WISI Events Archive

WISI holds an annual lecture and other forums and events to encourage networking, mentoring, and educational opportunities for CNS women faculty and students.

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2015-2016

March 28: 4th Annual CNS Women in Science Lecture: Accomplishments, Challenges, and Next Steps  
2:30-4:00 pm in Student Union Ballroom.

What have we done for women in science in CNS? This central question will be addressed by a panel of faculty and graduate students from the College of Natural Sciences who have played important roles in promoting professional development and gender equity for women scientists.

You will hear about successful initiatives that have enhanced the professional lives of women faculty and students in the college, and the policies that have been influenced by a growing awareness about gender equity in the college. You will participate in a discussion of what our next steps should be. This discussion will be framed in the context of results from the faculty survey conducted last year that assessed department culture and its impact on faculty satisfaction.

October 9: Brown Bag event: Should You Join a Professional Mentoring Group?
noon – 1:30 pm in Campus Center room 165-9.

Professional peer mentoring groups are informal networks intended to foster collegiality, learning, and advanced faculty careers at UMass. Come to this informational brown bag meeting to hear from three members of CNS faculty: two women faculty (Catherine Benincasa, Mathematics and Statistics, and Lynmarie Thompson, Chemistry) about how their peer mentoring groups have affected their careers and why a group may be valuable to you, no matter what stage of your professional career; and the third presentation will be by a senior faculty of color (Gerry Downes, Biology) who will talk about his mentoring experiences and interest in forming a group. In addition, Buju Dasgupta, Director of Faculty Equity and Inclusion, will share findings related to mentoring from the CNS faculty survey conducted last year.

Faculty who are currently participating in a professional peer mentoring group are encouraged to attend and share their experience. There will also be time for discussion, questions and taking steps to form small interdisciplinary groups for those interested. Group formation is based on interests and schedule, and can be a mix of senior to assistant faculty, tenured and non-tenured, or exclusively non-tenured faculty. You may also indicate interest in joining a group in advance of this meeting by completing the CNS Mentoring Group form.

2014-2015

April 6, 2015: 3rd Annual CNS Women in Science Lecture: "Gender Matters"
Priyamvada Natarajan, cosmologist and theoretical astrophysicist, Yale University
4:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium

The slides for this lecture are now available for review.

CNS welcomes Priyamvada Natarajan, professor in the departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, to present “Gender Matters” as part of the WISI Lecture Series. Natarajan is a theoretical astrophysicist interested in cosmology, gravitational lensing and black hole physics. She is noted for her key contributions to two of the most challenging problems in cosmology: mapping the distribution of dark matter and tracing the growth history of black holes. She is deeply interested in institutional change with regard to gender parity in the academy and is committed to promoting women's development in academic science. Her talk will focus on this issue of national concern and her own efforts to promote gender equity, inclusion, and diversity in science and technology at Yale. Please use this Powerpoint slide to announce this lecture in classes.

September 29: Panel and Mixer luncheon event: Should You Join a Professional Mentoring Group?
noon – 1:30 pm in Campus Center room 917.

Professional peer mentoring groups are informal networks intended to foster collegiality, promote learning, and help with the challenges of negotiation within the university and career. Come to this informational meeting and lunch to hear from three women faculty members (non-tenured faculty member, full professor and assistant professor) about how their mentoring groups affected their careers and why a group may be valuable to you, no matter what stage of your professional career. There will also be time for discussion, questions and taking steps to form small interdisciplinary groups for those interested. Group formation is based on interests and schedule, and can be a mix of senior to assistant faculty, tenured and non-tenured, or exclusively non-tenured faculty. You may also indicate interest in joining a group in advance of this meeting by completing the CNS Mentoring Group form.

2013-2014

April 7, 2nd Annual CNS Women in Science Lecture
"Moving Beyond Fixing the Women to Changing the Culture in Academic STEM Fields."
Susan Metz, Senior Research Associate and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Stevens Institute of Technology.
4:00 p.m. Student Union Ballroom.

The slides for this lecture are now available for review.

Susan Metz is a nationally recognized leader in catalyzing change in academia regarding women in science. Her lecture will address how unintended bias affects hiring, retention and promotion of women faculty and will identify research-based strategies to engender an inclusive and productive work environment. Metz has secured nearly $10 million in federal, corporate and foundation grants to work with over 200 colleges and universities to increase access, retention and advancement of women and girls in STEM fields. She is a Founder and Past President of WEPAN, Women in Engineering Proactive Network, Inc., and has served on advisory boards of organizations that influence national STEM policy including the National Science Foundation and National Academy of Engineering. Under her leadership, Stevens and WEPAN were recognized by Presidents Clinton and Bush respectively with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Susan is a recipient of the Maria Mitchell Women in Science Award and is an Association for Women in Science Fellow. Use this PPT slide to announce this lecture in classes.

