Category: Students

ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Gender Matters: The Unique Challenges Facing Women in Education

Gendered expectations impact nearly every aspect of our professional and personal lives, but we can learn to push back against biases.  This is what Jennie Weiner, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut, addresses as the guest on Harvard Graduate School of Education’s EdCast with Jill Anderson.  Dr. Weiner is also the co-author of The Strategy Playbook for Educational Leaders (Routledge, 2020). She discusses the gendering of teaching versus leadership roles in American educational institutions (from K-12 to higher ed), the effects of gendered home and caretaking roles on education professionals (especially during the pandemic), and the role of intersectionality in addressing the complex systems of inequity in education work.  The podcast recording and transcript of the discussion are available

Today’s feature was shared with us by ADVANCE Advocates and Allies. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.
The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: The ongoing challenge of childcare availability that has been heightened by the pandemic.

The pandemic has heightened awareness of the challenges of access to quality child care at campuses around the country, and the inequities that result when this child care is not available. This is not a new challenge, but it is one that universities are clearly going to need to help address to retain quality faculty, staff and students. For this weekly roundup, we are drawing attention to the Graduate Student Government report on childcare needs at Michigan Tech that was shared recently in Tech Today. Since it was shared during a busy week at the end of the semester, we wanted to be sure to give people a second opportunity to review it.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the ADVANCE PI Team. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.
The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Programs to Diversify Role Models in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine)

An engineer friend once told my wife that my daughter, who was considering majors in college, was not the right type to be an engineer. Too often, we develop preconceived ideas of what a scientist, engineer, or artist is expected to look like. We use such stereotypes to simplify the complex world around us. This practice becomes harmful when it projects narrow preconceived expectations on others. Teachers and professors who consciously or unconsciously expect different competencies from different genders or races not only constrain their own ability to think creatively and originally in the classroom but they do real harm to the ambitions of students.

Today’s Weekly Roundup focuses on two articles from Science that describe programs that work to widen our expectations and images of what a professional in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine) looks like. And for my engineering friend and the record, my daughter earned a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan and is in the last year of her PhD in computer science at MIT.  

The first article, “Women innovators become STEM ambassadors for girls,” describes an AAAS program called IF/THEN. It focuses on ambassadors who are selected to become high-profile role models for middle-school girls. One goal is to break down narrow exclusionary ideas of what a scientist or engineer looks like and does. When we show that engineers can be dancers and artists and that scientists can be poets and athletes, we allow young people to see greater opportunity for themselves in STEMM.

The second article describes the contributions of Shirley Malcom who has led the Sea (STEMM Equity Achievement) Change Program, which is supported by AAAS and helps academic institutions identify how they can better serve diverse students and faculty. Sea Change grew out of the 2005 Athena SWAN Charter which was developed to promote greater participation of women in science in the United Kingdom. Malcom adapted and broadened this program to include other underrepresented groups.

Today’s feature was shared with us by David Flaspohler. If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


November 13, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Future faculty are the students at colleges and universities today. The bias in selection for success changes the demographics of potential faculty. The student debt crisis in the United States continues to rise to unprecedented levels with total student debt totalling in excess of $1.5 trillion. The burden of borrowing to finance higher education is not equitably distributed. Today’s edition of the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup focuses on the impacts of “Borrowing While Black” and the factors that exacerbate the student debt crisis for Black Students. An emphasis on addressing this crisis can ensure that the benefits of college are more equitably distributed including that future faculty will be more diverse.

If you have an article you think we should feature, please email it to advance-mtu@mtu.edu and we will consider adding it to the ADVANCE Weekly Roundup.

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. These articles are available on the ADVANCE Newsblog (https://blogs.mtu.edu/advance/). To learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources, contact us at (advance-mtu@mtu.edu) or visit our website: www.mtu.edu/advance.


July 6, 2020 ADVANCE Weekly Roundup

Best practices in inclusive hiring often involve a series of checks and balances. However, postdoctoral positions such as Postdoctoral Researcher, Research Scientist, and Research Engineers are often reviewed only by the Principal Investigator without these checks and balances. A study from Florida International University investigated the presence of bias in postdoctoral application reviews based on name and discovered evidence of both racial and gender bias. This edition of the Weekly Roundup emphasizes the need for rethinking the evaluation processes for postdoc applications.

https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2019/06/racial-and-gender-biases-plague-postdoc-hiring

The ADVANCE Weekly Roundup is brought to you by ADVANCE at Michigan Tech, which is an NSF-funded initiative dedicated to improving faculty career success, retention, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Contact us to learn more about this week’s topic, our mission, programming efforts, and to check out our growing collection of resources. (advance-mtu@mtu.edu, website: www.mtu.edu/advance).


2019: A Year in Review

2019 has been an eventful year for The ADVANCE team. Over the course of the past year, we have launched our Advanced Career Management and Advocates and Allies adaptations, added 3 new team members, and established a resource center on campus. The ADVANCE Resource Center can now be found on the first floor of the Van Pelt and Opie Library in room 102B, just to the right of the IT Technical Assistance Center. The Resource Center is open Monday-Thursday from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM and staffed by our Program Coordinator, Brad Wells. Brad is available to assist with any of your ADVANCE related questions, locate resources or to check out books from our growing library of diversity, career development, leadership, and gender equity literature. Please feel free to drop by or send us an email at advance-mtu@mtu.edu to learn more.

