Friday, January 26, 2024

AASWomen Newsletter for January 26, 2024

AAS Committee on the Status of Women          
Issue of January 26, 2024
eds: Jeremy Bailin, Nicolle Zellner, Sethanne Howard, and Hannah Jang-Condell

[We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. --eds.]

This week's issues:

Linsy Abigail Martizez Rubio
1. Meet Central American-Caribbean Astronomy Bridge Program Fellows - Part 7
2. Gender equity: toward redefining values
3. Black women in academia face unique challenges on the job
4. The Lost Women of Science Initiative Announces New Grants and Projects for 2024
5. N3 Internship Application is Now Open!
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

An online version of this newsletter will be available at at 3:00 PM ET every Friday.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Meet Central American-Caribbean Astronomy Bridge Program Fellows - Part 7

The Central American - Caribbean Bridge in Astrophysics (Cenca Bridge) is a nonprofit organization established in the state of Tennessee in the United States with the mission to create and develop astronomy research opportunities in Central America and the Caribbean. Opportunities to pursue astrophysics in the region are few with only a handful of programs offering master’s in physics with a concentration in astronomy.  Cenca Bridge connects undergraduates from Central America and the Caribbean to mentors and advisors overseas in hope that they have the choice to pursue astrophysics as a profession. Every year, Cenca Bridge holds the remote internship program, where undergraduate students from the region apply to be selected for a 3-month long paid research internship. As the only organization to provide a paid research remote internship, it is important to highlight the contributions that many women in astrophysics from Central America and the Caribbean have already contributed to our field.

In this series, we will highlight selected fellows. If you'd like to learn more about the program and ways you can get involved please visit

My name is Linsy Abigail Martinez Rubio, I am 21 years old, I am from Honduras, and I am currently in my fourth year of undergraduate studies in Physics at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras. When I was just a child, I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted to dedicate myself to. However, as I grew up and became passionate about science, I became truly convinced that this is what I want to do to do science, to be able to confront the unknown and seek answers to it, which I find absolutely amazing.

In addition to doing science, I also want other people, or more precisely, more women in my country, to be attracted to it and to see the vast world of study and the fantastic opportunities that exist in physics. I want them to see that we can also do science. That's why I am a member of the Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE).

I have always found what is beyond our planet interesting, looking at these celestial bodies on TV or seeing images that my teachers used to decorate the classroom. I thought it was fabulous that all of this existed out there. That's why I've always had a passion and interest in astronomy, and that's why I decided to apply for the remote internship at Cenca-Bridge.

My aspirations are to keep learning and researching, apply for a master's program abroad, and motivate people to join this world. I hope that we can do science in our country without being frustrated by the lack of interest in this field.

Currently, I am calculating models of stellar evolution, and I am fascinated by observing the behavior of these stars in their evolutionary stages and the physical and chemical compositions they possess. It's absolutely amazing. I use programs in which we can change various parameters such as solar masses, metallicities, and rotational velocities of these stellar formations.

One of the most important things in my life is my academic achievements. I like to focus on them and, in some way, always try to be disciplined to maintain control in this aspect of my life. I also enjoy spending quality time with my friends, going out, and enjoying those moments. The key to making this possible is organizing every aspect of my life.

UNAH logo
One important social issue is the lack of interest in education among a significant portion of the country's population, particularly those who lack resources and live in extreme poverty.

As for my short-term plans, they include successfully completing my university education and conducting more research in astrophysics and materials science.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Crosspost: Academia’s Hidden Price Tag

By Katherine Kornei for Eos

The flexibility and freedom that some say characterize academic pursuits often come with a hidden price tag: overwork. Many academics feel pressure to put in far more hours than are healthy or even necessary for success.

In light of data linking overwork with adverse mental and physical health effects, some scientists are beginning to acknowledge—and address—the far-reaching repercussions of potentially harmful work habits. And many try to encourage their students to internalize a safer and more balanced work life, even if doing so runs counter to a mindset that’s deeply ingrained in the culture of higher education.

Such conversations are particularly important for women to hear, [said Sera Markoff, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Amsterdam], because women scientists can face additional pressures. “On average, women often end up being asked to do a lot more things,” she said. “When you’re one of the few women at a certain level, you get asked too much to be on all these committees.”


Credit: iStock
Eds note: Consider starting off the new year by evaluating what's important to you. Women in Astronomy has published several posts over the years related to the topic of balance. See a partial list below. 

2020: CSWA Resources for Astronomers by JoEllen McBride
2017: First Summary Blog post: Work-Life Balance by Heather Flewelling
2015: Postdoc Parenting Work-Life Balance by Laura Trouille
2010: Work-life Balance: Hours by Anonymous
2009: Balance: A Generational Divide by Hannah Jang-Condell

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Crosspost: Getting our PAWS on the Future

By Jessica Noviello, via

PAWS logo

When I defended my Ph.D. in June 2019, I didn’t have a job lined up. Part of this was because I was ignorant of the ebbs and flows of the academic job market, but mostly it was because I could not decide what I wanted to do next. My graduate school experience had been unusually bumpy, and the entire process and the inherent instability of research made me reluctant to remain in academia. But what else could I do? A professor in the department offered me a short-term postdoctoral research position to help him finish a project, and I took the job so I could have income while I figured out a plan. 

