered) or bring their lunch to room MUB-B001 on Thursdays and Fridays and to share conversation and lunchtime with colleagues. “We’re providing the invitation, table cloths, a cash buffet, and Theresa has arranged for the university provide a few perks (complimentary coffee, tea, cookies, and fruit),” says Morrison. “All the attendees need to bring is conversation, community, and collegiality (C3)!”

The committee hopes that the seed planted through these twice-weekly C-Cubed lunches will develop into an ongoing congenial setting for informal gatherings. For now, the lunches will be offered on Thursdays and Fridays through the end of the spring semester. The price of the buffet lunch will be $10 and the menu will vary. Brown-baggers are welcome, as are those who wish to purchase lunch from the MUB Commons or the Khana Khazana on Fridays. The lunch event is from 11:30-1:30 both days. All faculty and staff and their guests are welcome.

Contact any member of the steering committee if you have questions or suggestions.
C-Cubed Steering Committee:

  • Tess Ahlborn (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Sherry Anderson (College of Engineering)
  • Jennifer Biekkola (Annual Giving)
  • Theresa Coleman-Kaiser (Assistant Vice President for Administration)
  • Stefaan De Winter (Mathematical Sciences)
  • Sarah Green (Chemistry)
  • Audrey Mayer (School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science and Social Sciences)
  • Faith Morrison (Chemical Engineering)
  • Nilufer Onder (Computer Science)
  • Norma Veurink (Engineering Fundamentals)
  • Adam Wellstead (Social Sciences)


New WorkLife Programming Advisory Committee Formed

The Michigan Tech V. P. for Administration Ellen Horsch has formed a new committee, the WorkLife Programming Advisory Committee.   According to their website, the committee came into existence at the end of 2014.  The WorkLife Programming Advisory Committee is charged with:

  • Regularly assessing WorkLife quality at the University.
  • Reviewing and providing input on University policy to support WorkLife blending.
  • Benchmarking other institutions’ WorkLife programs.
  • Providing programming and resources to the campus community that support a high quality of WorkLife blending for all.

Persons interested in participating in the Committee’s work are invited to get in touch with the Committee chair, Ann Kitalong-Will, who can be reached at amkitalo@mtu.edu. Subcommittees are being formed on the following topics (per blogposting 29Jan2015):

  1. Childcare and eldercare issues and concerns
  2. Policies that support a good work-life blend for University employees
  3. Mentoring opportunities
  4. IT service, software, and technology infrastructure needs that support worklife quality and flexible work options
  5. Professional and career development needs and interests

There is also a survey link posted on their blog, inviting community members to express their priorities with regard to work-life issues.

The committees, task forces, and groups formed by the V.P. for Administration’s office “research, analyze, and recommend ways to improve administrative operations at Michigan Tech to help enable a pleasant, productive, and safe work environment.”  These groups (as of 8Feb2015) are:

  1. Benefits Liaison Group
  2. Health and Safety Task Force
  3. Incident Command Team
  4. Memorial Union Vision Purpose Group
  5. The Tech Community Wellness Committee
  6. Reengineering Personnel Management Systems Task Force
  7. WorkLife Programming Task Force



Tech Benefit: Childcare while traveling on University Business

Dependent care expenses above and beyond regular dependent care costs that directly result from travel on university business are reimbursed. Qualifying individuals eligible for reimbursement under this policy are the same as those allowable for Flexible Spending Accounts.

For more on this and for instructions on how to apply, see:

Looking for daycare?

If you are looking for daycare in the Copper country, you can search for local daycare providers on the website  www.greatstarttoquality.org. Note that you will find infant spots are more limited since daycare providers are regulated in the number of children that they can care for under 18 months old.

You may find it works best if you put in your home or work address for the search, and then it will look for all daycare within a certain distance of that address.

Finding daycare can be a stressful process.  Reach out to your colleagues for advice and referrals and keep WISE informed about difficulties you encounter or tips you would like to pass on.

Tips and Best Practices from the Michigan Tech Diversity Literacy Online Workshop

Thank you to Michigan Tech’s Patricia Sotirin and Sonia Goltz for permssion to post this list from the 2014 Diversity Literacy Online Workshop

Diversity Literacy Workshop:  Best Practices

Unintentional Bias

  1. Recognize the influence of stress and time pressures on decision‐making processes. If possible, schedule selection and advancement processes with an eye to minimizing semester and professional demands on committee members and provide a generous window of time for committees to deliberate.
  2. Establish decision criteria related to position requirements and professional qualifications before reviewing candidate applications.
  3. Encourage selection and advancement committees to seek additional information in order to clarify ambiguous priorities, criteria, and information. At the same time, be careful to apply the same criteria and requirements for all candidates.
  4. Identify and focus on specific position criteria rather than discussing a broader and more general sense of “fit” with the department.

Selection Bias

  1. Avoid evaluations based on inferences that may mask subtle biases. In particular, do not make offer decisions based on what the committee assumes or suspects about the candidate’s motives, preferences, or likely actions.
  2. Clarify whether gendered assumptions about roles or positions are evident and strive to compare candidates on the basis of actual accomplishments and qualifications. This is particularly important in assessing leadership and professional potential.
  3. Use a structured interview schedule for each candidate interview. If additional questions are asked of a particular candidate, these should be noted so that the committee can decide how or whether the additional information is useful and comparable to information available for other candidates.
  4. Word position announcements using gender neutral language and identify both mainstream and population‐specific venues for placing the announcement in order to ensure a pool with at least 25% minority and female candidates.
  5. Question vague, evaluative comments made by committee members to find out what specific issues or concerns underlie such comments. Vague feelings and suspicions, anecdotal information, and interpretations based on perceptions should be explored so that these comments can either be substantiated or reconsidered.

Advancement Bias

  1. Set up specific standards for advancement progress and assess all faculty periodically for advancement potential based on non‐subjective criteria (number of courses taught, cumulative teaching scores, number of publications, grant levels, etc.).
  2. Be vigilant about identifying and minimizing unconscious bias in advancement decision‐making processes. Provide P&T committees with time and information and encourage members to avoid distractions and focus on predetermined advancement‐relevant criteria.
  3. Assess the subtle accumulation of disadvantages across all faculty periodically. Pay attention to systematic differences among groups of faculty such as salary, space, research resources, teaching assignments, awards, and committee assignments.

Scholarly Articles & Books Courtesy the ADVANCE Initiative

Michigan Tech’s ADVANCE Initiative maintains a list of scholarly articles and books related  to gender discrimination and other forms of bias.  You can access their materials at the ADVANCE website.  An example of the materials available are: