Category Archives: WISEblog

The WISEblog category is for communications relating to general topics of interest or concern to WISE members. Campus and community issues of concern can also be posted here, like work-life balance, childcare, and career-path discussion.

Big plans for Spring 2019!

At this very cold start of the spring semester, we are happy to report that we are still feeling warm and fuzzy from our first WISE event as leaders last fall!   All of your enthusiasm and energy has us ready to continue the work towards achieving our vision of a vibrant WISE for all.

Here are quick updates on what we’re working on:

First, we have 3 events in the works for spring semester.  An invitation for the first, a workshop on creating a 5 Year Plan with Dean Callahan, went out last week.  This will be a breakfast meeting – an experiment since we have heard, and know from our own experience, that the lunch hour does not work well for everyone. The next two events will also be held at different times – a morning workshop on balancing and planning your time sometime in March, and an afternoon social gathering in April to celebrate the year. Please let us know what you think of the different schedule, and we’ll be monitoring attendance to see which dates and times work well.  Our goal with shifting the schedule around is to make sure that we are including as many unique individuals in WISE events as we can over the course of a semester, recognizing that there is no time that works well for everyone.

Second, we would like to propose changing the name of our group. There are two key reasons for this – first, the name WISE is used on many college campuses – and by another group on our own campus – to describe many different programs, most focused on undergraduate and graduate student education, and a few others focused on faculty development, like ours.  We have discovered that this introduces unnecessary confusion when discussing our group with visitors or others new to campus. Second, the name WISE is exclusionary to those faculty and staff who are not directly engaged in natural or social sciences or engineering, creating a barrier to the inclusive STEAM community we are striving to cultivate on campus.  But we are facing a key challenge here – although your leaders are accomplished in many ways, all of us are poor at coming up with great titles and/or snappy acronyms! Right now our best proposed name is Women in the Academy (WITA) – but we know some of you out there can do better. If you have ideas or suggestions for names, please send them to us. Keep in mind our key goals are to find a name that is inclusive, does not repeat past names, and does not duplicate names of other similar organizations. Once we have some good options, we’d like to have a vote of WISE members for the final selection.

Finally, thank you all for the many – 25 to be exact – suggestions you made on possible topics for future WISE events.  We will be drawing on this list for inspiration, but we will naturally gravitate towards the topics that resonate the most with our guiding vision for WISE.  And since we think it’s realistic for us to plan about 3 events per semester, it would take us forever to work through this list! But we would love to increase our WISE event offerings, with some help from you. If you have ideas for a workshop that may benefit a subset of the WISE membership, or alternately may be beneficial for a broader group of faculty beyond those who normally participate in WISE, we’d love to help you organize an event with WISE as a co-sponsor.  We can help reach out to other possible co-sponsors, organize a room and other equipment, and help with advertising. Think of this as a chance to have an event focused on just that thing you want, with support of this great network of colleagues!


Later blog: Report from November WISE event with Provost Huntoon

I just found this blog post from December that I forgot to post in the rush to the holidays – enjoy the flashback!

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We had our first WISE luncheon on Thursday November 29, with over 55 members in attendance from all over campus!  The buzz in the room was energizing as we gathered to meet, network and interact with Provost Jackie Huntoon and other members of the administration.  

We opened the program by recognizing the recent past leaders of WISE – Nilufer Onder, Norma Veurink,  Norma Veirunk, Dana Johnson and Nancy Barr.

After an introduction to our vision for WISE over the next few years, Provost Huntoon took the floor to answer questions from the audience.  She first provided a bit of history on how far WISE has come, sharing memories of the first meetings of women faculty on campus (5 women sharing brown bag lunch) to our current status with many women leaders in attendance, including deans, members of the Provost’s office, and department chairs. The following question and answer session covered broad ground from ways to improve local outreach efforts, to mentoring of faculty across their careers, preventing the “associate professor stall”, and the future of Michigan Tech and Tech Forward.  Thank you Provost Huntoon for your time and insight, and we hope to have this event again in future years to continue to facilitate communication between faculty and administration, and building on years of WISE momentum.

One item that came up at the luncheon and in conversations after is, who are the members of WISE?  In our vision, we include all women on campus who are engaged in research and teaching – this includes faculty, research faculty and staff, and post-docs who are interested in academia – really, anyone who is looking for a place to connect with and learn from others on campus.  We also hope to expand our focus from STEM to STEAM, engaging with faculty in humanities, arts and other units on campus that have historically not been part of WISE. As faculty at a technological university, we all face common challenges regardless of our home department and our group will be strongest if we engage the full diversity of expertise and experience on campus.  We are interested in proposing a name change to better reflect this inclusive vision – any and all suggestions for new names and acronyms are welcome! And be looking for an opportunity to provide input (maybe vote?) on a new name in the coming year!

We’re also busy planning events for spring 2019 – look for active engagement events scheduled for different times of day (breakfast workshops, afternoon gatherings) to engage those who cannot easily attend lunch meetings (including all the directors who teach over the noon hour).  If you have ideas for events that WISE could lead or co-organize with other organizations, feel free to add them to our growing list of ideas, which you can find here. We’re thinking carefully about which topics would be most beneficial for WISE members alone, versus which may be more productive if geared towards a broader audience on campus, including WISE allies and partners that can be engaged to meet our aim of helping members quickly, positively and productively meet their full potential as researchers and teachers. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at these future events – after a restful and rejuvenating holiday break, of course!


