Category: News and Important Updates

EEOC and Caregiver Employment Discrimination

From the EEOC Newsroom: EEOC Releases Information about Employment Discrimination Against Caregivers.
Although this article references COVID-19 situations specifically, discrimination based on a protected characteristics is always prohibited by federal and state laws/regulations. ADVANCE has written about the impacts COVID has had on caregivers in STEM. Articles of particular note are from July 31, 2020, March 10, 2021, and November 12, 2021. Michigan Tech’s Equal Opportunity Compliance and Title IX Office has a lot of resources available including the Protected Class Groups web page, the Equal Opportunity and Notice of Non-Discrimination web page, and lists of the federal/state laws and Michigan Tech policies. If you have any questions, please visit their website.

Celebrating Black History Month, Week 4

Dr. Patricia Bath: An ophthalmologist and laser scientist. She invented a new device & technique for cataract surgery known as laserphaco. She was also the first woman to chair an ophthalmology residency program in the U.S. (At Drew-UCLA).

Dr. George Carruthers: An aeronautical and astronautical engineer who worked for the US Naval Research Lab. He invented the first far-UV electronographic detector design that was robust enough for space. He developed the first moon-based observatory that was used by the Apollo 16 mission.

Dr. Susan McKinney-Steward: The 3rd Black woman to earn a medical degree in the US, and 1st in New York State. She had her own practice in Brooklyn, co-founded the Brooklyn Women’s Homeopathic Hospital and Dispensary. She also sat on the board of, and practiced medicine at the Brooklyn Home for Aged Colored People.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams: A physician and surgeon who had his own practice in Chicago. He adopted sterilization procedures for his office based on the findings of Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister. He performed the first successful heart surgery in 1893. Was elected as the only Black charter member of the American College of Surgeons in 1913.

Dr. Jane C. Wright: A physician who did groundbreaking cancer research. Her testing of new chemicals on human leukemias and other cancers of the lymphatic system laid the foundations for chemotherapy.

Lewis Howard Latimer: Self-taught in the art of mechanical drawing. Worked as a patent draftsman. Invented an evaporative air conditioner, an improved process for manufacturing carbon filaments for light bulbs, and an improved toilet system for railroad cars.

Dr. Euphemia Lofton Haynes: First Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1943. She taught for 47 years and was the first woman on the DC Board of Education where she fought racial segregation and supported a lawsuit to desegregate the school system.

Garrett Morgan: Almost entirely self-taught, he obtained his first patent for an improved sewing machine. This led to his invention that gave him financial freedom: hair straightening cream. Then in 1914 he patented a breathing device or hood that became the prototype and precursor for the gas masks used during WWI. He also invented/patented the 3 way traffic light that is the precursor to our modern traffic lights.

Celebrating Black History Month, Week 3

Lonnie G. Johnson: A mechanical and nuclear engineer, he worked for NASA and the Air Force. He worked on the Galileo mission to Jupiter as well as the early stages of the Cassini project. Perhaps most noted as the inventor of the Super Soaker, he holds over 100 patents with more pending.

Alma Levant Hayden: A chemist and expert in spectrophotometry, the measurement of how substances absorb light. She was one of the first (if not the first) Black scientists at the FDA where she exposed the anti-cancer drug Krebiozen as a fraud.

Dr. Charles Henry Turner: A behavioral scientist and early pioneer in the field of insect behavior. He was the first to prove that insects have the capacity to hear and that they learn by trial and error. He also discovered that honeybees can see visual patterns. Quite possibly the first to show that bees can also see color.

Dr. Willie Hobbs Moore: The first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics in 1972. Her research focused on infrared spectroscopy. She also advocated for better STEM education for minority populations.

Benjamin Banneker: Largely self-educated mathematician, astronomer, & writer. Best known for his almanacs (1792-1797) that included his own astronomical calculations, literature, medical and tidal information. Banneker wrote a letter to Thomas Jefferson “respectfully chiding” him and his fellow patriots for their hypocrisy – enslaving Black people while fighting the British for their own independence.

Carolyn Parker: She earned two Masters, one in Mathematics from University of Michigan & one in Physics from MIT. She was a research physicist on the Dayton Project, part of the Manhattan Project. She helped research using polonium as the initiator for atomic explosions.

Dr. Herman Branson: A biophysicist, he made significant contributions to how proteins work and how they contribute to diseases like sickle cell anemia. He is best known for his research on the alpha helix protein structure.

Celebrating Black History Month, Week 2

Bessie Blount Griffin: A physical therapist in the late 1940’s who helped teach her amputee clients how to write using their mouths and feet. She also invented a portable apparatus that enabled amputees to feed themselves.

George Washington Carver: An accomplished botanist and inventor. He developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton using crop rotation. He ensured the success of this technique by popularizing the new crops by developing hundreds of applications for them.

