AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Issue of July 19, 2013
eds. Michele M. Montgomery, Daryl Haggard, Nick Murphy, & Nicolle Zellner
This week's issues:

1. Welcoming new and guest editors: Nicolle Zellner & Elysse Voyer

2. Grad School Blues

3. Advice: Negotiating for a Tenure-Track Position

4. AAS DPS Dependent Grants

5. Women: The Programmers of Tomorrow

6. Why don't we appreciate smart women?

7. Job Opportunities

8. How to Submit to the AASWomen Newsletter

9. How to Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the AASWomen Newsletter

10. Access to Past Issues of the AASWomen Newsletter

1. Welcoming new and guest editors: Nicolle Zellner & Elysse Voyer
From: AASWomen Editors [aaswomen_at_aas.org]

The AASWomen Editors welcome Nicolle Zellner to our editorial ranks.
Nicolle is an Associate Professor of Physics at Albion College, where she
teaches general astronomy and upper-level physics courses. Her research
interests focus on understanding the impact history in the Earth-Moon system,
the extraterrestrial delivery of biomolecules, and how impacts affect the
conditions for life on Earth. Nicolle actively engages in professional and
public outreach activities, including invited talks and observing sessions.

We also welcome Elysse Voyer as our new guest editor.  Elysse is a postdoc at
the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille.  She studies the evolution of
star-forming galaxies, with particular emphasis on intermediate redshifts.
Elysse edited for our June 14, 2013 newsletter and will be sharing her talents
again in the coming months.

We all look forward to working with Nicolle and Elysse.

2. Grad School Blues
From: Jessica Kirkpatrick via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

A few years back UC Berkeley did a study of the mental health of graduate
students.  The results were quite astounding.

The study found that 67% of graduate students said they had felt hopeless at
least once in the last year; 54% felt so depressed they had a hard time
functioning; and nearly 10% said they had considered suicide.  Female
respondents were more likely to report feeling hopeless, exhausted, sad,
depressed, or suicidal. By comparison, an estimated 9.5% of American adults
suffer from depressive disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental

To read more, please see


3. Advice: Negotiating for a Tenure-Track Position
From: Alison Coil via womeninastronomy.blogspot.com

A great thing to do is ask people at other institutions who have recently
started their faculty jobs what they asked for and what they got. It's good to
know what the range is, and there can be a significant difference in what is
offered from place to place. You'll be at a disadvantage if you don't know what
is reasonable. You can also ask recent hires at your own institution. Everyone
who I asked gave me information; no one was offended, they all wanted to help.
So the first thing to do is gather information on what other people are getting!

Things that people routinely ask/negotiate for now:
- Salary - Always ask for 10% more than what they offer. Your starting salary
often affects your long-term salary, so best to keep it high in the beginning if
- Summer salary - Ask for 4 months of summer salary
- Lab space - Ask for what you'll need in 5 years, not the first year
- Office space - Ask to be near the center of action, near faculty with similar
scientific interests
- Teaching relief - Always ask for at least one class less than normal the first
year. Some people ask for an additional one class of relief to be taken sometime
in the first N years - this is especially useful if one is going to be extremely
busy one semester setting up a new lab or conducting a major new survey or if
you have a child!

To read more, please see


4. AAS DPS Dependent Grants
From: Karly Pitman [pitman_at_psi.edu]

The AAS Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) Professional Development
Subcommittee is pleased to open this year's application cycle for the DPS
Dependent Care Grant program.  

Up to $250 per applicant is available for DPS members to subsidize child, elder,
or disabled dependent care during the DPS conference week (6-11 October 2013).
Funds may be used either at the DPS meeting location or at home.  Preference
will be given to those presenting and those with the greatest financial need.  

To apply, please fill out the online form by Sep. 2, 2013 at 


This program is sponsored by the new AAS DPS Susan Niebur Professional
Development Fund.  We thank Curt Niebur, the DPS Committee, DPS Professional
Development Subcommittee, and AAS for their work in making this possible.  For
more information on Susan, the fund, and how to donate, see 


Editors' note: The DPS Professional Development Fund and Dependent Care Grants
are also discussed in recent Women in Planetary Science and Women in Astronomy
blog posts:



5. Women: The Programmers of Tomorrow
From: Caroline Simpson [simpsonc_at_galaxy.fiu.edu]

Programming isn't a gender based profession, so why aren't many females getting
involved in this field?  This video from students at Miami Springs High School
encourages girls to take a computer programming class by showing them that it is
about problem solving and being creative; a whole new world waiting to be

This video is available online at


6. Why don't we appreciate smart women?
From: Matthew Greenhouse [matthew.a.greenhouse_at_nasa.gov]

Four out of the eight people joining this year's class of NASA astronauts are
highly skilled women who won out over 6300 other applicants.  In this blog post,
Natalia Hawk argues that the accomplishments of these women should be celebrated
because our society does not spend nearly enough time celebrating or
appreciating smart women.

To read more, please see


7. Job Opportunities

For those interested in increasing excellence and diversity in their
organizations, a list of resources and advice is here:


** Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor of Astronomy, Amherst College's Department of Physics:

** A variety of openings are available at AURA:

8.  How to Submit to the AASWOMEN newsletter

To submit an item to the AASWOMEN newsletter, including replies to topics, send
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All material will be posted unless you tell us otherwise, including your email

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10. Access to Past Issues


Each annual summary includes an index of topics covered.