Women in Science and Engineering Luncheon – Spring 2018

Women in Science and Engineering Luncheon – Spring 2018


So good afternoon,
my name is Ellen Piccioli. I am co-chair of the Women in Science and
Engineering committee, WISE, along with Amy Winslow,
who couldn’t be here today. But her mom is here, where’s her mom? Laura? Morse?
Thank you. So we have representations, that’s good. It gives me and Amy, if she was here,
great pleasure to welcome all of you today to our spring edition of
the WISE speaker series. Looking around the room, I see a lot of
familiar faces, but a bunch of new faces. Who’s here for the first time? Awesome, all right. Welcome, we’re glad to have you here. That’s great, hopefully, we’ll see
lots more events, either like this or other events at the museum. So the Museum of Science, Women in
Science and Engineering, committee-wise, is actually kicking off its 21st year of
programming with the Museum of Science. Some of you.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Yeah. [LAUGH]
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Some of you may recall that in the fall, we actually had a 20th
anniversary panel celebration. It was fantastic and what this really means is occasions like
this have happened more than 40 times. Where we’ve been able to really pay
tribute and learn from fantastic STEM leaders and female colleague
STEM leaders in the field. So it’s really fantastic that here we are,
doing it again. So thank you again all for
being here today. Amy, myself and the WISE Committee are
really proud to partner with the museum to help really empower girls and
women in STEM. That’s really our mission. And there’s a lot of things that go on,
both in programming and behind the scenes with the fantastic staff and educators
here at the museum, to make that happen. The other thing we’ve noticed
is that these gatherings and the events that you’re gonna hear
more about have really grown in size, really and impact over the years. This is work that we’ve really
tried to lay the foundation of to, again, empower women to be strong
leaders and get engaged in STEM. One of those areas that I think you’re
gonna hear more about in a few minutes is the Museum of Science has done
a Women in Science and Engineering. Firsts, it was a girls weekend and
now, its really a month long event. And for the third year in a row that’s
going to happen this November, so that’s really fantastic. We hope that many people here
can volunteer,be engaged, participate either with your
colleagues,your friends,your family. So we’ll look forward to seeing you
at that and other events as well. So I think that’s it for me. For now,
I’d like to invite Amy Berkeley up. She is the director, Senior Director in
our advancement office to tell you all about all things Museum of Science. Thanks, Amy.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Thanks, Dawn.>>[APPLAUSE]>>I have to say that we are gonna talk a lot
about women and girls in STEM. But I would like to make note
of the men in the audience and give them a little round of applause.
>>[APPLAUSE]>>So thank you, Ellen. It is so wonderful, for
me to take the opportunity to celebrate the success of the museum’s
women and girls in STEM programming. My only regret is that, and that’s Sawyer,
who is our VP of education and enrichment and
partner with all things women and girls, isn’t here today to celebrate with us. While Annette is not physically here, please know that her spirit is lurking
everywhere, and she’s looking down at us. So for both Annette and myself, it’s been
absolutely amazing to see the impact the WISE committee has had on our
museums efforts to expand this programs. The WISE committee and their efforts to celebrate contribution
of women in science, technology, engineering and math has jump started
an incredible movement at the museum. By inviting female scientists, like our
guest today, to tell their stories. Stories of hard work, of success,
of failure, of accomplishments. The committee has personalized
the stories of struggle and satisfaction faced by many of
the women in our STEM industries. Introducing these stories into the culture
of the museum has helped galvanized all of these programs. The museum has increased its effort
to design programs that would be equally empowering to all,
regardless of gender. Externally, the WISE committee and
the reputation has brought more and more people to these luncheons. And more and more people into our
governance body which has just propelled the movement even further. Today, we are experiencing a moment
in time for women in STEM. There is so
much work still to be done, but so much of the work at the museum has been
done by many of the people in this room. So you’re gonna have to indulge me for a
moment, because when I look in this room, I see the faces of people who
have made this happen, and I would like to take
a moment to recognize that. So [COUGH] excuse me [COUGH] will
the women of the WISE committee pass [COUGH] sorry [COUGH] I’m
getting choked up, I’m getting. Will the WISE committee women
please stand up past and present.>>Thank you so much>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will, before you sit down, will the members of
the Board of Trustees and Overseers from the Museum
of Science also stand?>>[APPLAUSE]>>Will every person in this room, a museum educator, a museum staff that
