Privacy Rooms

Last year, we analyzed the work-life/dependent care websites of the IVY Plus institutions to create a list of important programs for faculty, especially women faculty.  We came up with the following categories: financial adoption assistance, affiliated child care centers, babysitting support, breastfeeding support, committee on status of women, emergency/back-up care, financial assistance, tenure clock extension, and resource/referral service.  See our Dependent Care wiki for more information.

A few universities had programs in all areas, Brown, however, did not.  One of the areas we didn’t have a formal program was Breastfeeding support.  Brown does have a nursing policy, and the ADVANCE staff has recently joined a committee to help provide regularly designated privacy rooms across campus.  Initial meetings have led to a website:  Privacy Rooms.  We are continuing to update and add to it and plan to link with other offices across campus.

How does your university support nursing mothers?



March 24, 2011 at 9:17 am 1 comment

Happy National Engineers Week 2011

To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of our Brown women engineers, their research interests, and how to connect with them online:

R. Iris Bahar, Associate Professor of Engineering
Iris Bahar’s research interests lie broadly in the areas of computer architecture, electronic design automation, and digital circuit design.

  • Website: professional website with research details
  • LinkedIn: profile – connect with her!

Janet Blume, Associate Professor of Engineering
Professor Blume’s research focuses on mathematical aspects of solid mechanics. Questions of existence and uniqueness of solutions to systems of partial differential equations that arise in continuum descriptions of solid behavior are considered.

Karen Marie Haberstroh, Assistant Professor of Engineering (Research)
Prof. Haberstroh’s research addresses the use of novel nano-structured polymeric materials in soft tissue engineering applications.

  • Outreach: Program Manager & Co-PI Brown GK-12
  • Youtube: 2011 BMES Annual Meeting Program Chair

G. Tayhas R. Palmore, Professor of Engineering
Research projects in Professor Palmore’s laboratory include the synthesis of new biocomposites for use in batteries, fuel cells, and biomedical applications (e.g., biosensors, tissue engineering); and the design and fabrication of devices that use these new materials.

Janet Rankin, Adjunct Associate Professor of Engineering (Research)
Rankin’s research interests lie in the energetics of interfaces in fine-scale nano- and microstructures.

  • Service: Associate Director for Teaching Initiatives, MIT
  • Award: Wilson-DeBlois Award for contributions to graduate education

Petia Vlahovska, Assistant Professor of Engineering
Vlahovska’s research interests include Physico-chemical hydrodynamics, complex fluids, cellular biophysics, nonlinear dynamics: flow and transport in suspensions of soft particles; electrokinetic phenomena and electrohydrodynamics; and stability of lipid membranes.

Also, check out the Brown Engineering News Blog

February 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

LinkedIn and Connected

We’ve been searching around in the social media dark lately, looking for the tool that would connect us to our Brown community online.  And… small drumroll please, we’ve found it.  Turns out, our university community feels most comfortable on LinkedIn.

On Monday, we took our own advice and created a profile for our organization, adding information such as publications, suggested readings, and our interests.  Then we began connecting with others.  We sent out requests, and as a result have (to date) connected with 91 people.

As we come to the final stages of our ADVANCE grant, we have been widening our circle, providing services to the greater Brown academic community.  Until now, twitter has been our dominant social media tool to connect with others interested in similar topics.  Now we’re also reaching our original target audience online.

Connect with us! Check out the new button on our website and our new LinkedIn profile:

February 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

Black Women Scientists Making History

In honor of Black History Month and our own mission at ADVANCE to undertake professional development initiatives to ensure that outstanding women faculty in science and engineering have resources that foster success at the highest levels in research, teaching, and academic leadership, we’ve put together a list of 10 black STEM woman scholars:

Marguerite Thomas Williams (b. 1895 d. 1991), Geologist

Williams earned a Ph.D. in Geology from Catholic University of America in 1942.  She served as Chairman of the Division of Geography (1923-33) and served from Assistant Professor to full Professor in the Department of Social Sciences, Miner Teachers College.

Roger Arliner Young (b. 1899 d.1964), Zoologist, Biologist, and Marine Biologist

Dr. Young was the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate in zoology (Univ. of Penn, 1940) and became an assistant professor at North Carolina College for Negroes.  In 1924, she made a significant contribution to the study of structures that control salt concentration in paramecium.

Marie Maynard Daly (b. 1921 d. 1993), Biochemist

Daly received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University in 1948, the first black female to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry.  She held appointments at Columbia University and Yeshiva University.

