AAS Committee on the Status of Women  
Issue of February 27, 2009 
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery 
This week's issues: 
1. Academeology 
2. Progress in STEM? 
3. Michigan ADVANCE Web Site 
4. My Role Model: Vera Rubin 
5. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN 
6. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN 
1. Academeology 
From: Megan Urry [meg.urryyale.edu] 
The book "Academeology" by Female Science Professor (FSP for short) 
is chock full of useful advice for students and faculty. It's written 
by a woman physical scientist whose blog: 
is apparently well known. Although I'm not very with it, I confess 
that a quick look now had me hooked. I was given Academeology by a 
colleague in Biology at Yale who wanted to know who FSP was. That 
I don't know, but I know I'm a fan. The book was also reviewed in 
Nature (Nov 27, 2008, 456, 445), if you want to know more details. 
In any case, I was so impressed with the book that I've ordered 
copies for students and postdocs in my group. To buy a copy, either 
an electronic download or the paperback, go to 
By the way, it's mostly about life in academia, not specifically 
about women, although toward the end of the book there is a very 
interesting chapter on the experience of being a woman (especially a 
petite blonde young-looking woman) in science. 
2. Progress in STEM? 
From: Pat Knezek [pknezeknoao.edu] 
Progress in STEM?  Eight engineers at the University of Texas at Austin 
received NSF CAREER grants - and half of them were awarded to women! 
Given that my sister obtained her masters in Electrical Engineering 
at UT less than 10 years ago and said she was often the only woman 
in her building besides administrative assistants, I hope this 
is a good sign! See: 
3. Michigan ADVANCE Web Site 
From: Andrea Dupree [adupreecfa.harvard.edu] 
Take a look at the Michigan ADVANCE web site: 
It has lots of interesting links and ideas including: 
-Frequently-Asked Questions:  Dual Career Issues 
-Frequently-Asked Questions:  Retention of Science and Engineering Faculty  
-Giving and Getting Career Advice:  A Guide for Junior and Senior Faculty 
-Guidelines for Writing Letters of Recommendation 
-Handbook for Faculty Searches and Hiring 
-How to Help New Faculty Settle In:  Common Problems and Alternative Solutions 
-Positive and Problematic Practices in Faculty Recruitment 
4. My Role Model: Vera Rubin 
From: HannahWomen in Astronomy Blog, Feb 26, 2009 
The theme of this month's Scientiae Carnival is Role Models. 
Ever since grad school, I've named my computers after pioneering women 
in astronomy: Maria (Mitchell), Caroline (Herschel), Cecilia 
(Payne-Gaposchkin), Henrietta (Swan Leavitt), Annie (Jump Cannon). 
(Some of these women were real life human computers.) 
So perhaps it's no surprise that my role model is yet another pioneering 
woman in astronomy: Vera Rubin. She became an astronomer in an era when 
few women were even working out of the home. She discovered dark matter. 
She has four children, all of whom are now scientists themselves and 
raising their own families. 
I had the good fortune to spend my first postdoc at the Carnegie 
Institution of Washington, where Vera still comes in almost daily, despite 
being retired. My first week there, she strolled into my office and 
introduced herself in a very friendly way, saying she "liked to meet 
all the new postdocs." Meanwhile, my mind was gibbering, "it's Vera 
Rubin! It's Vera Rubin!!" In my time at Carnegie, we ate many meals 
together at Lunch Club, shared many stories about raising children, 
talked about the obstacles that women in astronomy have faced over 
the years and still face today, and even talked about science once in 
a while. I learned that while Vera is a kind and gentle soul, she is 
tough as steel under her grandmotherly exterior and will fight tooth 
and nail against any perceived injustices. 
I admire Vera for many things: for doing ground-breaking science, 
for raising a wonderful and loving family, for having the chutzpah stand 
up to nay-sayers, and for just being a nice person. 
Someday, I will probably name a computer after Vera, but given my 
criteria for naming computers, I hope it won't be for a long long time. 
Who is your role model? 
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6. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN 
Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at 
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered. 
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