In August, we added two PhD students, Karen Colbert (Computational Sciences and Engineering) and Betsy Lehman (Cognitive and Learning Sciences) to our team. Both students have been quick to dive into the literature and learn about our work on campus and will be developing projects related to our adaptations in the coming months.

Our Advanced Career Management (ACM) adaptation was the first program to launch. ACM is an adaption of the University of Michigan’s LIFT model and the successful Early Career Management program here at Michigan Tech.The ACM is aimed at developing a strong peer to peer mentoring network and providing resources for mid-career faculty success.

During the summer, the ACM team hosted several focus groups with both mid-career and senior faculty to guide programming efforts. Advanced Career Management officially launched on September 17 with a workshop featuring a panel discussion on career development strategies. This panel was led by Dr. Janet Callahan, Dean of the College of Engineering and Dr. Andrew Storer, Dean of the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. A series of three panel discussions followed in September and October: one on Research, Teaching, and Service Balance, one of Research Intensive Careers, and the third on Leadership. Each workshop featured 2-3 distinguished panelists from the campus community. We appreciate the insightful contributions of these panelists: Dr. Shari Stockero, Dr. Nancy Auer, and Dr. John Jaszczak (Research, Teaching, and Service Balance); Dr. Adrienne Minerick and Dr. Zhanping You (Research Intensive); and Dr. Pushpa Murthy, Dr. Audra Morse, and Dr. Lina Ott (Leadership). During the Fall 2019 semester our workshops engaged 40+ participants from across all faculty ranks.

In late 2019, we will be launching the second phase of our ACM program. This portion of the ACM will involve the development of career career affinity groups and the launch of a Canvas course to serve as a resource base for participants. The next ACM event is our Spring Social which will feature career development related table topics and will introduce our “senior guides” and mid-career faculty career affinity groups.  The Spring Social is scheduled for January 23 from 4-6PM in MUB Ballroom B2. In February 2020, we will formally launch the career affinity groups aimed at providing a peer to peer network for discussing career development.

One of the main tenets of the NSF ADVANCE Initiative is to promote gender equity in STEM but the The ADVANCE team team aims to include the entire campus. To do this, we are working to implement the Advocates and Allies program. Advocates and Allies was started by North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) ADVANCE program and works to train men to be knowledgeable and effective allies for gender equity. Our adaptation of the NDSU program expands the aims of this program. For our Advocates and Allies program, we’re aiming to train members of majority groups to be effective allies for those who are not as well represented. The Advocates and Allies program started on campus in October 2019 with two days of Ally workshops facilitated by a training team from NDSU and Auburn University. These workshops were attended by 130 faculty, staff, and academic leadership from across campus and provided a space for men to come together to learn and talk about equity issues facing Michigan Tech. These workshops looked directly at the data from the Assessment of Working, Living, and Learning conducted in 2017 and highlighted issues such as trends in faculty recruitment and retention, the low number of women serving as department chair (5 of 22), and perceptions of campus climate. Simultaneously, women and gender diverse individuals gathered to discuss the equity issues they face on campus.

The Advocates and Allies program is actively seeking women, minorities, and gender diverse individuals to form the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board (AAAB) as well as men to form the initial Advocates team. Both groups will be working closely with the The ADVANCE team team to disseminate knowledge and promote ally-ship across campus. The AAAB will be responsible for selecting, training, and advising the Advocates and applications are due Jan. 9. Applications for the Advocates team are due Jan. 20, 2020. Anyone interested in applying to either should complete our Google Form. Advocates and Allies will host another Ally workshop with the training team from NDSU in April 2020. Dates and times for these events will be forthcoming in early 2020.

Another tenet of the ADVANCE mission is to increase faculty retention. The ADVANCE team is approaching this from two angles: working with faculty (ACM) and with academic leadership.  There’s a saying that employees quit their supervisor before they quit their employer. Making sure that this doesn’t happen at Michigan Tech is key to faculty retention and where our third adaptation comes in.  The Academy for Responsive Leadership (ARL) is based on a training model for deans and chairs from Iowa State University and is in the final planning stages. ARL will engage deans, department chairs, and center/institute directors from across campus in conversations about qualities and practices of responsive leadership. We anticipate a soft-launch of the program in early 2020 with a pilot group before rolling it out to all academic leaders in mid-spring. ARL will host regularly scheduled workshops along with a resource base available through Canvas. As part of this program, academic leaders will be involved in peer to peer discussions and activities related to annual performance evaluations, difficult conversations, the promotion and tenure process, faculty retention, and emotional intelligence among other topics.

As we move into 2020, the ADVANCE team is excited about the future. Our initial programming in Fall 2019 has elicited a strong interest from the campus community and we look to build on that momentum moving forward. The final two years of our grant will be crucial to institutionalizing our programs and engaging the campus community in effective culture change. Participation from faculty, staff, and leadership is critical to effective change so we hop to involve everyone in upcoming events.

Information about ADVANCE at Michigan Tech as well as all of our events can be found on our website (www.mtu.edu/advance) or by visiting the ADVANCE Resource Center in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, room 102B.