AAS Committee on the Status of Women 
Issue of June 4, 2010 
eds. Joan Schmelz, Caroline Simpson & Michele Montgomery 
 
This week's issues: 
 
1. Too Many Women? 
 
2. Inspiring talk by Bonnie Bassler 
 
3. America COMPETES Act Passed by U.S. House of Representatives  
 
4. National Security Strategy Highlights Importance of STEM Education 
 
5. Winner announced: Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Memorial Award 
 
*** FOLLOWING JOB POSTINGS TAKEN FROM WIPHYS *** 
 
6. Head, Dept. of Physics And Astronomy, Texas A&M University 
 
7. How to Submit, Subscribe, or Unsubscribe to AASWOMEN 
 
8. Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN 
 
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1. Too Many Women? 
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsoncfiu.edu] 
 
[A recent posting on Female Science Professor's Blog at 
http://science-professor.blogspot.com/  
addressed an inquiry from a reader. I thought it was interesting and 
thought I'd share. ] 
 
I'm a nearly-done PhD student in engineering. I am a woman. My Master's 
thesis advisor was a man. My PhD thesis advisor is a woman... I did a 
research abroad program last summer .. and my advisor was a woman. I 
will do another research abroad program this summer, this time in 
[another country], and my advisor will be a woman.  
 
So here is the question: as I look for a postdoc and I think about my 
recommendation letters, I will probably have 3 out of 4 letters be from 
women. In my field (engineering/physics) women are still very rare. Will 
there be a tendency for people on my reviewing committee to see this as 
a warning sign? (i.e., that I work better with women?) Also, I am 
starting to make connections for my postdoc, and one of the faculty who 
is doing the most interesting research in the area is a woman at an 
Extremely Excellent University. If I happen to get an offer and happily 
work with her for a few years, will having my last 4 academic advisors 
being women be seen as a bad sign?  
 
[For the full post, and to see some interesting comments, go to  
http://science-professor.blogspot.com/2010/06/too-many-women.html ] 
 
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2. Inspiring talk by Bonnie Bassler 
From: Eric Jensen [ejensen1swarthmore.edu] 
 
This past weekend at Swarthmore's commencement I heard a moving and 
inspiring talk by Dr. Bonnie Bassler of Princeton, who spoke about the 
importance of mentoring, and of turning self-doubt to one's 
advantage.  I highly recommend it to all who mentor young scientists: 
 
http://www.swarthmore.edu/x29778.xml 
 
The video is 5 minutes long, or you can read the transcript on the 
same page. 
 
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3.  America COMPETES Act Passed by U.S. House of Representatives  
From: Ann Hornschemeier-Cardiff [ann.h.cardiffnasa.gov] 
 
Ann forwarded this to us: 
 
We are thrilled to report that the America COMPETES (Creating 
Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, 
Education, and Science) Reauthorization Act of 2010 .R. 5116) was passed 
today by the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 262 to 150.    
 
This is a great success for AWIS and for all women as the bill contains 
language that recognizes and addresses the persistent gender bias in 
science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In addition to 
providing funding for scientific research and training, this landmark 
legislation is specifically geared toward ensuring the future of our 
nation's diversity and talent pool through outreach to underrepresented groups.  
 
Of significance to our members is the amendment submitted by 
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Sec. 124. Fulfilling the 
Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering. This amendment 
provides funding for workshops designed to minimize the effects of 
gender bias at federally funded institutions. Your AWIS Advocacy Team in 
Washington, D.C., including our new Public Policy Fellow, Alice Popejoy, 
has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that this 
amendment was included in the final version of the bill.   
 
The next step is to get COMPETES passed by the Senate. In the coming 
months, we will keep you up-to-date about our efforts on "the Hill"  and 
hope you will engage with us to ensure that gender equity is being 
addressed at the nation's highest level.  Keep a look out for future 
communications about our public policy and education initiatives.  
 
Janet Bandows Koster, M.B.A. 
Executive Director 
Association for Women in Science 
1442 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314 
Phone: 571.214.6523 
Fax: 571.312.5985 
Web: www.awis.org  
 
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4. National Security Strategy Highlights Importance of STEM Education 
From: Rick Fienberg [rick.fienbergaas.org]  
 
[See the full announcement at  
http://www.aip.org/fyi/2010/061.html -- eds.] 
 
