Category: 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.

Glime Receives Hattori Prize for Bryology Masterwork

The International Association of Bryologists has awarded its Hattori Prize to Janice Glime, professor emerita of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University, for her online encyclopedia, “Bryophyte Ecology.”

The Hattori Prize recognizes the best paper or series of papers published by a member of the association within the previous two years.

Glime has completed two volumes on this group of diminutive plants that includes mosses, liverworts and hornworts: “Physiological Ecology” and “Bryological Interaction.” A portion of the third (“Methods”) is available online, and she has at least two more volumes pending.

“Bryophyte Ecology” is read worldwide both as a text and reference. While scientifically rigorous, it is written in a conversational style. “I hope to make bryology more accessible to students who have no mentor in the field and to stimulate interest among ecologists, naturalists and educators,” Glime said. “A book such as this is dependent on scientists in many fields, all over the world.”

Glime originally conceived of “Bryophyte Ecology” as a textbook, back in the 1990s. But as bryology advanced by leaps and bounds, she was never able to finish so much as a chapter. Then the Internet came into its own, and the project shifted. In 2007, she began uploading chapters to Her masterwork has two major advantages over a print edition: it offers unlimited color photography, and mistakes are easy to fix, thanks to friendly input from her fellow bryologists and other experts.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic responses, however, have come from bryologists from as far flung as China and Bulgaria, who have thanked her profusely for making such a vast trove of knowledge available.

“Dr. Glime, I think you are one of the most generous and collegial scientists I have (not!) met,” wrote a Canadian bryologist. “You are really an inspiration . . . All my students are thrilled with your online book, and I am, simply, in awe. Thank you.”

It couldn’t be done without a lot of help, Glime stresses. “The Internet and Google have made possible what could not have been done 20 years ago,” she said. “Some of the researchers and photographers have gone the second mile to help me find images and literature. Some have taken pictures for me. Some have offered to review a chapter when it was completed—especially some of the zoologists. And some have even done fieldwork to enhance the information in a particular area. Many have sent me unsolicited pictures and references. I couldn’t have found a better retirement project.”

Glime retired in 2008 after 35 years on the Michigan Tech faculty. She received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994 and in 2009 was given the Distinguished Service Award for her longtime dedication to the University Senate and to student success.

by Marcia Goodrich, magazine editor
Published in Tech Today

Ada Lovelace Day Event Details

Ada Lovelace Day was started in the UK three years ago to celebrate the achievements of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Ada Lovelace herself wrote one of the first computer programs, and her legacy serves as a reminder that most STEM fields would not be where they are today without the insights of many (often overlooked) women. The goal of this annual celebration is to demonstrate to women and girls why their efforts are so critical to the advancement of STEM disciplines.

2012 marks the first annual Ada Lovelace Day celebrated at Michigan Tech. We have two main events planned (both are FREE and open to the public):

Tuesday, October 17th, 7pm to 8:30pm in Fisher 139:

Professor Martha Sloan (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Tech alumnae Mary Long and Dr. Michelle Jarvie Eggart will discuss their motivations and aspirations as women working in STEM.

Speaker biographies:

Professor Martha Sloan: Martha Sloan received a BS in Electrical Engineering with great distinction, an MS in Electrical Engineering, and a PhD in Education from Stanford University. After two years of working at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, in Palo Alto, California, Sloan joined the faculty of Michigan Tech, where she is now a professor of electrical and computer engineering and associate chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Sloan is the author of three textbooks and more than sixty papers. She is a fellow of the ACM, the IEEE, and SWE and has received numerous awards, including the SWE Distinguished Engineering Educator Award, an IEEE Centennial Medal, the Richard E. Merwin Award, and the ASEE Outstanding Young Electrical Engineering Educator Award. She has been active in engineering professional societies, having served as treasurer, vice president, and president of the IEEE Computer Society, IEEE, and AAES. She served for nine years on the board of trustees of SWE.

Mary Long: Mary Long is an engineer/project manager at Black & Veatch, with a strong background in Program and Construction Management. Her education includes BS and MS degrees in Environmental Engineering and BS in Business Administration as well, all from MTU; and she is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ohio. Her work has mainly focused on wastewater and wet weather treatment projects until recently changing from the Water Division of B&V to Telecom to serve as the Decommissioning Market Manager for Sprint’s Network Vision Program.

Dr. Michelle Jarvie Eggart: Dr. Michelle Jarvie Eggart is an environmental engineer/project manager at Barr engineering and adjunct faculty at University of Maryland University College. She works primarily on sustainability and environmental compliance issues surrounding water and wastewater for mining and other industrial clients. She received her Ph.D, in environmental engineering from Michigan Tech and is a registered professional engineer in the states of Oregon and Michigan.