designs these programs please stand. I know,you’re gonna-
>>[APPLAUSE]>>And every person here who has purchased a ticket to one of these luncheons,
or participated at our programs, I won’t make you stand,
I won’t make you stand. I did have a vision of everyone standing,
but you know, things don’t always work out. [LAUGH] But the point is that every
person in this room has contributed to the success we have today. And as Ellen was saying, we’re
looking forward to an amazing month of empowerment programs for
women and girls in STEM. We’re gonna start this off by a luncheon
next November at the Sonesta Hotel, it’s November 9,
please mark your calendars. Because we were outgoing
all of this space to bring women together to recognize
the accomplishments of our colleagues. We’ll continue that by pairing a month
long of activities, museum educators with people from our higher education
facilities, from our STEM industries, from civic sectors to work with school
groups and families throughout the month. Using our exhibit halls, our labs,
our engineering design challenges, we will demonstrate that there
are many ways to be a scientist. And scientists do not all look the same. Akamai Technologies,
is again, thank goodness, sponsoring our mentoring evening. Which brings 250y undergraduate and graduate STEMm females together
with a hundred STEM leaders. This is an evening that is so empowering,
it matches people in conversation, it initiates life-long relationships, it shows our young women of these
industries that they have support systems. And I hope you all will look at your
volunteer sign up sheet [LAUGH] in your program, because our doors
are open for people to help us with this. And lastly, we will continue to grow
the endowment that was started by people in this room and
elsewhere for our WISE programs. Our launch last year and
some other events brought in $150,000 for our endowed program to help women and
girls in STEM. This will bring that endowmengt to
close to half a million dollars. Not that I keep track f these things but
it’s actually $477,000 [LAUGH] [LAUGH] And on behalf of the museum, on behalf of
Anette, on behalf of the Wise Committee, on behalf of our Board of Trustees, we would like to thank you for all the
help that you give us in this endeavor. So thank you, that’s it. [APPLAUSE]
>>Thanks, Amy, thanks. We are a group of lifelong STEM learners
for sure, in this room, this is awesome. So why don’t you go ahead and
enjoy your lunch? I’ll be back up around 12:30 or so, and we’ll kick off the rest of the program,
thank you. Great, so everybody,
I hope you’ve enjoyed your lunch. It was delicious. And keep eating if you’re not done yet. One small housekeeping note
before I introduce Julie, at the end of this,
we’re gonna have Q and A. You guys always come up
with fantastic questions. This time, what we’re gonna do is have,
the museum staff is gonna, raise your hand and
they’re gonna come over with the speaker, so that everybody can hear
the question and Julie will answer it. So that’s how we’re gonna do that later,
just fyi. Yes, you can do it. All right, so let me introduce truly. Our speaker today is Dr. Julie Chen. The vice chancellor for
research and innovation and a professor of mechanical engineering
at the University of Massachusetts Law where she started as
a faculty member in 1997. As chief innovation officer UMass Law, Dr.
Chen oversees industry partnerships, technology transfer, startups in
innovation, core research facilities, and economic development programs. She is also one of the founding
co-directors of the UMass Law, sorry, Julie, Nanomanufacturing Center,
and was the co-director of the Advanced Composite Materials and
Textile Research Laboratory. Dr. Chen is actively involved in
the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE program to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic
science and engineering careers. She is currently a co-principal
investigator on an institutional transformation grant to help advance
women faculty in STEM at UMass law. Dr. Chen received a bachelors, masters and doctorate all in
mechanical engineering from MIT. So before I invite Julie up here,
I wanted to just share a little personal background [LAUGH] yeah.
>>[LAUGH]>>We’re both gonna be embarrassed. [LAUGH] So I’ve actually known Julie for
many years. When her name first came up in our
committee, my ears sort of perked up and I was like, wait a minute,
I know Julie Chen. I’ve known Julie Chen for many years. We played in a pick up field hockey and
a lot of club field hockey teams for many years together. And it was really fun and exciting to think about engaging with
Julie in such a professional STEM way. And I’m really excited to have such
a great STEM leader here today. Is it up there?
>>[LAUGH]>>So hold on now. The title of Julie’s truck has the word
teamwork in it, so I couldn’t help but digging up some old pictures. So see if you can find Julie and
I in there, so Jason, go ahead. I’m gonna give you a hint, there we are.
>>[LAUGH]>>[LAUGH] All right, I’ve got one more, one more here we go. All right, can you find us? All right, Jason, go for it. There we are, all right. No, seriously, it really gives me
great pleasure and honor to invite Dr. Chen up here. Can you all help me welcoming Dr. Julie Chen.
