Issue of June 4, 2010
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson amp; Michele Montgomery
This week's issues:
*** FOLLOWING JOB POSTINGS TAKEN FROM WIPHYS ***
1. Too Many Women?
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_fiu.edu]
[A recent posting on Female Science Professor's Blog at http://science-professor.blogspot.com addressed an inquiry from a reader. I thought it was interesting and thought I'd share. ]
I'm a nearly-done PhD student in engineering. I am a woman. My Master's thesis advisor was a man. My PhD thesis advisor is a woman... I did a research abroad program last summer .. and my advisor was a woman. I will do another research abroad program this summer, this time in [another country], and my advisor will be a woman.
So here is the question: as I look for a postdoc and I think about my recommendation letters, I will probably have 3 out of 4 letters be from women. In my field (engineering/physics) women are still very rare. Will there be a tendency for people on my reviewing committee to see this as a warning sign? (i.e., that I work better with women?) Also, I am starting to make connections for my postdoc, and one of the faculty who is doing the most interesting research in the area is a woman at an Extremely Excellent University. If I happen to get an offer and happily work with her for a few years, will having my last 4 academic advisors being women be seen as a bad sign?
[For the full post, and to see some interesting comments, go to http://science-professor.blogspot.com/2010/06/too-many-women.html ]Back to top.
2. Inspiring talk by Bonnie Bassler
From: Eric Jensen [ejensen1_at_swarthmore.edu]
This past weekend at Swarthmore's commencement I heard a moving and inspiring talk by Dr. Bonnie Bassler of Princeton, who spoke about the importance of mentoring, and of turning self-doubt to one's advantage. I highly recommend it to all who mentor young scientists:
The video is 5 minutes long, or you can read the transcript on the same page.Back to top.
3. America COMPETES Act Passed by U.S. House of Representatives
From: Ann Hornschemeier-Cardiff [ann.h.cardiff_at_nasa.gov]
Ann forwarded this to us:
We are thrilled to report that the America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Reauthorization Act of 2010 .R. 5116) was passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 262 to 150.
This is a great success for AWIS and for all women as the bill contains language that recognizes and addresses the persistent gender bias in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In addition to providing funding for scientific research and training, this landmark legislation is specifically geared toward ensuring the future of our nation's diversity and talent pool through outreach to underrepresented groups.
Of significance to our members is the amendment submitted by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Sec. 124. Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. This amendment provides funding for workshops designed to minimize the effects of gender bias at federally funded institutions. Your AWIS Advocacy Team in Washington, D.C., including our new Public Policy Fellow, Alice Popejoy, has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that this amendment was included in the final version of the bill.
The next step is to get COMPETES passed by the Senate. In the coming months, we will keep you up-to-date about our efforts on "the Hill" and hope you will engage with us to ensure that gender equity is being addressed at the nation's highest level. Keep a look out for future communications about our public policy and education initiatives.
Janet Bandows Koster, M.B.A. Executive Director Association for Women in Science 1442 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone: 571.214.6523 Fax: 571.312.5985 Web: www.awis.orgBack to top.
4. National Security Strategy Highlights Importance of STEM Education
From: Rick Fienberg [rick.fienberg_at_aas.org]
[See the full announcement at http://www.aip.org/fyi/2010/061.html -- eds.]
Note the quote below: "We will invest more in STEM education so students can learn to think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology; improve the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations; and expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and girls." Ordinarily we might brush this off as mere political rhetoric, but it's part of the Obama Administration's National Security Strategy, which can't be brushed off! Hooray!
From http://www.aip.org/fyi/2010/061.html : Last week the Obama Administration released a document outlining a broadly encompassing strategy for rebuilding the nation's strength and influence that looks beyond military might. In a cover letter accompanying the strategy, President Obama declares "Simply put, we must see American innovation as a foundation of American power."
The 60-page "National Security Strategy" is divided into four sections: Overview of National Security Strategy, Strategic Approach, Advancing Our Interests, and Conclusion. The section entitled Advancing Our Interests includes a subsection "Prosperity" which states the following under the heading Strengthen Education and Human Capital:
"Invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education (STEM): America's long-term leadership depends on educating and producing future scientists and innovators. We will invest more in STEM education so students can learn to think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology; improve the quality of math and science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations; and expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and girls. We will work with partners - from the private-sector and nonprofit organizations to universities - to promote education and careers in science and technology."
Dr. Richard Tresch Fienberg Press Officer / Education amp; Outreach Coordinator American Astronomical SocietyBack to top.
5. Winner announced: Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Memorial Award
From: WIPHYS, June 4, 2010
Rhiannon Meharchand is this year's winner of the Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Memorial Award. Meharchand earned her undergraduate degree from Florida State University and is doing her doctoral work in nuclear physics at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.
The Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Memorial Award was established by the Association for Women in Science Educational Foundation with donations made in memory of nuclear physicist Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister, Senior Physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory. The $1,000 award is presented annually to an outstanding woman graduate student in physics. For a list of other sources of financial assistance see the Association for Women in Science web page on Non-AWIS Resources, at the address http://www.awis.org/careers/otherscholarships.html For general information on AWIS go to www.awis.org .Back to top.
6. Head, Dept. of Physics And Astronomy, Texas A&M University
From: WIPHYS, June 2, 2010
[Note the last sentence of this ad. Does your organization have a formal policy on dual career couple hiring? If so, let us know. We are thinking of compiling a list to put on the CSWA website -- eds.]
An international search is underway to identify outstanding candidates for Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas Aamp;M University. Texas Aamp;M, one of the two flagship research universities in Texas, is among the largest universities in the United States. The Department of Physics and Astronomy recently underwent tremendous growth in research faculty and moved into two beautiful new buildings.
The Department has research programs in astronomy, atomic physics, condensed matter physics, high energy physics, nuclear physics, and quantum optics. The Department collaborates with the Cyclotron Institute, the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, the Munnerlyn Astronomical Laboratory, and the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy. Candidates with drive, vision, and effective management skills are sought to lead this diverse department. The new head need not fit into one of the existing research areas but must have the broad background to lead the entire department.
Applicants should send a CV and a statement of research accomplishments and administrative philosophy via e-mail to headsearch_at_physics.tamu.edu (.pdf, .doc, or .docx). Application review will begin on 1 Sept. and continue until position is filled.
Texas Aamp;M University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. The university is dedicated to the goal of a culturally diverse, pluralistic faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. The university is particularly responsive to the needs of dual-career couples.Back to top.
7. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN
[Please remember to replace "_at_" in the below e-mail addresses.]
To submit to AASWOMEN: send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org
All material sent to that address will be posted unless you tell us otherwise (including your email address).
To subscribe or unsubscribe to AASWOMEN go to
and fill out the form.
If you experience any problems, please email itdept_at_aas.orgBack to top.
8. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN
Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.Back to top.