First WISE event for 2018-2019

Welcome to 2018-2019 WISE. Megan, Amy, and I are really excited to be co-leaders this year. We didn’t find out until Sept that we were going to lead WISE, so we are off to a slow start. We will have one event this semester and three events next semester.

Our goal through WISE is to provide professional development and networking opportunities for women on campus. Our vision statement is:

Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) is the central hub connecting women involved in teaching and research on campus.  We strive to facilitate meaningful professional development by building strong peer-to-peer teams and networks that allow women to quickly, positively and productively meet their full potential as researchers and teachers. Our activities focus on connecting women from diverse departments and across career stages to each other as well as to the university community and administration. WISE will organize and host activities and workshops to provide social interaction, networking and basic skills needed for success in academia.  WISE will also support activities led by members focused on specific issues or barriers faced by women on campus.

This semester, you are invited to a luncheon on Thurs Nov 29 from 11:30-1 in MUB Ballroom A1. Our speaker will be Provost Jackie Huntoon. We will have about 30 minutes available for a Q&A session with Provost Huntoon to better understand the current direction of Michigan Tech. If you would like to submit an anonymous question ahead of time, please use the link here. Although registration is not required, we would like you to register here so that we can make sure we have enough food for everyone! If you have trouble with the links, they can be found below.

We look forward to a great year with WISE. We hope you can join us.


Michigan Tech receives a second NSF ADVANCE grant

Adrienne Minerick (SoT) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $1,000,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. Patricia Sotirin (HU), Sonia Goltz (SBE), Audrey Mayer (SFRES/SS) and Andrew Storer (SFRES) are Co/PIs on the project, “ADVANCE Adaptation AMP-UP Continuous Improvement Process to Transform Institutional Practices and Culture.” This is a three-year project.

First piloted in November 2015, AMP-UP is a highly collaborative, inclusive structure to broadly engage the campus community in creating an environment that welcomes, values and supports women, underrepresented minority individuals and those who have traditionally experienced an excess of bias that accumulates into measurable disadvantages for career progress and job satisfaction (Tech Today April 8 2018).  For more see the Michigan Tech News story.



Save the Date: Results of 2018 Climate Survey to be Shared Sept. 21

Last fall, the Michigan Tech community was invited to participate in a campus-wide assessment of its beliefs, behaviors, and practices. The results of the “Working, Living and Learning Assessment,” will be shared from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 in Great Lakes Research Center Room 202.  Release time will be provided for all union and non-union hourly employees to attend.  For more information, contact Assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion Audrey Mayer.


Janet Callahan becomes Dean of Engineering at Michigan Tech

The Dean of Engineering at Michigan Technological University as of July 2018 is Dr. Janet Callahan.

Callahan comes to Michigan Tech from Boise State University, where she was chair and professor of the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering. Callahan replaces previous dean Wayne Pennington (GMES) who has retired from Michigan Tech.

“Each dean selected in the history of a college has the opportunity to help shape that college’s future,” says Callahan in the profile in Tech Today. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff and the administration at Michigan Tech to assure an exceptional quality educational experience for students, and to further enhance the research trajectory of the college and University.”


New Childcare Center opens in Hancock (July 2018)

The 25 July 2018 Daily Mining Gazette announced the opening of the Right Start Kids Academy, a new childcare center in Hancock.  Right Start Kids Academy is a non-profit center licensed to open in Spring 2018, and they serve infants to age 5 with a space for up to 22 children.  Vice Chair Ruth Ryynanen is quoted in the Gazette  as saying the center opened in response to a community need and that the center is  also something she wanted as a mother.  The center is based around early development and has more flexible 7:30 am-5:30 pm service hours.  Right Start is planned to be affordable.  Their website is rightstartup.org/rska/.

For more on childcare options, click here.


Adrienne Minerick becomes Dean of the School of Technology at Michigan Tech

The Dean of the School of Technology at Michigan Technological University as of July 2018 is Dr. Adrienne Minerick.

Minerick joined the Michigan Tech faculty in 2010 and is Professor of Chemical Engineering and has served as associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Engineering and assistant to the provost for faculty development.  For several years in her faculty development role in the provost’s office she has been spearheading the AMP-UP process, ADVANCE Matrix Process for University Programs, an outgrowth of Michigan Tech’s NSF ADVANCE grant.  AMP-UP is focused on  facilitating female and under-represented STEM faculty success and retention at Michigan Tech.

Minerick’s excitement at the new position is based on her belief in the School of Technology’s potential to help students who do not mesh easily with the classic, learn-by-lecture model on which most US education is based.

 


Audrey Mayer becomes Assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion

After a University-wide search, Audrey Mayer (SFRES) was selected for and has accepted the position as assistant to the Provost for Academic Equity and Inclusion. Mayer’s role in this position began in May 2018. While serving as assistant to the provost, she will continue in her position as associate professor of ecology and environmental policy.

In her new position, Mayer will provide leadership for campus-wide diversity-enhancement efforts, including the President’s Diversity Council. She will also serve as Michigan Tech’s representative for external groups such as the American Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the Michigan Associate of State Universities (MASU) and King-Chavez-Parks (KCP).

Mayer is associate professor of of Ecology and Environmental Policy in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Tech and a past co-director of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) at Michigan Tech.