Wednesday, April 28, 2010


When I graduate with my PhD I will have taken zero graduate-level courses from women (out of 11 or 12 total courses). I have had a few women in advisory roles, but my thesis committee will also probably not have any women on it. Sometimes I feel like I have an obligation to be a professor, to show young women that it’s possible and help them envision themselves as engineers. But other times I just wonder if the fact that I haven’t personally witnessed it being possible is a warning sign. I have to remember that something being difficult is NOT a good reason to want to do it.

I've heard rumors there are even fewer women in industry, and I don't personally know any with graduate-level technical training. At least on the academic side there are some good female science/engineering prof bloggers writing about their experiences. I haven't found too many bloggers who are women working in industry, or really, women with graduate level training in a STEM field that are working outside of academia. Anyone have any recommendations?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Your advisor is always watching you

Or at least, my advisor is always watching me.  There is an upcoming event on campus and a photo of my advisor features prominently in the promotional posters.  Promotional posters that are approximately every 10 steps along every hallway in my building.  It's no ordinary photo either.  He looks like a convincingly mad scientist who is staring directly into your soul, deciding whether or not you are a worthy next "test subject."  It's impossible to ignore this photo.  The best part?  This poster is also inside every stall in every bathroom in the building!  Just when I think I'm going to take a break and go to the ladies room: Bam!

This event can't happen soon enough.