Wednesday, October 18th, 8pm to 9:30pm in Fisher 135:

A screening of the documentary “The Gender Chip Project”, with a following panel discussion. Members of the panel include Mary Long, Professor Laura Brown (Computer Science), Graduate Student Kaitlyn Bunker (Electrical Engineering), Professor Sarah Green (Chemistry), Professor Nina Mahmoudian (Mechanical Engineering), and Professor Patty Sotirin (Humanities).

Panelist biographies:

Mary Long (see above)

Professor Laura Brown: Dr. Brown received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics from Vanderbilt University in 2009. Her research interests include: Algorithms for learning the structure of Bayesian networks; Local causal discovery methods for identification of parents and children or Markov Blankets; and Methods for variable selection on high-dimensional data sets.

Kaitlyn Bunker: Ms. Bunker is working on her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering; she received her M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2012, and received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2010. She has intern experience with Commonwealth Associates, Inc., and General Motors Powertrain. She is currently the President of the Society for Women Engineers at Michigan Tech.

Professor Sarah Green: Dr. Green received her Ph.D. from MIT. Her research interests include: Origin and fate of DOC in terrestrial, lake, and marine environments; methods for detection of free radicals, photochemical transformations of natural and anthropogenic organic compounds in the environment; oxidative degradation reactions; response of aquatic systems to climate change; effects of electrostatic charge and ionic strength on fast reaction kinetics; behavior of metal contaminated sediments in the Lake Superior basin; fluorescence-based analytical methods; integration of biological, geological, physical, and chemical data for understanding global cycles.

Professor Nina Mahmoudian: Dr. Mahmoudian’s general research interests lie in the area of dynamics, stability, and control of nonlinear systems. Specifically, she is interested in dynamic modeling, motion planning, and developing cooperative control algorithms to autonomous vehicles. Design and control of autonomous vehicles based on the principles used by nature is another area of interest.  She works on developing analytical and computational tools for the cooperative control of a network of autonomous vehicles in complex environment using nonlinear control and stochastic analysis. The application will be for air, ground, and sea autonomous vehicles.

Professor Patty Sotirin: Professor Sotirin’s research involves critical-interpretive approaches to issues of culture, relationality, and gender. Her work draws on discursive theories of communication, critical management studies, cultural studies, feminist theories and qualitative methodologies. She is Editor of Women and Language and co-author with Laura Ellingson of Aunting: Cultural Practices that Sustain Family and Community Life.

Professor Audrey Mayer (almayer[at] can be reached for questions and further information. Hope to see you there!

Gender Bias Established Through Rigorous Research

This is a very interesting article that backs up what Valian said in “Why So Slow.”  The methods of this Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper are particularly rigorous.

To quote the paper:

“Our results revealed that both male and female faculty judged a female student to be less competent and less worthy of being hired than an identical male student, and also offered her a smaller starting salary and less career mentoring.”

Thank you Audrey Mayer for bringing this to our attention.

Wanted: Information about “The Women of Tech” for Alumni Reunion

A special event to celebrate the Women of Michigan Tech will be hosted by the Alumni Association and the Presidential Council of Alumnae during this summer’s Alumni Reunion, August 2-4.

A presentation highlighting the achievements of our alumnae is being compiled, and any facts that members of the campus community have about this group would be welcomed.

These facts could include information about the first female graduates and undergrad students in degree programs, origins of female-oriented campus organizations, females in leadership roles, etc. Any information regarding alumnae who have noteworthy “firsts” in industry would be helpful as well.

Information can be sent to or by calling Alumni Relations at 487-2400. Details about Reunion can be found at Reunion.

submitted by Alumni Relations to Tech Today

Wanted: Information about “The Women of Tech” for Alumni Reunion
submitted by Alumni Relations

A special event to celebrate the Women of Michigan Tech will be hosted by the Alumni Association and the Presidential Council of Alumnae during this summer’s Alumni Reunion, August 2-4.

A presentation highlighting the achievements of our alumnae is being compiled, and any facts that members of the campus community have about this group would be welcomed.

These facts could include information about the first female graduates and undergrad students in degree programs, origins of female-oriented campus organizations, females in leadership roles, etc. Any information regarding alumnae who have noteworthy “firsts” in industry would be helpful as well.

Information can be sent to or by calling Alumni Relations at 487-2400. Details about Reunion can be found at Reunion.

News from COACh

Great new happenings at COACh – Check them out at our new COACh website!

Geraldine L Richmond <

Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 1:58 PM To:

Dear COACh Members

Over the past year COACh has been developing some exciting new programs and going in some new directions! To find out more, check out our cool new website at – and be sure to try the coffee!