>>So it’s a great pleasure to be here. Actually, it’s a great honor to
be here at the Museum of Science. I think, many of you, I have fond memories of when I was a kid
going to the local Museum of Science. I grew up near Rochester, New York, and
so we had a small one in Rochester. But twice a year,
we would make that two and a half, three hour drive up to Toronto. And I could spend days at
the Museum of Science. So the work that the Museum of Science
does, I think, is so important for bringing up the next generation, right? Which is what we all care about. To making sure that next
generation sees the beauty and the impact of science and engineering. So let me talk a little bit, as you
all know from the title of my talk and Ellen’s introduction, there’ll be some
themes here related to sport, but really, a theme is related to teamwork,
because if you remember nothing after the wine,
depending on how much wine you’ve had. [LAUGH] I believe that it is important for us to change the narrative about STEM. And I’ll show a picture in a little bit. But the change scenario in terms
of understanding what STEM can be, what it should be, and in a way that it
is appealing to a broad range of people. So not just one narrow definition of STEM,
but a much more exciting broad societal impact image of STEM that will hopefully
encourage all of those to participate. So let me start with just
one interesting graphic. How many people here were
affected by Title Nine? So a decent number, right? 1972, Title Nine came into play. It was actually started as
an educational act, which said that you couldn’t basically limit people based on
gender and a bunch of other things, right? It got used more,
in terms of making possible that women and girls could participate in sports. That there were equals number of teams for
women and men to participate at the high
school level, at the college level. And you can see from this graph on
the left is the participation of women. On the right is the blue,
is the participation of men and from 72 to 2011, overall, the participation went for
girls from less than 4% to 40%, all right?
>>Because of Title Nine. And Title Nine was not just for sports,
but that’s how it got implemented.>>[COUGH]>>Over that same period of time, what happened in women
in STEM occupations. Well, we did well in social sciences, and I think it’s interesting that they lumped
life and physical sciences together. Because I bet if you separated those out,
they would look a little different. But we did well on that, right? Computer science started
on an upward trajectory and it’s actually went down from the 1990. And in engineering, we went up to 12%. You know, people are going, yeah. I remember, right? In 1990, I was in grad school, and
the big news, I was at MIT, was MIT brought in its class of freshmen and
it was 1/3 women, all right? So everybody at the time said, wanted
when we’re on our way to 50/50, right? 2011, how did we do? We inched up 1%, right? I think this is, it’s a concern, right? Why have we not, with the hundreds,
I’ll bet everyone in this room is involved with multiple programs related to
women in science and engineering. Yet we haven’t been able to move that
needle beyond maturing about 1%, 2%. We’re at 17, 18% total. We should be at 50/50,
there’s no reason we’re not at 50/50. And there’s been a lot of
studies to look at why we haven’t been able to significantly
move this needle for engineering, and physical sciences, and computer sciences. One I’ll mentioned, why so few? It’s a study that was done by the AAUW,
American Association for University Women. And there were a lot of
things in that study, but one thing that stuck with me is this sort of
idea of persistence, right, persistence. We do a good job at the younger levels,
I mean in terms of girls being involved in these programs, but
as we keep going up to older and older and more experience, we lose women at every
level, right, because of this persistence. And part of the problem is that perception
takes a long time to change, all right. Everybody in this room knows somebody
that is a woman in the STEM, but broadly, societally,
perception takes a long time to change. And so if you ask, there’s still
a lot of people when you say, and the computer science folks have an even
challenging time, right, cuz they think of the computer scientist as this lone hacker
in a dark room with soda cans and candy wrappers and things like that, right?
>>[LAUGH]>>That may appeal to a few people, but it’s certainly not a broad, it’s not
gonna appeal to a broad group of people. And then there’s the other comment
that people say, math is hard, right? Engineering is hard, right? I don’t know about you, but medicine
seems pretty hard to me too, right? [LAUGH] Law is not a walk in the park. We’re at 50% for those fields, right? It’s hard. You know what’s hard? Double sessions on the turf in August,
right?>>[LAUGH]>>That has not prevented women, there’s a lot of things that
women do that are hard, that has not prevented women
from doing a lot of things. And so we have take it step back and say, what do we need to do to change this,
to change this narrative? And one of the things I will hypothesise
or support is this idea again, as I said in the beginning, we need to change
the narrative about what STEM means. That it’s not a lone researcher
completely utterly focused on one thing, right, and not interacting with
anybody else and maybe 100 years after they die, right, someone will
recognize that they’ve done a great thing. That does happen, right,
and that is important. I’m not to say that that is not science,
but it’s not the only definition of STEM. We need to broaden our definition of STEM. And I believe that if we talk
more about team science, it’s the way that we can involve
more people in STEM fields. And by team science, what do I mean? I’m talking about those big,
societal problems, right? How do we put things up in space? How do we understand how the brain works? It’s not one really amazing neuroscientist
that’s gonna solve all the problems. You need, yeah.
