Fall 2007 Advisory Board Meeting Minutes
UW System Women & Science Program
Advisory Board Meeting
September 28, 2007
Introductions ; Tammy Salmon-Stephens, Joline Morrison, Helen Klebesadel, Kay Taube, Traci Lee, Dorothy Anway, Kevin Lee, Ether Ofulue, Kris Stepenuk, Cynthia Berlin, Nick Balster, Doug Johnson, Juliana Constantinescu, Susie Sandrin, Amy Hardy
Review of minutes from last meeting. Kay corrected the number of attendees for the Distance Education event co-sponsored with UW Extension. The spring event had 278 in attendance. Add Kris Stepenuk to attendance and DE Committee.
Motion to approve minutes from spring 2007 by Kay Taube and 2nd by Helen K.
Distance Education Committee: Kay reported that the Status of Women Committee for UW Ext. has not yet met. Will have conference call and would love suggestions for Fall and Spring events. Chancellor has not approved budget for committee yet and they are in process of planning project. They will try to set up a conference call in the next few weeks.
Suggestion from Susie to volunteer Manuela and Wiscamp folks to participate and speak. Mauela says they will have people to speak about retention from one year to the next. She likes the idea. Perhaps they could have it ready for Fall. If budget allows we can do a collaborative thing in Spring.
E-mail Kay Taube with any more ideas or suggestions.
Fall date and time up to Susie and Manuela.
Wisconsin Alliance for Minority Participation: Manuela Romera reported. WiscAMP has small grants for fac/staff running student programs on their campuses. Groups will be reporting on these at next meeting. The student symposium is coming up. See the WiscAMP website for more info www.wiscamp.engr.wisc.edu They want to get other students together. Still looking for a keynote speaker who is motivational and does not need large honorarium. 14 students signed up for poster presentations. Students stay free at hotel and dinner is included. Thursday is a three workshop session day; 1 on survival skills, 2 on career options. WiscAMP is entering the 4th year of a 5 year grant and is up for renewal next year. External evaluation is being conducted, but they will not double their numbers as originally hoped. Next small grant deadline is in March. We will be able to fund 5 or 6 grants. See website for details. All campuses in alliance are able to participate. $25,000 cap on small grants.
Question-what type of topics for Keynote speakers? A: Anyone who can motivate students to stay in the program and for teachers to feel inspired. Hopefully, it would be a person of color so that the students can relate better to them. Valarie King Daly was suggested by Susie as a motivational speaker. She has an international company, and is great speaking to students. She lives in Chicago. She has never charged Susie for services in the past. She’s also on the NSF funded video.
NSF Grant: Mark, Susie and Heidi Fencl co-wrote the grant for workshop. 115 teachers attended from HS and Middle schools. It included a 3-day conference with follow up course. 45 school districts came. The conference covered ways to encourage young women, what are the needs in the classrooms. Speakers were wonderful. Eric Jolly gave keynote on the 1st day and on the last day Bonnie Bassler spoke about her research. She was very engaging and had a standing ovation at the end.
Now we are in the last phase where teachers disseminate and have their grant money. The range of teacher project plans is diverse. The survey has been a little difficult. There has been feedback that survey is a little over the heads of the MS and HS students. They have not heard of all the different programs. Hopefully the post survey will go better after the students have learned about these different fields. Anyone may request a copy of the dissemination video we produced. It is 40 minutes long targeted toward teachers and parents. There was a request to send one to all each board member and all WS programs. It will also be available on line. Q. Will workshop be offered again soon? If we can find a way to pay for it ($100,000) we will offer is again. Kay asked about focus and Susie replied STEM fields. Key thinks that if a private sector business might donate if you hit up private businesses in Engineering. If anyone has connections please let us know.
Would school districts be willing to pay for it? It might be an option. We would need scholarship for those unable to pay. Helen wants Susie to present to the UW System Office of Academic Affairs for a brown bag lunch.
Marc arrived and said that Owwste was one of the more successful programs we have hosted and is excited about what will come out of it. Could any teachers come to Spring conference and present on their outcomes? Helen added would also be good at WS Spring conference ion Green Bay.
The same weekend as the Opening Workshop is the Environmental Film festival, which is being coordinated by Helen K’s brother in law. She will work on making that connection happen and will contact Susie. Faculty who attend can apply for a grant Kevin Lee, and Dorothy will review grants. Anyone who wants to be on this committee can contact Susie. Juliana self nominated. Traci Lee self nominated. Kevin noticed that agenda does not have mention of grants. Kevin has offered to speak at conference about the grant, application process, and attend conference.
Spring Adv. Board and Conference:
May 15-16 at Wilderness. Any ideas for theme? Kim Kostas had recommended previously to add a workshop after spring conference to meet about girls 3-6th grade sharing best practices. Kevin-have it during the conference, outreach is a great idea.
Manuela suggested it be like a fair with booths so that more people can make more connections? A more open structure around dinner time? Susie will send out a message to all board members regarding this.
Campus visits Spring 08:
Susie- we are not doing fall visits due to teaching overload. Manuela is getting ready for November grant review visits, so these will be postponed until spring.
Camus visits are joint visits to campuses about what WiscAMP and W&S is all about. Provost’s invite and call faculty to join. They have approx. 6 campuses left to visit and may add some of the UW Colleges.
Juliana: When you do the visits could you bring the feedback back to Board? Susie: Yes, Oshkosh provosts has stated that we need to work more with pre-college and started a program for it. Others have wanted scholarships but W&S doesn’t have money for that. WiscAMP does. Maunela said that turnout has varied and there is a big difference if the provost is involved with the process. Susie will prepare some feedback/summaries for Spring conference.
