WGSS is proud to once again co-sponsor LGBTQ History Month here at Fairfield University! In honor of National Coming Out Day on October 10, Fairfield University will be celebrating LGBTQ History Month this October with a wide-reaching and engaging series of events that focus on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community. In a long-standing partnership between Academic and Student Affairs, the programs intend to bring together all members of our community to reflect on the history, culture, and future of the LGBTQ community.
Please check out the attached document for a full list of events. Poster 2013
Where Science is Cool: Fairfield University BASE (Broadening Access to Science Education) Camp Program
Twenty-three high school girls dove into research this summer at a unique camp exploring an array of issues, from how oceans move to leukemia cell growth to troublesome marine ‘invasions’ in the Long Island Sound.
It all took place at Fairfield University’s BASE Camp, a two-week, residential camp designed to engage young women in hands-on, research-based experiences in the natural sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Now in its sixth year, BASE (Broadening Access to Science Education) Camp is a program free to students from Bridgeport, Connecticut, schools.
Amanda Harper-Leatherman, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and camp director, said the overall goal is to excite and inform female students about the promise of science. “The program specifically targets young women, based on the overall disproportional under representation of women in science, math, and engineering careers in general,” Dr. Harper-Leatherman continued. “It’s part of an effort to increase interest in the pursuit of STEM and health careers after college.”
The camp also speaks to Fairfield University’s growing institutional commitment to promoting women in science. Serving as female scientist role models were faculty and undergraduates from Fairfield’s College of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering.
Shelley A. Phelan, Ph.D., professor of biology and the Elizabeth DeCamp McInerney Chair of Health Sciences at Fairfield, started the program “because students from underfunded, inner city schools are at a major disadvantage in pursuing careers in science, given their often-limited science resources in high school, and the level of experience and aptitude typically required of science majors in the very first year of college. By the end of the first college years, many interested students leave the major – not because they can’t do it, but because they were behind right from the start.”
The camp, including meals and lodging, comes at no cost to students, thanks to a grant Dr. Phelan received from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparity Populations, part of the National Institutes of Health.
This year was the first that engineering was taught.
“Some campers had never heard of engineering,” said Shanon Reckinger, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering. As the Clare Boothe Luce Professor at Fairfield, Dr. Reckinger researches ocean modeling, one way to understand why climate is changing. Three of the students were studying her work this summer. Undergraduates Katherine Pitz and Blanca Aca assisted.
“Do you guys want to talk about gravity waves, and the sun and the moon at all?” inquired Pitz, a mechanical engineering major.
The answer was a unanimous yes.
For Bianca Colon-Hernandez, learning about engineering seemed a logical move because she’s curious about architectural design. And then there’s the fun part of meeting other kids with the same interests. “I don’t talk about science much at my high school with other girls,” noted the soon-to-be junior at Bullard-Havens Technical High School. “But here I’ve been talking about it with everyone.”
For Veona Lanham, 15, getting to know Dr. Reckinger and the BASE Camp experience has made her realize that she would like to major in mechanical engineering. “I want to come here,” said the Bullard-Havens student.
Several said that living in a campus residence hall made them look forward to going away to college. “I’m kind of getting the green light to go to college,” said Shante Miller, a soon-to-be senior at Bassick High School who hopes to become a medical examiner.
Dr. Reckinger observed, “They really like explaining what they’ve learned to other campers.”
This was music to Dr. Harper-Leatherman’s ears. “Engineering definitely does have fewer female than male undergraduate students nationwide, so it is important to encourage high school girls into this field,” she explained.
To Dr. Phelan, a molecular cell biologist who has been awarded grants to study peroxiredoxins in breast cancer, BASE Camp is an essential annual event. Her hope is that it will inspire other young women “to pursue science and health career paths that will address public health issues.”
“We have seen so many bright young women motivated by the program, and many already declared science majors in universities – including our own,” she said. “We hope we can continue to inspire young women from our neighboring Bridgeport community for years to come.”
Come check out “An Evening with America Ferrera” on Monday, October 7 at 8:00PM at the Quick Center. In addition to acting, she is an advocate for women and children worldwide.
America Ferrera’s acting career met with early and award-winning success with the films The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Lords of Dogtown, and her lead role in the highly popular ABC series Ugly Betty to her credit.In addition to her work as an actress, her attention has turned to a number of important, international causes, including Save the Children and the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Co-sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs.
For an interesting look at the job market, check out this article (with pictures) from the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/09/16/mens-jobs-need-women_n_3817409.html
According to construction charity, Be On Site, women currently represent only 11% of the construction workforce in the UK, with just 2% of those in manual work. Similarly, less than 9% of engineers in the UK are women and a disappointing 15.5% of the total STEM workforce (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is female.
The argument that women simply have no desire to break into traditionally male-dominated industries — and therefore it’s their lack of interest that perpetuates the gender disparity — is a flimsy one.