>>Me, right here.
>>You’re important.
>>[LAUGH]>>We need the neuroscience, right, but you probably will also need
the physicist to do the imaging. You need the materials person
to understand how to create a different type of contrast agent. You need a psychology expert to
understand how those biological things affect how people behave, right? To solve these big problems, you really need to have that multi
interdisciplinary interaction. Climate change, yes,
we need to understand chemistry. We need to understand our environment. Well you better have someone that knows
policy because we’re not going to move anything for it if we don’t understand
policy, government, right, those aspects. So, the big problems,
the big societal problems, having an impact means that we
have to talk about team science. And the good news is that yes, I mean
that’s at least for the national science foundation right, they understand
that those are benefits to this. And if you look at their funding over the
past six years or so, the top two curves with the triangles, those are the number
of awards that they’ve given to single PI, which is in blue,
green is multiple PI projects. PI being principal investigators. So, multiple people projects in green,
single investigative projects in blue. And you can see that over the years, they’re funding more
multiple investigator teams. The bottom two lines
represent the dollar amounts. Right, so as you’d expect with the bigger
teams they have to fund larger dollar amounts, and that’s increasing. So I think there’s a recognition
that while everything doesn’t have to be a team project,
we need to have a good proportion of team projects to solve these big problems and
to encourage more people to be involved. So I give one example,
I’ll give a couple example, but let me start with one example of a team
project and Ellen mentioned this. We have recently received what’s called a National Science Foundation Advance
Institutional Transformation Grant, $3.5 million to look at the environment
at our university and figure out what can we change in order to help
women faculty in STEM be more successful. So I’ll talk about that a little
bit later in my talk, but one thing that I learned in
particular from this project, cuz this was one of the first projects I
was involved with where there was a lot of interaction with our
social science faculty. And one thing that I learned a lot, because I had mostly interacted
with other science and engineering faculty before this, is that
there’s a very different language, right. First thing you have to sort of do
is make sure when you say that, you mean this, right. And there’s a different style of thinking. And I will first of all apologize to
anybody in the room who is a social scientist, cuz this is the engineer’s
view of what they’ve told me. One of the things that I learned, right, I
am an experimentalist, which means when I do an experiment, right, you get
hundreds of data points, you plot mean, standard deviation, right, and so
you said it’s linear, it’s exponential. I talked to some of my social science
colleagues who do qualitative research, right, and they say yeah, we talked to
10 people, we coded what they said. And so I was like, how can you base any
conclusion on talking to 10 people, right?
>>[LAUGH]>>And what they said to me, they explained in simple language,
cuz obviously it’s not expertise. They said, the important thing is, yes, you can send out a survey to 1,000 people
and quantify and get all these numbers. But the qualitative research part of it tells you that you’re asking
the right questions, right? It does you no good if you have a thousand
responses to the wrong question. And so then, the lightbulb came on and
I was like, okay, now I get it. The qualitative part and the quantitative
part best works together so that you’re asking the right questions and then you can obviously make
conclusions based on a broader pool. So that was one thing that I learned from
the social science experts in the team. On the right side is something
that they learned from us. So we’re trying to thing about graphics
to talk about what we’re doing, right? And one of them found this graphic and
said, this is really cool, all these things working together. So the engineers in the group
looked at it and said, well, there’s a problem.
>>[LAUGH]>>What’s the problem?>>[LAUGH]>>Can you see that? [LAUGH]>>[LAUGH] It won’t turn.