This postdoc saved my career. Besides learning how to do geophysical modeling, I started branching out into formal science communication work, even founding a group to do this work within NExSS, the NASA Astrobiology research coordination network that focuses on exoplanets. ... This job had a time limit on it though. I realized I liked research, but I loved solving problems that involved people and their research, so I started exploring science management opportunities.

In July 2020, I applied for the NASA Postdoctoral Management Program (NPMP) fellowship to continue my work with NExSS and formally expand my research interests to exoplanets. The NPMP is a subset of NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) fellowships and explicitly aligns the fellow to a management project or initiative. The fellowship I applied to was created to support the Co-Leads of NExSS with planning events, facilitating communication, and presenting to stakeholders. I started my fellowship in January 2021 at NASA Goddard, and since then, I’ve met and worked alongside many fantastic exoplanet scientists from the fields of astronomy, planetary science, and astrobiology on some pretty awesome projects and ideas. But like most postdocs, I always had one unignorable thought in the back of my head: what comes next?

There are many reasons for leaving research that stem from systemic problems with the structure and demographics of traditional academia. We all know that jobs in academic spaces are becoming increasingly competitive, and soft money research positions are precarious. Many of us devise backup plans, some in jest and others much less so, in case “research doesn’t work out.” I never knew what it truly meant to “go into industry”, nor did I know where to start looking for those kinds of jobs. What about careers in science journalism? Or science policy? Or the steps to become a professor, if I decided academia was a good choice for me after all? What were those careers like on the inside? I figured if I had these questions, then other early career researchers might have them too. And thanks to the fellowship I was on, I had the time and job scope to work on a solution.

I created the Professional Advancement Workshop Series (PAWS) to provide the space to answer these questions and a central location to collect resources, regardless of an early career researcher’s institution, degree program, geographical location, advisor, or field. 


Friday, January 5, 2024

AASWomen Newsletter for January 5, 2024

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of January 5, 2024
eds: Jeremy Bailin, Nicolle Zellner, Sethanne Howard, and Hannah Jang-Condell

[We hope you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. --eds.]

This week's issues:

1. DEIA&B Sessions & Events at AAS New Orleans
2. Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education
3. The Rainbow Village at AAS
4. Survey on parents in astronomy
5. Nominate a AAS Plenary Speaker
6. IAU Working Group on Women in Astronomy
7. NASA Science Mission Directorate Inclusion Plan Requirements Town Hall
8. World University Rankings 2024 for physical sciences
9. The United Nations General Assembly has declared February 11 the International Day of Women and Girls in Science
10. Could shining a light on the central role of creativity and collaboration in science be key to addressing the gender imbalance in STEM?
11. XPoSat a totally women-engineered satellite
12. Tatiana Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa
13. The Language of Astronomy Is Needlessly Violent and Inaccurate
14. Volunteer Reviewers Invited for NASA FINESST
15. Job Opportunities
16. How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter
17. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWOMEN newsletter
18. Access to Past Issues

An online version of this newsletter will be available at at 3:00 PM ET every Friday.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

DEIA&B Sessions & Events at AAS New Orleans

By Karly Pitman, CSWA Chairperson

AAS 243 Meeting logo
Block schedule

The 243rd AAS meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana will be held on Jan. 7-11, 2024 jointly with the High Energy Astrophysics and Historical Astronomy Divisions of AAS. Congratulations to the organizers for putting together a great program and strong representation of women in the slate of plenaries!  

Please come by to visit with members of the CSWA at the following locations:

  • Sun. 01/07, AAS Grad School & REU Fair
    5:30-7:00 p.m. Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Great Hall
    Booth #04
  • Exhibit hall (all week)
    AAS Inclusion Committees, Booth #825

This year’s women and gender minorities in astronomy networking event will be hosted by on Mon. Jan. 8 from 6:30 - 9 p.m. CT — RSVP here.

Other networking events are being hosted by 

  • SGMA
    SGMA Meet & Greet for LGBTIA Members and Students
    Mon. Jan. 8 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. CT
    convention center room 206 
  • CSMA
    CSMA Meet & Greet
    Wed. Jan. 10 from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. CT
    offsite restaurant

CSWA would like to draw your attention to several sessions in the program that focus on community building and best practices for diversity in astronomy, as well as improving diversity hiring and mentoring.


Mon. Jan. 8

Tue. Jan. 9

Wed. Jan. 10

Exhibit hall, all week

AAS Rainbow Village, hosted by CSMA, #BlackinAstro, VanguardSTEM, and LUMA.