What you will find on our website:

* An expanded list of workshops for women faculty, graduate students and postdocs.  Check out the new Career Balance Workshop in particular.  It’s a winner and will be given at an upcoming ACS National Meeting.

* The creation of  iCOACh (COACh International) to facilitate research and educational partnerships among scientists and engineers  in the U.S. and those in developing countries (men can get involved too!)

* iCOACh Leadership and Career Development Workshops for women scientists in developing countries  (iCOACh can use your help if you are from a developing country and/or are fluent in different languages)

* COACh Chat  to provide an opportunity for COACh members to network and interact with each other on important research and education issues and to connect with workshop facilitators for advice. (You will soon be receiving a separate email inviting you to join COACh Chat and related information)

* Cyber-COAChing in which selected COACh members can get involved in coaching more junior women through our COACh Chat.

* Cyber-Sessions where we reconnect with former COACh workshop attendees to provide refresher training on topics covered in the workshops.

* Facebook and Linked-In opportunities to couple with COACh members and others in the scientiific community.

* Fun stuff for stress reduction (watch frequently for updates and send us fun things to post – including appropriate YouTube videos).

* Job listings and resources.

* Who pays the bills and who has been involved in COACh over the years.

This site will continue to evolve, with new features and continued improvements – so keep coming back.   And as always, we look forward to hearing from all of you and to your continued interest in COACh.

In the meantime – please forward this to friends and colleagues who also might be interested in COACh.

Cheers and Happy Spring,


—  Geraldine L. Richmond Richard M. and Patricia H. Noyes Professor COACh Director

Department of Chemistry University of Oregon Eugene OR 97403 Phone: (541) 346-4635 Fax: (541) 346-5859

Michigan Tech Program Encourages Girls’ Interest in Science/Engineering Disciplines

The WISE in this news story is not our group, but we have overlapping goals.

From Michigan Tech’s campus newsletter Tech Today 2 April 2012

First Bell, an engineering education newsletter published by the American Society of Engineering Education, mentioned WLUC-TV Channel 6’s coverage of Michigan Tech’s Get WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program, held last week to interest girls in careers in science and engineering. The subscriber-only newsletter reported:

Michigan Tech Hosts Event To Increase Girls Interest In Engineering.

Upper Michigan Source (3/30, Mays) reports, “Two hundred 7th and 8th grade female students’ attended Michigan Tech’s Pre-College Outreach event called Get WISE or Get Women In Science and Engineering.” The girls “got a chance to learn about different scientific concepts like the center of mass and how balance is distributed using certain objects.” Michigan Tech “hopes that events like these can help change the students’ perspectives about science and open their minds to a possible future in engineering.”

What can be done about gender bias in hiring/promotion?

Individuals in positions of authority are in the best position to make a difference when it comes to assuring that all candidates for any position are evaluated fairly, despite the documented wide-spread existence of gender schemas  (Valian, 1999). Actions that can be taken include:

  • Ensure that all evaluation committees and department heads are aware of the research on gender bias;
  • Review all processes and procedures for the presence of gender bias; revise procedures found to contain gender bias;
  • Strive to achieve at least 25% women participants in all areas; research shows that gender bias is only mitigated when this threshold is exceeded;
  • Keep an eye on the women in units where they are underrepresented. Keep them productive by not allowing indifference to their “accumulation of disadvantage” to culminate in a negative review;
  • Champion the cause of elimination/reduction of gender bias – if leaders take this seriously, especially in open meetings, others will too.

Why so slow? The Advancement of Women, by Virginia Valian

Many Michigan Tech WISE members know that I am a big fan of Virginia Valian’s book Why So Slow?  The Advancement of Women (MIT Press, 1999).  Valian’s well researched book gives women the data they need to first, convince themselves that they’re not imagining the disadvantage they feel, and second, the tools to make things better.  Here is some of what you will find there:

  • Department heads consistently evaluated resumes with male names higher than identical resumes that were presented with female names (Why so slow? Virginia Valian, p127, bottom)
  • When test subjects are presented with a group working together at a table, both male and female evaluators consistently identify a male at the head of the table as the “group leader”, but when a woman is seated at the head of the table, 50% of the time evaluators choose a male not seated at the head of the table as the “group leader.” (Why so slow? Virginia Valian, p127, top)
  • Even when an objectively measurable parameter, such as height, is evaluated, our unconscious biases influence our evaluations. In a study when subjects were asked to estimate heights of people in photographs, they consistently identified the women as shorter, and the men taller, than they actually were. (Why so slow, p6). There was no difference in the evaluations provided by male and female evaluators in this or the other studies. We all carry these schemas.
  • These effects are accentuated when women make up a small fraction (<25%) of those being evaluated (Why so slow, p140).

I have two copies in my office ready to loan to anyone who is interested in reading more of this quantitative and convincing book.