Kay suggested that being on Nov 7 agenda to meet with Provosts might be an opportunity to get them interested in inviting Susie and Manuela to speak at their campuses.
Can we have these meetings as a distance option? Depends on where meeting is held. Can Spring be distance? No, because of our location. Kay wants to keep holding them on campuses to get board members visiting other campuses.
Is it possible in future to arrange a campus tour over lunch? Will look into the idea.
Is distance education too expensive? Not really because cost might be comparable to mileage. Consensus is that for folks who could not make it, it’s better to do distance ed than miss the mtg. because of busy schedule. Marc says he likes the idea of campus tours!
21 or 22 campuses can participate through distance ed virtual mtg.
We will try our best to face to face, but those who cannot make it can use the distance ed option. Wilderness Resort does not have this option so Kay suggested using Baraboo campus for Board mtg.
After lunch we are meeting with industry Reps. Please stay for afternoon session. They will be talking about trends in hiring needs.
Question from the floor, Nick Balster:
Does W&S Advisory Board cover k-12 and undergrads and does it also cover Grad students?
Susie says we should include them. What needs do they have that we can address?
He will send his list of suggestions because he has a lot of issues he feels the council could address. He has had no male applicants for his lab for last three years.
Maneula wants to know what some of these issues are? His biggest concerns are pregnancies. All female students in his program are either having or have had babies. He has converted part of his lab into an area where they can breastfeed. He wants to keep the students so he has made a place for this to happen. One of the students did not take time off for childbirth because she would lose her funding. Can there be a mechanism in place to help with this? Manuela agrees we should talk about this in our meetings. Same types of issues come up with underrepresented students, too with family responsibilities. Faculty are not always responsive to these needs. We should talk about these issues more with faculty/staff to retain non-traditional students.
Can opening workshop be open to older faculty for this educational opportunity? This could be the thread for the Spring conference. Get some grad student reps on our board.
Susie will ensure that this is on our agenda again and hopefully be a part of Spring conference.
Industry Reps Report:
Margy: We are an invironmental/construction firm working on Windfarms. She holds several degrees from Mad in Geo and hydrogeology. Her job is more financial planning now.
Margy would like to help the group as much as possible. She’s here today to present what companies are looking for when they hire new grads. Has brought handouts.
Deb: Works as Principal Scientist at Spectrum Brands. Mostly works on battery development in a research role with government contracts.
Margy: Discussing first handout of Attributes of Excellent RMT People.
Second handout is PP presentation from a conference held in S Carolina in August that contains 10 best practices of Talent management. They surveyed many different companies to find out which issues are the most important. There is a big shortage of employees who are flexible enough to deal with rapidly changing markets. If you have a website, you ARE a global company. This includes most companies in the US, so employees have to acknowledge us. Companies hire mainly through the referral system, and there are bonuses for employees who bring in a good, new employee. It’s too hard to sort through so many resumes. Students should get contact through professional meetings, mentoring, and more. Students should visit companies and tour them. See Talent Optimization plan – companies are good at developing these, but they need to implement them before another plan comes along. Business is trying to be clearer as to their standards for employees and what behaviors they want, “Jim is doing this – do that too.” It’s important for students to present themselves well on paper too, run spellcheck on your resume! Deb – entry level people tend to be task oriented and not used to thinking for themselves on how to solve problems. Project management skills also need work. Students need to work on these. Esther mentioned that her department has a new curriculum that helps students develop their skills to be more independent thinkers. Students generally expect professors to lecture on content and NOT on life skills. They now have a specific class to address some of these issues. Can this group help universities develop curriculum that teaches life skills from day one. Margy can e-mail the whole presentation to us so we can distribute it to all of us. Students should recognize that their degree says to an employer that they can think and figure things out. Problem solving is key. The rate of change in industry is so fast, that it’s hard to keep up. Change is the only constant.
Deb –their company hires a lot of people, but very few right out of college. Deb rarely gets asked to go to a career fair. Students generally interact with HR at the career fair, and most people are hired through referrals. Manuela pointed out that minority students may not go through traditional channels or be recruited through referrals. Susie brought up MentorNet. How can we get WI companies to sign up for MentorNet? Deb’s company is not very receptive to this program. We should reach out to the alumni. Juliana said her campus has a Science Alliance with local companies. Someone came from Deb’s company to help with curriculum to make students more project management oriented. Involvement with industry in helping to manage education is important. How do you address cultural issues when employees are from all over.
UW Stout has an on-line database service for students that matches students with alumni mentors. They also have students interact with advisory committees made up by industry folks on the committees. They may have an open house, or panel discussion, and others. They also have industry mentoring through 3-4 year old chapter of SWE (Society of Women Engineers). It’s a very active student chapter that meets every week. They go to national conferences and local trips to business and industry. Students direct the activity, stay connected with each other and alumni.
UW Extension campus report: Losing people due to retirement, and they are still consolidating with Colleges. There is a fear that public radio will be cut from budget, within UW Extension.
UW River Falls is restructuring their Chemistry Dept. to include more biological functions (Organic first) and get away from the quantitative focus until later years. Why? Clientele is more life science than engineering students.
UW Eau Claire: Recruitment workshop hosted by the Provost of STEM faculty, put on by WISELI. How to recruit and retain diverse faculty.
Send out to the board that WISELI is willing to host these workshops.
Esther Ofulue moved to adjourn and Joline Morrison 2nd. So moved.