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May 26, 2011

We're on the AAAS homepage

At least we are today . I'm not sure how long it will be before we are "old news". Regardless, you can get the story here. Campbell-Kibler Associates (yes that's us) and AAAS have released “Measuring Diversity: An Evaluation Guide for STEM Graduate Program Leaders”. You can get it here and it's free (we like free).

Let me quote:

“This publication emphasizes the importance of not only collecting the right data, but also using it,” said Jessie DeAro, the AGEP program director. “The evaluation of graduate education programs is a critical component for achieving our overall goal of a U.S. STEM workforce that reflects the diversity of the U.S. population. Evaluation can provide answers to important questions such as what is and is not working for different graduate student populations in order to make improvements to graduate education programs.”

“Measuring Diversity” doesn’t tell universities how to keep under-represented minorities in school. Rather, it offers a framework and tools for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of graduate programs. By adapting ideas from the guide, universities also would be able to generate the evaluation data frequently sought by funding organizations, policymakers, and accreditation groups.

There are a series of online tools as well, developed by Tom of course. My plane is about to board, so I'll have to tell you more about them later.

May 23, 2011

Gender programs at NSF

NSF is planning to “incorporate the substantive focus” of the Research on Gender in Science and Engineering (GSE) program in the Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) program starting in FY 2012. The current GSE program officer, Jolene Jesse, will not move to REESE but will co-manage the “substantive focus” with a program officer from RESSE. A similar change is proposed for the Research in Disabilities Education (RDE) program.

For those who are not fluent in NSF speak, let me translate:
1. Under this plan, GSE will no longer exist; there will no longer be a program explicitly focused on gender at the k-16 level as NSF.
2. Research proposals with a gender in science and education focus will be submitted, presumably along with proposals without a gender focus, to a program with a much broader research focus (REESE). REESE has fabulous program officers but their expertise in gender research is limited.
3. REESE funds research proposals NOT diffusion and extension proposals. There is no indication that these very important efforts would continue.

At this point NSF has had very little feedback about this plan. I’m assuming it is because so few people knew about it. If you have some feedback, you might what to share it with the Education and Human Resources director Dr. Joan Ferrini-Mundy (jferrini@nsf.gov)

Current GSE grantees may want to come together at JAM (June 6-8) to discuss this proposed change. The community as a whole should think about possible future directions for gender focused research at NSF and to pull together and broadly disseminate data on the impact GSE diffusion and extension efforts are having.


Please feel free to share this information with others.

May 20, 2011

Leeves and Anne Jefferson

FairerScience friend Anne Jefferson has a really good post on "Leeves and the illusion of flood control" up at the Scientific American blogsite.

Anne studies watershed hydrogeology and grew up in a town where levees protect the town's very existence, so she knows the story from many sides. It's well written and thoughtful Read it, you may learn something. I did.

May 18, 2011

GPS, Google, Getting lost and I so want to curse big time!

Today we were driving to several locations in southeast Washington DC -- google maps sent us to Maryland; the GPS sent us to VA. NOT a good day. We made it thanks to paper maps and the iPhone. And damn we still had to pay $14 for the stupid GPS (which ended up in the glove compartment). My favorite part-- when we returned the rental car (AVIS) and explained that the GPS had problems; they said not to worry, the next person they were giving it to was from NY so it wouldn't matter. Sorry person from NY, hope you get to where you wanted to go someday!


PS Oh and speaking of AVIS did you all know that AVIS now demands in advance payment just in case their car breaks down and oh I don't know, you might want someone to come out and deal with THEIR mistake!!

PPS- BTW we got some great data from the GETSET teachers and students and are so looking forward to looking at how the kids are doing in STEM. GETSET teachers and student ROCK!

May 17, 2011


Remember how in March I told you about the Google Science Fair?

Well lots of kids submitted projects and 60 semi finalists were selected and we-- yes all of us- get to vote for the people's choice award. So go vote or at least check out some of the projects-- these kids are good. .

May 15, 2011

Dear Boston Globe: What were you thinking?

Kate Swift died earlier this month. In the 70s she and partner Casey Miller wrote Words and Women. The New York Times and the Boston Globe published the same obit with one glaring difference. The Times obit titles Swift as Ms. Swift and Miller as Ms. Miller. The Globe titled Swift as Miss Swift and Miller as Miller. As in Times: "Although Ms. Swift and Ms. Miller followed up..." Globe "Although Miss Swift and Miller followed up.." Geez Globe you couldn't just cut and paste the piece from the Times, you had to goof it up in of all places an obit you titled "Kate Swift; editor rooted out gender bias."

Ok it gets funnier-- I just went to get the link. The on-line version replaced Miss with Ms. so it is now "Ms. Swift and Miller followed up...".

BTW Rosalie Maggio wrote a lovely obit:

In the early 1970s, Swift and her longtime partner and coworker Casey Miller were editing a sex-education program for junior-high students when they realized that the materials spoke to “men,” “boys,” and “him.” They ended up not only making girls and women visible in the text, but writing an article on sexist language for the first issue of Ms. magazine (“Desexing the English Language”) and later for The New York Times Magazine (“One Small Step for Genkind”). Casey Geddes Miller, a writer who was graduated from Smith College as a philosophy major and had worked in naval intelligence, died in 1997.

The ultimate flowering of the Miller-Swift hybrid was Words and Women (1976), a world-changing book that demonstrated so conclusively that our everyday words disparaged and discriminated against women that no one should ever have needed to say another word. The world being what it is, of course, many more words were needed. But Casey and Kate nailed the issue. (When trying to get their book published in 1973, they were rejected by one editor because “the Women’s Movement has peaked.”)

May 11, 2011

Go Isis

So today as I was checking out First Bell, I read:

Department Chair Steps Down Over Polling Class On New Mother.

Edward Feldman, former chair of the medicine and epidemiology department at UC Davis, was asked to step down after he "polled a class on what grade he should give to a student who had to miss some quizzes because she had given birth," Inside Higher Ed (5/10) reports. Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor at Davis, had previously pledged to investigate the incident, and Feldman was asked to step down as a result of that investigation. The popular blog On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess first reported the story, and the original email is available there, and reposted at Inside Higher Ed. "The blogger who shared the letter about the incident said in an interview Monday night that she applauded the university for taking the matter seriously enough to punish Feldman," and added Feldman was probably "not acting maliciously, but based on decades of reinforced beliefs."

Wait I think, that sounds familiar and of course it does because FairerScience friend Isis wrote about this ages ago and now- wow not only was action taken but she got credit for it!

Go Isis, Girlfriend I totally owe you a pair of shoes but please not Manolo Blahnik; I still have people to get to and through college.

May 05, 2011

Not saying I've been distracted or anything...

Email to Pat and others
Strange question - anybody happen to be missing a pair of black pants? They were in the 4th floor conference room today after your departure.

Response from Pat
I'm embarrassed to say that would be me-- I really like those pants so I thank you for finding them (and for sending them back to their careless owner).

I was going to say not to worry I wasn't wearing them when they were lost but that sounds really bad. How about, I just say I think they must have fallen out of my backpack when I pulled out my jacket?

May 02, 2011

ENGAGE is in Prism

How's that for a cryptic title? The longer version is that one of our projects, Engage has been written up in Prism. It's even got a cute title, Whet Their Appetite. The article is short but it has lots in it about using relevant or everyday examples to demonstrate concepts and how to improve faculty student interaction and student spatial skills.

Yes the project is targeted toward engineering programs, but the strategies work across disciplines. So check it out.,