Note the quote below: "We will invest more in STEM education so students 
can learn to think critically in science, math, engineering, and 
technology; improve the quality of math and science teaching so American 
students are no longer outperformed by those in other nations; and 
expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented 
groups, including women and girls." Ordinarily we might brush this off 
as mere political rhetoric, but it's part of the Obama Administration's 
National Security Strategy, which can't be brushed off! Hooray!   
 
From http://www.aip.org/fyi/2010/061.html : 
Last week the Obama Administration released a document outlining a 
broadly encompassing strategy for rebuilding the nation's strength 
and influence that looks beyond military might. In a cover letter 
accompanying the strategy, President Obama declares "Simply put, we 
must see American innovation as a foundation of American power."  
 
The 60-page "National Security Strategy" is divided into four 
sections: Overview of National Security Strategy, Strategic Approach, 
Advancing Our Interests, and Conclusion. The section entitled Advancing 
Our Interests includes a subsection "Prosperity" which states 
the following under the heading Strengthen Education and Human Capital:  
 
    "Invest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education 
    (STEM): America's long-term leadership depends on educating and 
    producing future scientists and innovators. We will invest more in 
    STEM education so students can learn to think critically in science, 
    math, engineering, and technology; improve the quality of math and 
    science teaching so American students are no longer outperformed by 
    those in other nations; and expand STEM education and career 
    opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and 
    girls. We will work with partners - from the private-sector and 
    nonprofit organizations to universities - to promote education and 
    careers in science and technology."  
 
-- 
 
Dr. Richard Tresch Fienberg 
Press Officer / Education & Outreach Coordinator 
American Astronomical Society 
 
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5. Winner announced: Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Memorial Award 
From: WIPHYS, June 4, 2010 
 
Rhiannon Meharchand is this year's winner of the Luise 
Meyer-Schutzmeister Memorial Award. Meharchand earned her undergraduate 
degree from Florida State University and is doing her doctoral work in 
nuclear physics at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory.  
 
The Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister Memorial Award was established by the 
Association for Women in Science Educational Foundation with donations 
made in memory of nuclear physicist Luise Meyer-Schutzmeister, Senior 
Physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory.  The $1,000 award is 
presented annually to an outstanding woman graduate student in physics. 
For a list of other sources of financial assistance see the Association 
for Women in Science web page on Non-AWIS Resources, at the address 
http://www.awis.affiniscape.com/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=66.  
For general information on AWIS go to www.awis.org .  
 
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6. Head, Dept. of Physics And Astronomy, Texas A&M University 
From: WIPHYS, June 2, 2010 
 
[Note the last sentence of this ad. Does your organization have a formal 
policy on dual career couple hiring? If so, let us know. We are thinking 
of compiling a list to put on the CSWA website -- eds.] 
 
An international search is underway to identify outstanding candidates 
for Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M 
University.  Texas A&M, one of the two flagship research universities in 
Texas, is among the largest universities in the United States. The 
Department of Physics and Astronomy recently underwent tremendous growth 
in research faculty and moved into two beautiful new buildings.  
 
The Department has research programs in astronomy, atomic physics, 
condensed matter physics, high energy physics, nuclear physics, and 
quantum optics. The Department collaborates with the Cyclotron 
Institute, the Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, the 
Munnerlyn Astronomical Laboratory, and the Mitchell Institute for 
Fundamental Physics and Astronomy. Candidates with drive, vision, and 
effective management skills are sought to lead this diverse 
department. The new head need not fit into one of the existing research 
areas but must have the broad background to lead the entire department.  
 
Applicants should send a CV and a statement of research accomplishments 
and administrative philosophy via e-mail to headsearchphysics.tamu.edu 
(.pdf, .doc, or .docx). Application review will begin on 1 Sept. and 
continue until position is filled.  
 
Texas A&M University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action 
employer.  The university is dedicated to the goal of a culturally 
diverse, pluralistic faculty and staff and encourages applications from 
women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans. The 
university is particularly responsive to the needs of dual-career 
couples.  
 
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8.  Access to Past Issues of AASWOMEN 
 
Past issues of AASWOMEN are available at 
 
http://www.aas.org/cswa/AASWOMEN.html 
 
Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered. 
 
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