Women in Materials Science and Engineering Task Force

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Earth and Mineral Sciences, College of
Date Started: 
May 2007
Evaluate the environment within the department as it pertains to women employees, students and faculty.
Desired Results: 

The establishment of an Ombudsperson. The task force also made recommendations to establish and publicize a departmental statement emphasizing that the Materials Dept. embraces gender, racial and cultural diversity in our community.

Recommended that a more thorough graduate orientation be offered for incoming students, and a peer mentoring program for graduate students be developed.

Lastly, recommended that better mechanisms for graduate student communication be reviewed.

Results from Elizabeth Dickey 7/14/09:

We implemented the following changes in response to the task force recommendations:

1. Created an ombudsman position in the department. http://www.matse.psu.edu/ombud/ombudsperson.html

2. Created a graduate student directory: http://www.matse.psu.edu/people/grads.html

3. Developed a more thorough graduate orientation that addresses diversity and sexual harassment and provides social functions to promote interactions among students and faculty.

4. Developed a peer mentoring program for new graduate students

5. Added a section in the department’s Graduate Handbook on Code of Conduct/Climate Issues

6. The exit surveys for both undergraduate and graduate students are currently being evaluated to ensure that we have a continuous mechanism for getting feedback from our graduates on diversity and climate issues.

Contact Person: 
Kathy Spicer
  • Elizabeth Dickey, Leader
  • Long Chen, Member
  • Theresa Foley, Member
  • Chris Muhlstein, Member
  • Hyeran Noh, Member
  • Jennifer Ray-Sloppy, Member
  • Kathy Spicer, Member
  • Susan Trolier-McKinstry, Member