>>Yeah, that’s locked. It won’t go any where, right? Those gears are completely locked. And the social scientist said,
okay, right? So it’s a simple example, but
it’s a great one of talking about how by working together we
teach each other, right? And we learn new things that we would
never have learned if we sat in our office by ourselves not
talking to anybody else. And so I think it’s important for us to keep encouraging this
type of science to happen. Not in isolation, but as a big part
of what we do in terms of science. So let me give an example of something
that I’m particularly excited about. Because it blends my own research along
with this idea of a big team working together to solve some
interesting problems. So how many people here
have been to Lowell? Wow, that’s a lot of people, that’s great. So Lowell, if you don’t know the history
of Lowell, textile industry, actually the home of the first
industrialized textile mill in the 1800s. What happened after that is they realized,
we’ve got all these people here, we probably should educate them and
help them get better. Started Lowell Textile Institute,
60 years later, there was a recognition that
the technology was changing. That we were going away from wool and
cotton, and needing to go into more
synthetic materials, polymers. And so they formed the first plastics
engineering department in the mid-50s. Technology, I think we all feel this,
right, it keeps changing in
a faster faster cycle. So 30 years later, composites,
Kevlar, carbon, glass, right? Lightweight composites using both polymers
and these other high-strength materials. And then some 20 years later,
right, nano, right? Really tiny things that you can’t see
unless you’ve got a really expensive microscope, right? So we were awarded one of
the National Science Foundation Centers, in high-rate nanomanufacturing. So that blended, sort of, a lot of
the work that was being done in fibers and materials. And then another sort of
lesson nine years later, we formed a partnership called Heroes
with the Natick Soldier Center. Looking at how we can adapt materials in
a way to protect our soldiers, right? Whether it’s flame resistance,
whether it’s biological, chemical, weather, we’re talking
earlier about mosquitoes, right? One of the problems they have is with
mosquito bites and you don’t wanna put a whole bunch of chemicals on
to prevent the mosquito bites. So can you change the clothing in a way to
prevent the mosquito bite from happening? So all of these things happen,
and most recently, we haven’t had the grand opening yet,
but we opened. We combined all these things into what’s
called the Fabric Discovery Center. And let me talk just a little bit
about that Fabric Discovery Center. Because you might say, fabrics, that doesn’t sound very broad or
very high tech, right? But really, the fabrics of today are amazing in terms of what we talk
about with problems that we’re facing. So one example is certainly
the blending of flexible electronics with these smart textiles. And we can talk about everything from conformal sensors that help your
driverless car, self-driving car. We can talk about medical sensors,
wearable sensors, that now, instead of wireless ones in particular. So that somebody in the hospital bed isn’t
connected up to 100 different wires. So every time they have to
go to the bathroom, right, everybody has to take everything off and
reconnect when they get back in the bed. Or, I know one of the situations
I have is, right, aging parents,
how long can they stay in the home? Hopefully it’ll be longer if we talk about
sensors that are a part of the everyday environment that can help us to understand
when there’s gonna be a problem. And then the other piece of that is
multifunctional adaptive clothing, so clothing that will change
depending on the environment. Depending on how hot,
how cold, how humid, right? Things that can adapt and move and so that they have many different
functions and features. So these things combine with the expertise we have in LPAT Lowell in
the polymer manufacturing. Which means I can take
a polymer material and I can make it any shape that you want,
a fiber, a film, a 3D shape. I can mix things into it to make
it conductive or non-conductive. I can mix things into it to make it
flammable or flame resistant, right? Lots of things that we can do to create
new materials and create new devices and structures. And the key to the Fabric Discovery Center
Is about taking this technology and making it part of the human environment,
right? We’ve all been well-trained, right,
we carry around our laptops, right? Now the kids carry around
much smaller laptops, right? But they’re still rigid and
bulky and heavy. And they have batteries that way a lot and
sometimes catch on fire, right, so->>[LAUGH]>>Right, what we wanna do is get to technology
that is blended with our environment. And the idea of having things that
are flexible and conformal and can be attached to things easily is
where we wanna see technology go. And that’s what
the Fabric Discovery Center is focused on. It’s on being able to print things,
3D print on to flexible structures. It’s about creating novel fibers
that have different shapes so that you can either 3D print
all kinds devices from them. Or you can use them for
medical textiles so that they’ll be more bacteria resistant. And so with the Fabric Discovery Center,
we’re very thankful, cuz the state provided us $10 million
to build it out and equip it. And it’s got everything from
a 3D knitting machine so you can knit a whole garment in one shot,
and you can integrate electronics into it. It has testing equipment, because it’s
wonderful if it works in the lab. But if it’s not gonna last four days out
in the field with a kid running around, rolling on the ground, right,
that’s not gonna be very useful. It’s got a robotics component,
because we want to understand sort of the biomechanics of
robots working with people. It’s got an assistive technology,
a human performance monitoring. Because we wanna understand if we’re
creating, let’s say a shirt for a marathon runner, especially this year,
right, when it’s freezing cold out, right? How is that gonna behave
as they’re actually moving? Cuz it does us no good to have clothing
where you have to move like this, right? It has a fashion maker space, because
it’s not only about technology that’s functional, but it’s about technology
that people will want to use. And it has a connection to our
existing medical device and technology incubator,
because the ideas have to get out, right? And it’s the startups, frankly,
and companies that come and wanna buy the startups,
that transfer these things more quickly. So let me show just one example
of how all this comes together. So this is what’s called a split belt
treadmill, and you can see it can not only go up and down, and both sides can
change speed, and they can tip and all that types of, all kinds of-
>>[LAUGH]>>Can you imagine walking on those after a couple glasses of wine?
