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.

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