Certainly the roles that have long been regarded as ‘men’s’ jobs can seem prohibitive to a woman. But it is not because they pose a risk to manicured nails. As a female, entering into a world that has a longstanding reputation for misogyny and gender inequality takes guts, determination and tenacity (but not balls, thank you).
If you think this sounds a little hysterical, type ‘female construction worker’ into Google images. There’s certainly no shortage of women in hard hats and tool belts but those high-visibility corsets and micro-bikinis must surely be contravening health and safety regulations.
With such Jurassic attitudes evidently still at work, it is encouraging that this absence of women in great swathes of the country’s top industries is a hot topic for the Government Equalities Office.
Earlier this month Women and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson met with industry experts from the academic and business sector to mark the start of a new focus on getting more women and girls to choose STEM subjects and careers.
Lady Geek, a campaigning agency aimed at making technology more accessible to women, the Women’s Engineering Society and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network were just three of the organisations that joined the discussion around what more can be done to speed up action and encourage more girls and women to take up STEM.
But this discussion is just a small part of the wider campaign that has been gathering momentum, not just within STEM fields, but in many of the most heavily male-skewed industries in the UK.
“Women as Celebrants and Interpreters of Catholic Liturgy: From Sacrosanctum Concilium to Cyberspace.”
On Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7:30 p.m., prominent theologian Teresa Berger will deliver Fairfield University’s 13th annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture on Women in the Church – a free and public event held in memory of a Norwalk, Connecticut woman who was a lay minister in area Catholic parishes.
Dr. Berger, professor of Liturgical Studies at Yale Divinity School, will give a talk entitled – “Women as Celebrants and Interpreters of Catholic Liturgy: From Sacrosanctum Concilium to Cyberspace.” Taking place at the Quick Center for the Arts, the event is co-sponsored by the O’Callaghan Family, Fairfield University’s Department of Religious Studies and the Center for Catholic Studies.
“This presentation will map the many ways in which both women’s lives and Catholic liturgy have changed significantly over the last fifty years,” said Dr. Berger, whose most recent book is “Gender Differences and the Making of Liturgical History” (Ashgate: Liturgy, Worship and Society, 2011). “It will highlight vibrant gains in these changes as well as some quite remarkable losses. Throughout, we will attend to the immense diversity of women’s voices as they have emerged and made themselves heard with regard to Catholic liturgy.”
Calling all students! The Ella T. Grasso Leadership in Action grant funds young women enrolled full-time in CT colleges & universities who make a difference in their communities. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply – the application is due October 1, 2013. Please read below for more information directly from the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame website. For more information, please visit http://www.cwhf.org/educational-resources/ella-grasso-leadership-grant .
Ella T. Grasso Leadership in Action Grant Program
In 2011, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame launched the Ella T. Grasso Leadership in Action Grant Program, designed to honor the late Governor Ella Tambussi Grasso and her lifetime of public service and civic engagement. Believing that there is no better way to learn leadership skills than by developing and implementing a project plan and also that young people have the potential to find creative new ways to address community issues and problems, we strive to encourage and applaud their ingenuity. Our goal is to provide opportunities for college students to have real-world leadership-in-training experiences that foster real social change. Grant recipients will design and implement a community action project from start to finish. A faculty advisor/sponsor’s involvement is required, but it is the student who will develop the specifics of the project, outline goals and objectives for its outcomes, put together a plan for its implementation, create budgets and timelines, follow through with the project’s implementation, and report on successes, failures, and the true impact of the project on the community.
Grant(s) will be awarded each fall to young women enrolled at Connecticut colleges or universities to fund or partially fund community action or public service projects. The project must be completed within one year following the grant award. Deadline for submission of applications: October 1.
Young women entering their junior or senior year at a Connecticut college or university are eligible to apply. Second-year students enrolled at two-year community colleges are also eligible. Students enrolled in a graduate program are also eligible to apply. Applicants intending to carry out a community action project in Connecticut during the grant period are eligible to apply for the grant. Applicants are eligible regardless of their primary area of study.
What kinds of projects are eligible?
Any community action, community service, or community outreach project is eligible for consideration. Possible examples include educational programs in the community or on the campus; programs affiliated with a community service/non-profit organization (e.g. women’s shelter, crisis pregnancy center, etc.); literacy projects; summer projects with elementary/middle/high school age students, etc.; public service projects raising awareness for political issues; field studies (for academic credit or otherwise) focusing on an issue affecting the community. Preference will be given to projects focusing on serving women or raising awareness of women’s issues.
Students can learn about all of the extra and co-curricular opportunities on campus. Over 80 clubs will be represented including those that focus on women, gender and sexuality.
The Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department is getting ready for a fantastic year here at Fairfield University! We welcome back our returning students and are excited to meet the new students on campus. WGSS is looking forward to many exciting events in the coming months.
As you get back into the swing of things, be sure to check out the “Welcome Week” events on campus. Feel free to drop by the WGSS Office (Donnarumma 115) to say hello.