>>[LAUGH]>>So yeah, so the first question we got is well, why do you need a treadmill for
a Fabric Discovery Center? The census are the ones that can help you
detect the motion in the biomechanics. Thanks, so you can use that same system
to test the performance clothing. You can use that same system
to talk about soft robotics. Now, its about assisted devices that
aren’t these big clunky things that you can’t move, right? It’s about the motion sensors,
and it’s about medical sensors. So these are all different ways that the
wearables and the medical textiles, and the clothing,
come together in this environment. And we also put our robots
on the treadmill too so.>>[LAUGH]>>And speaking of robots, right? Another piece of that again, you go robots what does that have
to do with Fabric Discovery Center? Well the robots have to,
this is Val and Val is the NASA robot. He was the one that was designed so that they could send it up
ahead of people to Mars. And Val, we think as Val as she, right? Is a robot that’s one of four,
and [INAUDIBLE], NorthEastern are jointly working with Val, try to understand how to best
control the manipulation, right? When you think about those fingers,
that’s not a big ridged block, right? That’s understanding how can
I have a glove that controls? How can I have a glove that also senses? Because in order to grab things,
we need to know how much pressure and what we’re feeling in return. So it’s that combination of soft and rigid that is exciting to us. And here’s one last thing about this,
right? This is a core team involved in
the Fabric Discovery Center. We’re very proud about this, right? This is a technology center effort. So I always give Adam a hard time, right? Cuz he’s the one white male in the group.
>>[LAUGH]>>[LAUGH]>>But to Adam’s credit, Adam’s degree is in art.
>>[LAUGH]>>And he is our robotics guy, all right? So he came with that creative sense,
that not-rigid view of the world, and has been an amazing part of the team. And so, that’s the quartz team,
there’s a whole bunch of other people. A dozen more people that
are involved in different projects. So concluding this part of
the Team Science, right? We need to move away from that vision of
the sole person sitting in the lab without any interaction to talk about team impact
and societal impact and moving together. So the third part of my talk here
is sort of, well is that enough?>>[LAUGH]>>Thank you, right? Not enough to just recruit people and
get excited. That’s the first part, right? We get excited like I want to. And then they get into the field,
and then they go right?>>[LAUGH]>>How many people walked into room and it’s like you and one, maybe if
you’re lucky, one other woman, right? And a dozen other guys, right? Okay, did I have my wheaties today? Right? So this is going back to Waves, is a big part of the focus of our Waves or
advanced grant. Which is talking about microaggressions. Because what we believe is it’s those,
you know, if someone goes up to you and says,
you don’t belong here, right? We’re strong enough that we can go,
that’s just an idiot, right? The tough thing is those little things,
those little mosquito bites, right? The person who comes up and says,
you don’t look like a Mechanical Engineer. You must be good in Math, right? And they’re surprised, right? It’s those little things,
where you say something, right? In a meeting and you feel like well,
did anybody hear me? I feel like nobody did, we talked,
I said that ten minutes ago, right?>>[LAUGH]>>It’s those little things that, because they’re little, you go,
am I being too sensitive, right? Maybe I’m just reading into it, right? And little by little, those little
mosquito bites, the next thing you know, you’ve got 100 welts on you,right? And it feeds that doubt. Maybe I don’t belong in this. Maybe there’s a better, easier path to go. And so, one of the things that
the Advanced Grant is focused on is, how do we address these microaggressions. These little, insidious things that
just sort of keep pecking at you. And one thing is, which I won’t talk much
about today is, obviously, that team, that support group, that mentoring group,
that sponsor group, right? The group that helps you,
would helps you a helping hand tells you, no you’re not being sensitive,
that was really not the right thing for that person to say, or
yes, I heard you, right? And It’s about sharing intelligence,
I love this one graphic right? Because there’s so
much data available today. But it’s not the little pieces
