Maya Tolstoy, a professor at Columbia, leads the committee that studied how various factors affect the careers of women and scholars of color. Almost 60 percent of women in the humanities who were surveyed reported being dissatisfied with their current child-care arrangements. Last year Columbia University announced that it would commit $100 million over the […]
Pao Vue’s interest in animals and nature began at a young age, eventually leading him to UW–Madison.
As his career goals evolved – taking shape in environmental science and conservation – they set Vue on a journey that has made him one of the first Hmong Americans to receive a PhD in his field.
Vue’s doctorate degree in geography, which he earned in spring 2018, brings pride to his family and clan, but also warrants recognition of the challenges the Hmong population faces in higher education.
At Reed College in Portland, Oregon, a young woman of colour — a first-year student interested in physics — made an appointment to see Mary James, the college’s dean for institutional diversity. “She said: ‘I heard there’s an African American physicist on campus and I just wanted to meet you’,” says James. In their conversation, the student recalled standing at the blackboard the previous week to work on a problem and suddenly realizing that all her group partners were white men. She thought that if she failed they would think that women of colour couldn’t hack it. “She said: ‘I knew I shouldn’t be thinking that. But I couldn’t help it.’ It was a classic stereotype threat,” says James, who handed the student a book from her bookshelf on the phenomenon. “This is a really powerful thing, and it really impedes performance.”
James, who now chairs an American Institute of Physics (AIP) diversity task force, is a member of a small club. She was one of only 66 black women who earned physics doctorates at US universities from 1973 to 2012, compared with more than 22,000 white men and over 2,400 white women.
Having “good” researchers teach undergraduate students does not improve their grades, according to a study.
The paper, produced by academics in the Netherlands and published in the Economics of Education Review, also found that students rated highly cited researchers as poor teachers.
The researchers analysed the grades and teacher evaluations of thousands of students from the University of Maastricht’s School of Business and Economics, where students are randomly allocated teachers on a particular course but are given the same exam at the end. The study then measured the research quality of teachers by their publication records.
Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, knows firsthand the importance of exposing kids to STEM topics early. She also knows the significance of having kids see themselves in movies, on TV, and in certain careers.
“It means making sure that people get those images that show they have those things available to them,” Jemison told HuffPost.
Jemison is collaborating on “Science Matters,” an initiative to encourage kids of all ages and backgrounds to pursue agricultural science from pharmaceutical and life science company Bayer and youth development organization National 4-H Council. Jemison, a physician and chemical engineer, knows the field of agricultural science can sound intimidating, but she and Jennifer Sirangelo, CEO and president of the National 4-H Council, have set out to change that.