December 13: Panel and Mixer: Should You Join a Professional Mentoring Group?
10:00 – 11:30 am in ISB 145

Several successful Professional Mentoring Groups exist within CNS, and news has spread of the benefits of joining one. Come to this event to hear from a panel of faculty members about why a Professional Mentoring Group may be worth your time. Time will also be devoted to facilitating the formation of new groups. (Many existing Mentoring Groups began by obtaining a Mellon Mentoring Team Grant through the UMass Office of Faculty Development.)

November 4: Webinar, "Retaining Women in STEM Fields"
1:00 – 2:30 pm in ISB 145

This webinar explored why women leave faculty positions and what departments, colleges and universities can do about it. The webinar featured Joan C. Williams, distinguished professor of law and the founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. She drew on work prepared for the NSF-funded Tools for Change Project and discussed:

  • The ways departments can save money by eliminating a chilly climate for women.
  • The importance of family-friendly policies.
  • The way the right policies can avoid legal problems – and the wrong policies can leave departments and institutions vulnerable.

Watch the Webinar | Download a pdf of the PowerPoint slide presentation

October 16, Lecture, "Recent Research Regarding Detection and Treatment of Breast Cancer"
5:15 p.m. in ISB 221

D. Joseph Jerry, PhD, Professor of Veterinary and Animal Sciences at UMass Amherst Science; Director, Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute; Co-Director, Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, and Kaitlyn Wong, MD, Surgery Resident at Bay State Medical Center.

2012-2013

February 28, College-wide lecture, “STEMing the tide: How Female Experts and Peers act as "Social Vaccines" for Girls and Women in STEM” Nilanjana Dasgupta, Professor of Psychology at UMass Amherst. 4:00 p.m. Campus Center Auditorium. Watch the video of the event

In her presentation, Dr. Dasgupta, a leading expert on women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, will propose that individuals’ choice to pursue one career path over another is not really a free choice, but rather is constrained by subtle expectations in achievement environments that send the message some individuals "naturally belong" in STEM careers and others don’t. She will discuss her current research on how contact with female professors and peers in science and math classes functions as "social vaccines" that protect women’s academic self-confidence despite negative stereotypes, thereby increasing their interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math as majors and careers.

Dr. Dasgupta has received multiple NSF grants, including a CAREER award, and a NIMH grant to study women’s careers and how academic environments shape women’s thinking and behavior regarding science achievement. Her research examines how unspoken stereotypes in social environments affect people’s attitudes and behavior in subtle, often unconscious ways. She has received the ‘Hidden Bias Research Prize’ for her groundbreaking research on gender equity in the classroom, the Wayne F. Placek Award from the American Psychological Foundation, and the Morton Deutsch Award from the International Society for Justice Research.

September 10-Consultation, Institutional Change for UMass Amherst

Laura Kramer, Ph.D., visited UMass to consult with faculty and administrators about efforts to transform the academy, creating warmer and more productive environments for white women as well as men and women of color and international faculty. Dr. Kramer consults with universities as they assess existing policies and practices, and design and implement innovations. She also works with professional organizations involved with the advancement of members of underrepresented groups, particularly in the sciences and technology, and has been deeply involved in the NSF ADVANCE program since its inception. Dr. Kramer’s visit was co-sponsored by CNS, SBS, Center for Research on Families, and the Office of Faculty Development.

September 21-Lecture: Gender Equity in Science and Engineering

Professor Diana Bilimoria, Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University, presented a talk on her recently published book, Gender Equity in Science and Engineering: Advancing Change in Higher Education (with X. Liang). For ten years she's conducted research on institutional transformation in universities. This lecture is supported by the School of Management.

October 3-Luncheon/Presentation: Gender's Effect on Faculty Work-Life

Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, is the editor of Gender & Society, the top-ranked journal in the interdisciplinary field of gender studies, and one of the top journals in the field of sociology. Her research focuses on gender inequalities in employment, wages, and poverty across wealthy countries. She also studies gender inequality in academic employment, and has consulted on this topic to a number of universities.

October 13-Presentation: Gender's Effect on Faculty Work-Life Balance at UMass

Joya Misra, professor of sociology presents to the Academic Leadership meeting (CNS Chairs/Heads and Deans).

April, 2012-Panel and Lunch: CNS Women in Science Initiative