Dr. Mae Jemison: Fluent in Russian, Japanese & Swahili, was a Peace Corps medical officer and had her own private medical practice. She was the first Black woman in space (STS-47, aboard Endeavor). She was also the first real astronaut on an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation at the invitation of LeVar Burton.

Dr. Guion Bluford Jr.: An Air Force pilot who flew 144 combat missions in Vietnam. He was the first first Black man to travel into space (STS-8, aboard Challenger), and laughed the entire way: “It was such a fun ride.” Inducted into US Astronaut Hall of Fame 1997.

Alice Ball: A chemist, teacher, and researcher. She developed an injectable treatment for leprosy. She was also the first woman to graduate with a Masters in chemistry from College of Hawaii, and became the institute’s first woman chemistry instructor when she was only 23.

Dr. William Warrick Cardozo: A physician and pediatrician as well as professor at Howard University. He was a pioneer investigator of sickle cell anemia and a leader in medical research of problems affecting people of African descent.

Dr. Bettye Washington Greene: An industrial research chemist. She was the first Black female Ph.D. chemist to work in a professional position at Dow Chemical Company. She worked with latex and polymers, including interactions between latex and paper.

Celebrating Black History Month, Week 1

As a way to celebrate Black History Month, ADVANCE is highlighting a different person every day who has made contributions to STEM in the past and present. This week we are featuring the following:

Dr. Marie M. Daly: First Black woman to obtain a Ph.D in chemistry in the US. She discovered the relationship between high cholesterol and heart disease.

Dr. Warren Washington: Distinguished climate scientist and former chair of the National Science Board. He developed one of the first atmospheric computer models of Earth’s climate.

Katherine Johnson: A school teacher who joined NACA (today’s NASA) as a “human computer”. Her calculations helped sync Apollo’s Lunar Landing Module with the Command and Service Module. She was featured in “Hidden Figures.”

Dr. Percy Julian: A pioneering chemist whose synthesis of a chemical called physostigmine, which was used to treat glaucoma, is “one of the top 25 greatest achievements in the history of American chemistry.”

Lyda Newman: An inventor who patented a new type of hairbrush that was specifically for African American hair. The hairbrush was the first to have entirely synthetic bristles. Her invention made it cheaper and quicker to manufacture hair brushes. She was the 3rd Black woman to ever receive a patent.

Vivien Thomas: A researcher who was paid as a janitor while doing amazing doctoral research. He developed a surgery that would successfully help save the lives of infants born with Tetralogy of Fallot.

Mentoring for Associate Professors Next Week

Advanced Career Management (ACM) will offer an open “Office Hour” for mid-career faculty during the week of November 1-5. The event will pair an associate-level faculty member with a full professor to discuss career-related topics. The theme of this event is “Upgrade Your Profile.” Faculty can raise other topics of interest, but are encouraged to review CVs and discuss strategies for accomplishing high-value career goals.

Associate professors who are interested in participating should email with their contact information. The ADVANCE office will suggest a one-hour meeting time based on calendar availabilities for the mentor and mentee. Both an in-person location and a Zoom link will be provided. Participating mentors include Will Cantrell (Associate Provost and Dean, Graduate School), Shiyue Fang (Professor, Chemistry), Adrienne Minnerick (Professor, Chemical Engineering), and Judith Perlinger (Environmental Sciences).

The ACM program is an initiative of ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Adrienne R. Minerick
Director and PI, ADVANCE at Michigan Tech
Professor, Chemical Engineering
President, American Society for Engineering Education

Adrienne R. Minerick is President of the American Society for Engineering Education (2021-2022), Director of ADVANCE at Michigan Tech and Professor of Chemical Engineering.  She has served as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the College of Engineering, Assistant to the Provost for Faculty Development, Dean of the School of Technology, founded the College of Computing and most recently served as Interim Dean of the Pavlis Honors College. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the distinction of Fellow of AAAS and ASEE, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Raymond W. Fahien Award from the Chemical Engineering Division of ASEE, and Michigan Tech’s Fredrick D. Williams Instructional Innovation Award. She and her students have published over 75 archival journal publications, book chapters, or proceedings articles and earned 23 best paper/presentation awards. Adrienne previously served as the President of the American Electrophoresis Society and on the ASEE’s Board of Directors as First Vice President and Professional Interest Council I Chair. She also chaired ASEE’s National Diversity Committee. Her research and service interests regularly intersect and involve underserved individuals with an emphasis on research experiences to increase engagement and retention.

Will Cantrell
Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
Professor, Physics

Will Cantrell joined Physics in the fall of 2001. Since then, he has served as the faculty representative for the Goldwater Scholarship, the coordinator for the Summer Undergraduate Fellowship (SURF) program, director of the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI), and associate dean in the Graduate School. In July of 2020, he stepped into the position of Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.
In the summer, you might find him roll casting to a rising trout on the Otter River.

