RIFE meets Virginia Valian!

We’re helping ADVANCE Purdue host the 2nd Annual Gender and STEM Research Symposium today and tomorrow.  Things kicked off this evening with a keynote speaker Virginia Valian (author of Why So Slow? and director of the Gender Equity Project at Hunter College and CUNY), who was kind enough to visit our lab and talk with us about our research beforehand.  How great is this?!? We were psyched.

RIFE members with scholar Virginia Valian, when she visited Purdue in February 2011.

Alice presenting at NWSA on ADVANCE

I’m heading to the National Women’s Studies Association National Conference later this week to present as part of a panel some of our research from our ADVANCE project. Here’s more information:

Crossing Borders: Strengthening connections between NSF’s ADVANCE Program and Women’s Studies
Friday, November 12, 10:50am – 12:05pm in Plaza Concourse Level, rm Plaza Court 3

Panel abstract
ADVANCE is a NSF-funded program to help improve the recruitment, retention and success of women in scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) academic careers. ADVANCE has funded four institutional cohorts through Institutional Transformation grants, involving 48 US institutions. But the largest intervention dedicated to improving the career success and worklife wellbeing of women STEM faculty in the US remains largely undertheorized and unexamined by feminist and gender scholars. Indeed, there are few explicit connections between ADVANCE programs and women’s studies programs. Additionally, while women’s studies scholars have interest in women’s underrepresentation in STEM careers for various reasons, little feminist or gender theory finds its way into ADVANCE-related research or program development. This panel argues that each is “outsider” to the other. We discuss what border-crossing connections there have been at some ADVANCE institutions, and what additional contributions feminist scholarship and methodologies can bring to present and future ADVANCE initiatives.

Alice Pawley: Research within ADVANCE-Purdue and the Center for Faculty Success
In the research program for ADVANCE-Purdue, we incorporate feminist methods of participatory action research, institutional ethnography, and critical storytelling in the interrogation of the career experiences of women STEM tenure-track faculty, with a particular focus on the experiences of women of color. In particular, she will discuss both the theoretical grounding of the group’s research in feminist scholarship as well as some of the institutional challenges they have experienced in trying to incorporate intersectionality into our research.

Alice Pawley is an assistant professor in the School of Engineering Education and an affiliate with the women’s studies program at Purdue University. She is the co-PI and Research Director of ADVANCE-Purdue. Contact information: 1325 Armstrong Hall of Engineering, 701 W. Stadium Ave, West Lafayette IN, 47906. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 1-765-496-1209.

Jill Bystydzienski: Collaboration across the Disciplines: ADVANCE at Ohio State University
The ADVANCE IT projects have made possible research and program cooperation among scholars from various disciplines in the physical sciences, the social sciences, humanities, and interdisciplinary fields like Women’s Studies. Based on her experience as co-Principal Investigator on Ohio State’s ADVANCE CEOS (Comprehensive Equity at Ohio State) project, she will discuss how feminist theory and practice have been reflected in the work of the ADVANCE team at OSU, as well as limits posed to such incorporation by multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Jill Bystydzienski is Professor and Chair in the Department of Women’s Studies at Ohio State University and co-PI on OSU’s ADVANCE IT grant. Contact information: 286 University Hall, 230 N. Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 614-292-1021.

Sue Rosser: Using Women’s Studies to Facilitate Institutionalization of ADVANCE
Women’s Studies serves as a source for many of the tools needed by ADVANCE initiatives to ground their research, interact with the administrative hierarchy, and foster networks with women faculty, staff and students across campus. Based upon her experience both as a co-PI of an ADVANCE grant and as an external advisory board member to ADVANCE initiatives at nine other institutions, the presenter discusses the importance of having women’s studies faculty involved in the research, internal advisory boards, external advisory boards, and possibly as the final institutional home for ADVANCE because of Women’s Studies’ interdisciplinary connections with programs, departments, Student Affairs, status of women committees, and women across campus.

Sue Rosser is currently the Provost at San Francisco State University, where she is also Professor of Women and Gender Studies and of Sociology. Formerly she was the Dean of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Tech, where she served as co-PI of their ADVANCE grant. Contact information: Provost’s Office, 455 Administration Building, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 1-415-338-1141.

