Friday, August 12, 2016

AASWomen Newsletter for August 12, 2016

AAS Committee on the Status of Women AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of August 12, 2016
eds: Nicolle Zellner, Elysse Voyer, Heather Flewelling, Christina Thomas, and Maria Patterson

This week's issues:

1. Access Astronomy and the Working Group on Accessibility and Disability

2. Avoiding (Unconscious?) Profiling and Microaggressions in Student Assessment

3. Astronomers Recognized for Excellence

4. Who Says Girls Aren’t ‘Meant’ to Like Science?

5. An Illustrated Celebration of Trailblazing Women in Science

6. Job Opportunities

7. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

9. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter


1. Access Astronomy and the Working Group on Accessibility and Disability
From: Jessica Kirkpatrick via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

The American Astronomical Society's Working Group on Accessibility and Disability (WGAD) has started a blog: Access Astronomy. Below is cross-posted (with permission) from Access Astronomy:

Disabilities are common in America today, with 19% of the American population having a disability, and half of those reported as “severe” (2010 US Census). Approximately 18-26% of American adults experience mental illness in a given year, and mental illnesses generally have high co-morbidity with other medical conditions. In an academic context, representation of students with disabilities decreases over the course of academic preparation (Moon et al. 2012). In a survey of the 2013 AAS membership, 2% or fewer respondents identified as having a disability (hearing, vision, or mobility impairment; note that this does not include cognitive, developmental, or mental health disabilities). Persons with disabilities are dramatically underrepresented in STEM fields and astronomy in particular.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2016/08/access-astronomy-and-working-group-on.html

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2. Avoiding (Unconscious?) Profiling and Microaggressions in Student Assessment
From: Daryl Haggard via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

In this post, I will explore how unconscious bias and/or microaggressions can play out in the realm of the physics classroom, particularly in connection with student assessment. Below I describe two of my experiences as a faculty member where my own biases have created circumstances that are threatening or unfair (or both) to students of color.

In both of these cases, I was assessing written work from undergraduate students in the form of 3-5 pages essays outlining their understanding of a particular research question in physics or astronomy. As a scientist, I have considerable experience grading homework assignments and exams which are primarily quantitative, but more limited experience grading written work. I assigned the essays because, well, scientists write a lot, and it seems only fair to help our students develop this skill. To accommodate my inexperience, I talked with teaching and learning professionals at my institution(s) and was careful to adopt an assessment matrix for written work, which I shared with students so they knew how they would be evaluated. Despite these precautions, I still fell into a trap that I fear may snare other faculty: my own unconscious bias.

Read more at

http://womeninastronomy.blogspot.com/2016/08/avoiding-unconscious-profiling-and.html

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3. Astronomers Recognized for Excellence
From: Nicolle Zellner [nzellner_at_albion.edu]

Two astronomers have recently been recognized for excellence by professional organizations. Dr. Caroline Simpson (Florida International University) received the Richard H. Emmons Award for excellence in teaching from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and Dr. Ana Leonor Chies Santos (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil) has received one of seven 2016 L'Oréal Brasil-UNESCO-ABC awards for women in science. Congratulations!

Read Dr. Simpson's citation at

https://www.astrosociety.org/society-news/the-astronomical-society-of-the-pacific-announces-its-2016-award-recipients-for-astronomy-research-and-education

Read more about Dr. Chies Santos' award at

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/brasilia/about-this-office/single-view/news/loreal_brasil_unesco_abc_for_women_in_science_award-1/#.V6aES4MrLix

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4. Who Says Girls Aren’t ‘Meant’ to Like Science?
From: Heather Flewelling [heather_at_hawaii.edu]

I always knew that I would be a scientist. As a child I loved exploring the world around me; I was fascinated by fossils and had a voracious appetite for any science books, documentaries or experiments.

Yet despite this instinctive fascination and curiosity, I was acutely aware, even at a young age (and in the 90s no less!) of the social norms which told me that girls weren’t ‘meant’ to like science. I knew, without any direct challenge, that rather than prehistoric creatures, my toys should have been dolls, and that science was something boys were good at. Indeed, for young girls and women these unspoken obstacles are just as present, and in many ways more difficult to overcome, than any explicit discouragement.

Read more at

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-sam-giles/who-says-girls-arent-mean_b_11449436.html

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5. An Illustrated Celebration of Trailblazing Women in Science
From: Heather Flewelling [heather_at_hawaii.edu]

When pioneering scientist Vera Rubin was a little girl in the 1930s, she longed to be an astronomer but had never met a sole person of that vocation in real life. Decades later, after she broke the glass ceiling in astronomy by becoming the first woman permitted to observe at the prestigious Palomar Observatory and went on to discover dark matter, Rubin reflected: “It never occurred to me that I couldn’t be an astronomer.” She traced the firmness of that conviction to a children’s book about Maria Mitchell — America’s first woman astronomer and a lifelong champion of women in science — which had expanded her horizon of possibility and seeded the idea that she, a little girl amid a culture impoverished of such role models, could one day become an astronomer.

Read more at

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/07/28/women-in-science-rachel-ignotofsky

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6. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their organizations, a list of resources and advice is here: http://www.aas.org/cswa/diversity.html#howtoincrease

- Tenure Track Assistant Professor Positions, Western Washington University https://jobs.wwu.edu/JobPosting.aspx?JPID=7122

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7. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send email to aaswomen_at_aas.org

All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email address.

When submitting a job posting for inclusion in the newsletter, please include a one-line description and a link to the full job posting.

Please remember to replace "_at_" in the e-mail address above.

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8. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter

Join AAS Women List by email:

Send email to aaswlist+subscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have subscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like.

Be sure to follow the instructions in the confirmation email. (Just reply back to the email list)

To unsubscribe by email:

Send email to aawlist+unsubscribe_at_aas.org from the address you want to have UNsubscribed. You can leave the subject and message blank if you like.

To join or leave AASWomen via web, or change your membership settings:

https://groups.google.com/a/aas.org/group/aaswlist

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9. Access to Past Issues

http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html

Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.

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