of data that’s important, it’s how they’re connected. It’s that intelligence that tells you
that from talking to people that says, yeah, you know, I know that thing
says that it’s this, but in reality that one’s already wired and you wanna
go in this other direction, right? The part that I wanna focus on mostly for
the advance grant is this effort that we’re developing what’s
called a bystander training. Because I think we’ve all been in that
case where you see something, and you’re like, and it’s like,
I should have said something. But that was like an hour later. It’s like, ugh,
I should have said something. And it’s hard to respond quickly. And so, the bystander training is
all about role playing, right? So, that you can identify and you’ll
know what to do in those situations. So, you recognize, it’s like, yeah,
my colleague just said something and then everybody ignored her, what can I do? And it’s about practicing that so
that when it happens, we get much better and much faster. And it’s not just women, right? It’s male allies, right? Knowing what to say, cuz there’s a lot
of men that have good intentions, but they’re in the same boat. What do I say? What do I do? I don’t wanna call it out and
make the person feel uncomfortable,right? The person who it was directed at. So, it’s about doing
that bystander training. So that, we all know that what that
person said was not appropriate, right? And that we help amplify the positive
things that are happening, the ideas that are being put on the table. So that we all feel like we’re
a part of what’s moving forward. So it’s addressing those different things, those subtle things, but
yet insidious things. And so I will close with just
a couple of exciting programs that welcome anybody who’s
interested to be involved with. There is something that is being set up,
called Sea Change, STEM Equity Achievement,
and it’s being hosted and championed by Shirley Malcom at AAAS. And this was an idea that some colleagues
of mine, Joyce Wong at BU and Paula Rayman at UMass Lowell, learned about a similar
program in the UK called Athena Swan. Anybody heard of Athena Swan? Its a program where instead of ranking,
right? So its not like in order to get to number
three you gotta push the person who is in that position out. But its about institutions like a lead
certification showing that there at a certain level of support for,
in this case, gender equity in STEM. And so,
you have to show that you have a plan, that you’ve made progress on the plan,
that you’re moving forward. In order to get bronze and
then to get silver and then to get gold. What’s the key? So like most of these programs
started off, they’ve been in place for about ten years. They got a huge bump up several years ago
because their equivalent of NIH said, you’re not getting any money unless your
institution is at least at a silver level. So, yeah, right? Suddenly, all the institutions that
weren’t at that level were like, best practices, best practices,
we’re are those best practices, right? Which is a little bit
of a forcing function. But hey, if that’s what it takes to get
these institutions to move forward, I’m all for it, right? Take advantage of the fact that every
president of university wants their university to be gold, right? So they’re gonna invest
some resources in it. And that’s the intention here, because
the NSF advance program is wonderful and it’s gonna make an impact. That 3.5 million is gonna
make an impact at UMSL but they cannot hand out 3.5 million to
every institution in the country. And so, this is a way to scale so that institutions who don’t get
3.5 million will also care. And the last piece,
I mentioned innovation in my title, I didn’t really get to talk so
much about the innovation side. But at UMSL we’re very excited,
because we have a medical device and a technology incubator. And these are two of our recent graduates,
Rajia Abdelaziz and Erin Keeney,
sorry Erin’s picture’s a little dark. Undergraduates came up with
ideas as undergraduates, have now formed companies that
have been very successful. invisaWear is a jewelry that is
either a bracelet or a necklace. You push the button if you
feel like you’re in danger. It automatically sends a message to
the five important contacts with very, very accurate GPS information. So it’s a way that everybody can
have 911 on their phone, but if you’re in a different situation, it’s
kind of hard to pull your phone out and push the button. But I can easily go like this,
right, if I feel in danger. So they did a, what is it? Quick start, one of those where you.