Sharon Bird: Translating Feminism and Appreciating Different Gender Strategies: ISU ADVANCE
ISU ADVANCE has succeeded in creating an infrastructure for institutional transformation that cuts horizontally across colleges and vertically across departments, colleges and upper administration. The program brings together faculty leaders of many different disciplinary backgrounds. Based on her work as Co-PI on ISU’s ADVANCE program and as director of the program’s “Collaborative Transformation” project, Bird will discuss some of the many ways in which ISU ADVANCE leaders have relied upon and “translated” feminism in their institutional transformation work. She will also discuss findings from a recent examination of STEM women faculty members’ different “gender strategies” and the importance of valuing these differences.

Sharon Bird is Associate Professor of Sociology and Affiliate faculty in Women’s Studies and African American Studies at Iowa State University. She is co-PI and Research Director on ISU’s ADVANCE IT grant. Contact information: 217B East Hall, Department of Sociology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1070. Email: [email protected]. Phone: 515-294-9283.

This panel contributes to the Feminists in Science and Technology Studies (FiSTS) slate of papers, also connected with the Science and Technology Taskforce.

Feminist research in engineering education: practice as an academic

The Research in Feminist Engineering research group is a group of diverse researchers who use feminist theory and methods to study engineering education. Our collective job is to think creatively about gender and engineering education, and to think about, write, and teach in ways that will result in a change in how engineering education is done. As a result, we have a variety of research projects that we work on, using research methods from applied anthropology, education, sociology, and women’s studies to better understand the context and practice of engineering education. Team PI Alice Pawley, assistant professor in the School of Engineering Education will speak about her research group’s work, as well as situate her academic practice as feminist in the context of her teaching and service.

This talk will be held Wednesday Nov 3, 4:30-5:30 in Wetherill Hall, rm 201.

Alice to present work-in-progress on IEECI-ASK at FIE

Alice will be heading to the 40th annual ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education conference being held in Washington DC October 27-30th.  She’ll be presenting on behalf of the IEECI-ASK team some preliminary findings on the existing literature on sustainability in engineering.  If you’ll be at FIE, be sure to attend her talk Friday morning, session F1J, 8:00-9:30 in Salon J.  We’re the second paper, so don’t oversleep!

If you’d like to read the conference proceedings paper, it’s here:

2010. Rao, Ranjani, Alice L. Pawley, Stephen R. Hoffmann, Matthew W. Ohland, Monica E. Cardella. “Work In Progress: Development of a framework to Assess Sustainability Knowledge (ASK) in engineering undergraduate students.”  Conference proceedings of the 40th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Washington DC, October 27-30. PDF.

ADVANCE-Purdue Research Team to host fall open house

Local Purdue colleagues are invited to attend our fall ADVANCE Research Open House on October 19. It will be held from 4-5 in the Elm and Walnut rooms of the West Lafayette Public Library, at 208 W. Columbia St in West Lafayette. Please note there is free public parking across the street from the library, and kids are always welcome both to the library and to our open house. We will have some light refreshments to share.

People are welcome to drop in and chat with ADVANCE Research Team members Dina Banerjee, Jordana Hoegh, Marisol Mercado Santiago, and Alice Pawley, or otherwise comment about our ADVANCE research projects, and will be invited to learn about potentially participating in our research studies, including our Academic Career Pathways study where we listen to people tell us their career stories, or through our Institutional Ethnography studies on Purdue’s parental leave policy or the colleges’ promotion and tenure policies.

In particular, we are interested in discussing alternative possible publication models, where people who contribute their stories to a research study as participants also get research credit for the research. If you are interested in discussing this with us, we particularly hope you’ll drop by.

We hope to see you on October 19!

Group member Srinivasan graduates to being first RIFE alumnae

We are so sad that group postdoc Saranya Srinivasan will be moving on to other things back home in India in August. Members in town toasted to new things for her with gelato earlier this week. We’ll miss you, Saranya! But on the other hand, we will be glad to have a friendly place to stay when we come visit India sometime… 🙂

Photo of 6 RIFE group members
RIFE Group after Greyhouse gelato