Shiyue Fang
Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Shiyue Fang is a synthetic organic chemist. He obtained PhD in organometallic chemistry and conducted postdoctoral study in nucleic acid chemistry. Currently, projects in his research group include the development of technologies for sensitive DNA and RNA synthesis and non-chromatographic purification of DNA and peptide, synthesis of mono-disperse polyethylene glycol and derivatives, discovery of new organic transformations, and the use of organic synthesis to address fundamental physical chemical and biological questions. 

Judith A. Perlinger
Professor, Environmental Engineering

Dr. Perlinger teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental engineering including Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, Transport and Transformation of Organic Pollutants, and Applied Boundary Layer Micrometeorology. Her research interests are in the areas of air and water quality and sustainability with projects focused on processes at environmental and disciplinary interfaces. For example, to study environmental processing of chemicals, she has employed field, laboratory, computational, and modeling approaches. Her recent research activities have related to the atmosphere, sustainability, and the Great Lakes and involve measurement and modeling of atmospheric and aqueous chemical concentrations and atmosphere-surface exchange fluxes, and examination of the chemical governance and sustainability.

ARC Network Webinars

Register for Ramon Goings and Joya Misra’s Final Research Webinars  The ARC Network is excited to begin our series hosting members of the 2020-2021 Virtual Visiting Scholars (VVS) cohort to present on their VVS projects and discuss the implications of their findings!  The VVS program annually supports 2-4 selected scholars to complete metasyntheses and meta-analyses of existing literature on topics relevant to equity in STEM.Ramon Goings

“Examining How Race/Ethnicity and Gender is Explored in Research on STEM Contingent Faculty”
Oct 28, 2021 03:00 PM ET  
Dr. Goings will present on his meta-analysis of research on contingent STEM faculty to assess the inclusion of faculty at the intersection of race/ethnicity and gender.Register

Joya Misra

“Gender, Intersectionality, Workload and Leadership in STEM Departments”
Nov 4, 2021 03:00 PM EST  
Dr. Misra will present her work focusing on impacts of intersectional identity on and inclusion in decision-making and leadership with additional emphasis on retention and career advancement of faculty.Register

Film Premiere: ‘The Lake at the Bottom of the World’

A new feature-length documentary film, “The Lake at the Bottom of the World,” premiers on Saturday (Oct. 16) at 5 p.m. in the 14th annual Imagine Science Film Festival.

The documentary is an epic story of the search for life in the lakes beneath Antarctica, and includes work and commentary by Trista Vick-Majors (BioSci).

The film is free to watch at the time of the premiere, or can be streamed later for $10. You must RSVP for the virtual film screening (you will need to create an account).

A post-screening livestream discussion with the film crew and scientists will follow the film’s premiere.

The Imagine Science Film Festival is being held virtually Oct. 15-22 on Labocine. The festival is an experimental, interdisciplinary, weeklong series of events to open new dialogues between scientists, filmmakers and artists.

This year’s theme of RESISTANCE will highlight the act of swimming against the current — not for futile reasons, but to spark change and awareness — and will explore the act of resisting from the micro to the macro level: 

  • What does it mean to withstand opposing forces that sometimes feel overwhelming?
  • How does resistance measure a material’s ability to resist the flow of electrons through it?
  • How do organisms resist harmful influences such as disease, toxic agents or infection?

Advocates & Allies Call for Applications

Advocates and Allies invites Faculty and Staff to apply to become part of the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) or Advocates Team. These two units will work in conjunction with the ADVANCE Initiative to plan and implement workshops for the campus and work to institutionalize the Advocates and Allies program at Michigan Tech.

What is Advocates and Allies? 

Advocates and Allies is one of three programs that are part of the NSF-funded ADVANCE Initiative dedicated to engaging majority stakeholders in the dissemination of knowledge on gender equity as well as actively participating in activities to increase allyship on campus.

What is the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board?

The Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (A3B) is a group of women, minorities, and gender diverse individuals who will work with the NSF-funded ADVANCE team to select, guide, and advise the Advocates Team. The two groups will then work in tandem to make our campus culture more inclusive by advancing knowledge, allyship and policy/practices.

What is the Advocates Team?

This group of majority stakeholders (men) will work closely with the NSF-funded ADVANCE initiative and the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (AAAB) to make our campus culture more inclusive by advancing knowledge, allyship and policy/practices. Advocates will be expected to participate in program development and delivery while executing Personal Action Plans related to equity issues on campus.

Apply by filling out our form. Deadline is Oct 1, 2021.

Please contact us at with any questions.

Women’s Equality Day

Thursday 26 August is Women’s Equality Day!  Join us in celebrating this truth! 

From Wikipedia:Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the United States on August 26 to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was first celebrated in 1971, designated by Congress in 1973, and is proclaimed each year by the United States President.

From the National Women’s History Alliance: