ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: When question-asking becomes harassing

In certain fields, women dread presenting seminars because of the aggressive questioning they experience. This type of questioning goes well beyond questions that arise from intellectual curiosity about a topic. Patronizing and hostile questioning is a type of harassment. This New York Times article describes a study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research illustrating that women and minorities giving seminars at conferences often experience a form of biased questioning that can harm their career progress and stifle the diversity of ideas found in the field.


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.


Sarah Schulte Named a Notable Woman in Law

Posted in Tech Today, April 20, 2021

Sarah Schulte, Michigan Tech’s General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of  Trustees, has been named one of the “Notable Women in Law 2021” by Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine.

In the issue published Monday, Crain’s notes Schulte “educates on legal issues, helps assess risk and helps develop strategies to reach University goals.”

The magazine also noted Schulte’s role as chair of the University’s pandemic response team. The magazine quoted University President Rick Koubek saying Schulte’s “innate ability to lead teams and engage with University stakeholders through the lens of her legal training has been central to MTU’s successful pandemic response.”

On receiving the honor, Schulte called it a privilege to work with an “incredibly skilled and dedicated group of people at Michigan Tech.” She said the collaborative and collegial environment at Michigan Tech allows the effective and efficient sharing of information to connect with those with the greatest expertise in the relevant area.

“The accomplishments of this institution are remarkable — launching satellites, standing up a COVID-19 lab, and establishing a varsity Esports team to name just a few.  As a team, when focused on the common purpose of our institutional mission and connected by the trust that working together brings, this university will continue to leave its mark through the extraordinary achievements of students and faculty,” Schulte said. 

The Honorees of this year’s Notable Women in Law were selected by a team of Crain’s Detroit Business editors based on their career accomplishments, track record of success in the field and mentorship of others. 

A Michigan native, Schulte received her bachelor’s in political science from Western Michigan University and her law degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to Michigan Tech, she served in the University of Washington Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. In private practice, she primarily engaged in civil defense litigation with a specific emphasis on school law, public entity defense, employment law, complex litigation and commercial defense.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Shunning stereotypes-nice guys do finish last

This week’s ADVANCE weekly roundup article describes how the failure of a man to demonstrate masculine stereotypes such as self-promotion and self-interest impacts how both men and women rated his workplace competence.  These “agreeable” men earn less money in prime earning years and may be overlooked for advancement.  Deviating from the stereotype of masculinity can have more serious consequences for ethnic minority men and trans men, whereas Black male executives may benefit from presenting a “softer” image. Overall, rigid gender ideas hurt everyone, including the person and the workplace.

Today’s feature was shared with us by the Advocates and Allies Advisory Board. 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: Largest-ever survey exposes career obstacles for LGBTQ scientists

LGBTQ scientists experience career-damaging harassment according to the largest-ever survey recently published in AAAS’s Science Advances and featured in Nature.  The study of thousands of US-based researchers finds that those from sexual and gender minorities are more likely to experience workplace prejudice and harassment, fewer career opportunities and fewer resources.  Further, LGBTQ individuals experience greater stress from work leading to health problems, depressive symptoms, and insomnia. Help change this pattern! Advocate for institutional measures to address harassment. Please become an ally able to recognize and reduce these effects on talented colleagues and students by attending Safe Place (or Safe Zone) educational sessions.  

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.


Presentation Winners: Graduate Research Colloquium 2021

by Graduate Student Government

This year’s Graduate Research Colloquium organized by the Graduate Student Government was hosted virtually due to COVID restrictions. There were in total 48 presentations — 17 poster presenters and 31 oral presenters.

Poster presentations took place in a pre-recorded video style and the oral sessions were hosted live via Zoom. You can watch all the poster videos and recordings for the oral sessions here. Each presentation was scored by two judges from the same field of research.

Participants were able to gain valuable feedback from these judges before presenting their research at an actual conference. It was stiff competition amongst all presenters. Following are the winners for each of these sessions.

Poster Session

  • First place was won by Utkarsh Chaudhari from the Department of Chemical Engineering for his presentation titled “Systems Analysis Approach to PET and Olefin Plastics Supply Chains in the Circular Economy.”
  • Second place was shared by Katherine Schneider from the College of Forest Resources & Environmental Science for her presentation titled “Revealing Silphid Stomach Contents Using Novel iDNA Methods” and Seth Kriz from the Department of Chemical Engineering for his presentation titled “Purifying viral vaccines by two-stage aqueous extraction.”
  • Betsy Lehman from the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences was awarded third place for her presentation titled “What’s Going On? Sensemaking in Informational and Social Situations.”

Oral Presentations

  • First place was awarded to Neerav Kaushal from the Physics department for his presentation titled “Simulating the Universe with Convolutional Neural Networks.”
  • Ninad Mohale from the Materials Science & Engineering department took second place for his presentation titled “Effects of Eta Phase on the High Temperature Creep Behavior of Nimonic 263”
  • Third place was shared by Priyanka Dipak Kadav from the Chemistry Department for her presentation titled “Capture and Release (CaRe): A novel protein purification technique” and Isaac John Wedig from the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology department for his presentation titled “Exercise is Medicine: Promoting Physical Activity During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

A hearty congratulations to all the winners at this year’s Colloquium. The Graduate Student Government would like to thank everyone: presenters, judges, volunteers, and GSG supporters, for making this a great event despite COVID-19 restrictions.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Documenting impacts of the pandemic on you.

As we start to see light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, it is important to acknowledge that the effects will last for many years. In discussions of these effects, a recurring theme emerges: documenting impacts. This is not a one-time task: the lingering effects of the pandemic should be identified and reflected on annually and their impact on job performance and evaluation revisited. 

Today’s edition of the ADVANCE weekly roundup features a short article from the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence at Purdue University. Although it focuses on documenting impacts on faculty, it provides insights that are applicable to everyone. Importantly, it suggests that the list is indicative but not exhaustive – an acknowledgement that the pandemic has impacted everyone differently and that some of the impacts may not yet be recognized.

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.


A&A Session for Chairs/Unit Leaders

During Academic Forum on Wednesday, it was mentioned that the ombudsperson talks to ~2 faculty per week.  This rate is consistent with results from Michigan Tech’s Work, Live, Learn Survey which found that 31.6% of women disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement that they felt supported and mentored during the tenure-track years or the 22.4% who don’t feel valued by their department chair/school dean.  I know each of you care about your faculty so these findings are disturbing.  


Crafting positive climates so that everyone is valued and feels part of a supportive team relies upon broad engagement of all faculty in a unit and the chair can help influence this.  That is why ADVANCE has adapted the Advocates & Allies program to offer a learning environment led by peers.  As a Department Chair, have you been concerned about your unit’s community and cohesiveness over the last year?  Have you wondered about interactions between your faculty in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion? or related to the University Senate’s Proposal 41-21?  


Research has revealed that retention of faculty is closely coupled with how included individuals feel and that attracting new faculty is closely coupled with how well systems ensure equity is embraced within a unit.  Our diversity counts illustrate that Michigan Tech is one of the least diverse campuses in the nation (second resource here).  All of this can be intimidating, but the NSF ADVANCE effort on campus would like to help with a one-hour educational session from the Advocates & Allies (A&A) program.   A&A sessions provide the data and research, starting from the beginning, that enables individuals to gain perspectives and help them become allies for the success and inclusion of non-majority individuals. 


THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. Through a department chairs only session, we’d like you to preview this program and consider inviting us to present to your department.  This session will be presented by our Advocates Team in coordination with the ADVANCE Academy for Responsive Leadership.  Please RSVP  and join us on Wednesday, March 31st from 4 to 5.

THIS EVENT WAS POSTPONED. When: Mar 31, 2021 04:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Register in advance for this meeting:https://michigantech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdumqqj8jEtKTYYe0ArOPrzgqPUpuUOuE  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Equal Pay Day 2021 Marks Progress, Challenges

by Faith Morrison, Tech Today, March 23, 2021

Women earn less than men do, on average. This difference, the gender wage gap, is approximately 18 % across all workers. The gap is even larger for women of color.

The problem is present even just one year from graduation. Just one year from college graduation, women make seven percent less than men, even after accounting for college major, occupation, economic sector, hours worked, marital status, GPA, type of undergraduate institution, institutional selectivity, age, geographic region and months unemployed since graduation (“The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, AAUW, 2018).

Tomorrow (March 24) is Equal Pay Day (averaged for all women), a day that symbolizes the extra days women must work to catch up to what the average man earned the previous year. In 2020 Equal Pay Day was March 31, and in 2019 it was April 2, indicating that incremental progress is occurring.

Red is worn on this day as a symbol of how far women and minorities are “in the red.” Join the Copper Country League of Women Voters and other supporters for a “Red Out” to recognize Equal Pay Day.

Due to COVID-19 considerations, our usual cookies and literature event will not take place this year. We can all safely wear red, however.

Find out what you can do to help close the gap.


ADVANCE Weekly Roundup: Ways to accelerate a culture shift

How can Michigan Tech accelerate the cultural shift needed to make campus feel truly inclusive to women and minorities? Today’s ADVANCE weekly roundup features two Chronicle of Higher Education articles about achieving this shift. In one, Alec Gallimore, Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan, describes how his college significantly transformed leadership by addressing where the playing field wasn’t level, such as by questioning perceptions of job candidates, ensuring equal access to mentors, and evaluating department chair applicants based on their diversity records and plans. In the other, Frank Gilliam, chancellor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro describes how his campus is achieving the threshold of “substantive representation” through methods such as resource allocation and messaging.


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.