29 April, 2014

Queer in STEM mini-symposium Monday, 19 May at CalState Los Angeles

Thanks to a generous intramural grant from California State University Los Angeles, Jeremy will be traveling to LA in a few weeks so we can plan the next steps of the Queer in STEM study in person. And, while we're all in one place, we'd love to meet with local friends of the project. So:

You are invited to a discussion about issues of workplace and educational climate for LGBTQ individuals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to be held on the Cal State L.A. Campus on May 19, 2014. We will meet for lunch from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Alhambra Room (305) of the CSULA Student Union to engage in a critical conversation about the state of research on these topics in STEM fields, and to brainstorm ways to move efforts forward to make campus spaces and workplaces more inclusive.

Following lunch, there will be a public research presentation open to students, faculty and staff, from 3:00-4:00 p.m., also in the Alhambra Room (here's the flyer for that presentation).

The long-term goal of this project is to work together to improve the experiences of students, faculty, staff, and industry professionals. This event is coordinated by Allison Mattheis (CSULA faculty in the Charter College of Education) and Jeremy Yoder (Postdoctoral Researcher in Plant Biology, University of Minnesota), collaborators on the Queer in STEM research project.

Lunch and parking will be paid for through a CSULA Office of Research Development faculty grant. If you can join us for lunch on May 19, please RSVP here.

If you are unable to join us but would like to be involved in future conversations please email Allison.

23 April, 2014

Two great stories about coming out in academic settings

We've recently seen a couple of lovely stories from researchers who chose to come out at their academic workplaces. The first is from Z.L. "Kai" Burington, an arthropod taxonomist, who describes her experience coming out as trans* on her personal blog:

When I made my gender identity public to the department in early March, my anxiety was decreasing. Graduate students and faculty, with few exceptions, had positive reactions. Many knew or knew of Joan Roughgarden, an evolutionary biologist who transitioned in the late nineties. Some had personal experiences with trans or other queer people. I found friendships had actually strengthened due to my trust.

And the second is from sociologist Shawn Trivette, who describes his reasoning for coming out to students in an interview at Conditionally Accepted:

While personal experience is never the final authority in a field like sociology, it can be a useful illustrative tool, especially in helping students to grasp the real-world experience of sometimes abstract concepts and trends. Since I further theme my Intro class around race, class, gender, and sexuality – and ask my students to articulate their own identities along these lines – it seemed only fair to share equally.

07 April, 2014

More on the importance of LGBTQ visibility

We've previously posted David K. Smith's discussion about the importance of LGBTQ visibility in STEM workplaces, particularly academia—he's recently expanded that discussion in a column for Chemistry World, and a Flagship Lecture at the University of Liverpool. And, fortunately, there's video of that lecture. Some preliminary results from Queer in STEM make an appearance—it's great to see folks making use of the data already: