Our guest post today is from Dr. Jillian Bellovary. Jillian Bellovary is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Queensborough Community College in Queens, New York. She is also a research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History and serves on the Committee for the Status of Minorities in Astronomy. She is passionate about equity & inclusion, knitting, and roller derby.
In August 2016 I started a tenure-track position at
Queensborough Community College, which is part of the City University of New
York (CUNY) system and located in Bayside, Queens.This job is my dream job, and one I’ve been
aiming for for quite a while.But I
didn’t always know this was what I wanted, and I’ve definitely felt like I’m
not supposed to want a job like
this.Thus I’d like to share my story.
I approach each morning with a certain tension. I pick up my phone (a terrible way to start the day, you’d think I’d have figured that out by now, I definitely do not recommend it.). I skim twitter, the New York Times, and whatever else has accumulated overnight. It isn’t that there wasn't oppression or ordeals before - but I (perhaps delusionally) thought I knew the shape of them. Now there is a certain wild card feel that I can’t quite shake.
But maybe it is just because I hate going to the obvious place - people who are marginalized will be openly targeted for the foreseeable future. And it is on us (us reading this, us who are privileged in one way or another, us who can leverage something in a given moment) to hold the line.
Today, a few shoes dropped (how can there be so many shoes? There are so many shoes.).
In our newest series on the Women in Astronomy blog, we'd like to introduce our readers to the Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy. Today's post features the newly appointed Chair of the CSWA, Dr. Patricia Knezek! She will be serving as Chair as a private citizen.
Dr. Patricia (Pat) Knezek joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in March 2013, and served as the Deputy Division Director of the Division of Astronomical Sciences in the Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) for three years. She then became a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Assistant Director of MPS and just completed a year assignment to the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure in the Directorate of Computer & Information Science & Engineering. Prior to joining the NSF she had been with the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) as a staff scientist since 2001. While there she worked primarily with WIYN Consortium, Inc. (WIYN), a partnership of the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Yale University, and NOAO that runs two optical telescopes on Kitt Peak Mountain outside of Tucson, Arizona. She served as WIYN's Instrumentation Project Manager (2001-2005), Deputy Director (2005-2010), and then Director (2010-2013). She has also held positions at the Space Telescope Science Institute, The Johns Hopkins University, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and the University of Michigan. She obtained her bachelor's degree in astronomy from the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, in 1985, and her Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1993.
Pat has been active in issues of diversity and inclusion for her entire career. She previously served on Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy from 2002 – 2008 (chair 2003 – 2007). Some of her activities have included leading the development of “Equity Now! The Pasadena Recommendations for Gender Equality in Astronomy,” launching (with Rachel Ivie of the American Institute of Physics) the AdHoc group that developed the Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Graduate Students, and developing the Anti-Harassment Policy for AAS.