Evelyn Boyd Granville (b. 1924), Mathematician

Granville received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Yale in 1949, one of the first black women in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics.  She has had appointments as Fisk University, California State University, and University of Texas at Tyler where she also served as Chair.

Sister Mary Sylvester Deconge (b. 1933), Mathematician

Deconge earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics and French from St. Louis University in 1968 and was on the faculty at Loyola University and Southern University in Louisiana.

Patricia Bath (b.1942), Ophthalmologist and Laser Scientist

Dr. Bath invented a device and technique for cataract removal and was the first African-American doctor to receive a patent for a medical device.   She was also the first African-American surgeon at UCLA Medical Center, the first woman chair of ophthalmology in the US at Drew-UCLA (1983), and a founder of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.

Shirley Ann Jackson (b. 1946), Theoretical Physicist

Jackson’s first position was as research associate at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois (known as Fermilab) where she studied hadrons. In 1974 she became visiting scientist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland.

Mary Styles Harris (b. 1949), Biologist and Geneticist

Harris earned a Ph.D. in Genetics from Cornell University in 1975. She continued to work in academe and held leadership positions such as Executive Director for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia.

Mae C. Jemison (b.1956), Physician and Astronaut

Jemison obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1981 from Cornell Medical College.  She was the first African-American woman (5th black astronaut) to travel in space (1992 on space shuttle Endeavour).

Aprille Ericsson (b. 1963), Engineer

Ericsson was the first female and first African-American female to receive a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and to work at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.


Related Resources:

Notable Black Female Scientists and Innovators, Under the Microscope

Index of Women Scientists Profiled in “the Faces of Science: African Americans in the Sciences

February 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm 2 comments

Mentor Response

Today we held a lunch for the mentors participating in our One-to-One Faculty Mentoring Program.  Due to massive amounts of wind, snow, ice, slush, etc we were unable to meet with as many mentors as originally planned. Two of our co-PIs did join us to help answer questions and we discussed cross-departmental mentoring.

Mentors noted that as an external source of information they were able to help new faculty members distinguish the different types of university committees.  Also time management strategies and work/life balance have been main topics during their meetings.  Initially, there is also a need for information about relocation: where is a good place to live and where are the good schools and local childcare?

There was some discussion about an additional need for tenure-track faculty as they get closer to the tenure decision.  Currently our One-to-One Program is a one year commitment and only available to tenure-track faculty in their first year.  Do you have experience with a one-to-one program?  If so, have you seen or felt a need for a mentor outside your department in the later years before tenure?

February 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

Mentoring Resource for Program Managers

Continuing to collect resources on mentoring, with particular attention to anything that could help us further develop the one-to-one and peer mentoring programs we have, I came across “Lessons Learned About Mentoring” by Robert Boice*.  Notes from this chapter:

Mentoring programs:

  • The essence of good mentoring according to almost all pairs, was socioemotional support
  • Cross-departmental mentor-mentee pairs seemed to [have] slightly greater success compared to more traditional mentoring pairs (mentees and mentors seek out and pair up themselves).
  • Frequent nudges to meet regularly helped ensure pair bonds
  • Left to themselves, most mentoring pairs worked on a limited range of topics
  • Mentors assumed the role of interventionist with reluctance

New faculty who found quick success as teachers and as productive researchers and scholars

  • Seek out social supports and advice from a variety of colleagues, especially those in the position to make decisions about their retention and tenure.  Note social networking, to be effective, occupies as much time as moderate investments in teaching preparation and in research and scholarship
  • Solve the problem of time management by making tasks such as writing fit into the brief openings of already busy days.  Further, tacit knowledge is critical: they need to learn how to manage themselves, others, and tasks in order to thrive in academe

Although 20 years old, we’ve found a number of these conclusions to hold true, and have used this type of information not only for program development but for expansion of resources such as our One-to-One Faculty Mentoring Guide.

What has been your experience?

*Boice, R. (1992). Lessons learned about mentoring. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no. 50. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

January 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

Climate Study Update

Through efforts and coordination with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, Co-PI Senior Associate Dean of the Faculty Doherty, and our Internal Evaluator, we have completed our faculty climate survey instrument.

We opted to use the Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE) core faculty survey as the basis for our questionnaire.  Using this will allow us to compare our (Brown’s) results with other institutions in the AAUDE.

MIT conducted a similar survey three years ago on their own campus and has agreed to administer our survey here at Brown.

January 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

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