>>Kickstarter?>>Crowdfund.>>Yeah, right, and were very successful. And the second one, Erin Keeney, a group,
she’s a plastics engineering major. They recognized that in some
of these poor countries, the kids that need prosthetics,
they grow very quickly, right? So every year or two, they gotta buy
a new prosthetic, it’s not cheap. And so what they do is they
came up with a design for a prosthetic that you could
adapt as a child grows. And so you only needed to buy one in
five years instead of one every year. And so she was just one of three
United States representatives to international competition based
on the company that she and her colleagues founded, Nonspec. So innovation is part of this piece. It’s the discovery and the innovation. And I’ll leave with one comment,
Mass Life Sciences just started a new program called Mass Nexxt Gen,
anybody heard of it? I know. [LAUGH] What it is,
is it’s supporting women founders of start-ups in life sciences, right? Supporting not only with some money, but
more importantly with the mentorship of how do you succeed in getting
a start-up company out the door. If anyone is here from a company
that might have an interest, they are looking for companies to help. Because the companies are the ones
that help provide the money to these women founders. So it’s a very exciting program. So just to close, what I would
like to say is, I think we all, this, it’s a little [INAUDIBLE]
cuz everybody in this room cares about this issue, right?
>>[LAUGH]>>We all need to [INAUDIBLE] together, right? [INAUDIBLE] of the branding
marketing people to help us, right? How do we change the narrative? And how do we change the environment? So that the everyday environment that
the women who we manage to recruit also changes and becomes something
that we all wanna be part of. So with that, thank you very much and
I couldn’t resist, that’s a picture of a few of our civil engineering
since it’s commencement season, civil engineering grads from last year. So thank you, and
I’d be happy to answer any questions.>>[APPLAUSE]>>Yeah.>>My question is, you talked about the life
standard training. And I think actually something
happened with the meeting. And like once said, you did discover or
was it dealing with this discovery, new discover some.
>>Yeah.>>Lydia?>>Lydia, so [INAUDIBLE].>>[LAUGH] See it takes a team. [LAUGH]
>>Did a study on, looking at how girls are going
to engage in the discovery area. And one thing she found was that
a lot of it was actually the parents. A girl would go to Vermont and say,
mom, I had a question about this, or what does this mean? And the mom would say, go ask your dad.
>>[LAUGH]>>And similarly you mentioned bystanders are also men. So my question is, how do we get more
men to volunteer, to go after that, to go take your bystander training? So I think that’s part,
the lightbulb for me went off. We do all kinds of stuff in the clinic,
we do all sorts of stuff like this. But how do you get men into that
[INAUDIBLE] understanding, a lot of times they are the decision maker and we’re
a company or a university’s gonna invest. How do we get them more involved in sort
of becoming good bystanders, I think?>>Right, right, right, excellent question, because the reality
is we can’t do it with just women, it has to be the men that
are a big part of this. So it’s easier for
us at the university, right? So as we’re running this
bystander training, we can encourage with the support
of the deans and the chairs for all the faculty in that
department to participate, right? And it is interesting because we have even
in the small pilots that we’ve done, we’ve had some of the male faculty who are the
ones that say, is this really a problem? I thought we had this solved, right?
>>[LAUGH]>>And these are science and engineering, right? So, what they found is, a,
you gotta show them the data, right? It’s not just anecdotal, that’s not
enough, show them the data, right? And the role playing helps because
suddenly when you do those, cuz the examples they role play are ones
that they solicit from people, so these are real examples. I was in this thing in a meeting with
three people, it was me and two other guys and the visitors kept directing all
the questions to the two guys, right? And by seeing those real examples
that they suddenly recognize, then the lightbulb starts to go off. And then they go, okay,
I see it now, right? Suddenly I see it. And they are willing to say,
now next up is, what do I do, right? I see it, now what do I do? And that’s what the role
playing is all about. The question is how do you expand that
then to the broader general public? And I don’t have the answer to that,
but I would think that maybe there’s a possibility with the museum because
you have that broader public coming in. To do sort of short snippets as people
come in of these role playing exercises. But it is interesting, the role playing
makes a difference because you see it, you practice it, and you see the impact. Cuz they do different scenarios, what if
you did this, what if you did that, right? And so our theater folks,
speaking of interdisciplinary. Our theater folks have
been part of this effort, because they’re the ones who understand
sort of how to do the role playing. So to follow up on that point, I’ve seen
people do it where they’re diminishing and you later feel like, well,
I said that 10 minutes ago. But they’re doing it equally to men and women-
>>Yeah.>>As far as I can tell. And I think what’s different is
that women react differently. So we kinda take it. So there’s an education
piece there as well. So I don’t know how you’ve talked tacked that.
>>So I would agree with it that it’s
not only woman that it happens to, although I would say that it probably
happens in a higher percentage to women. And that is, I think, part of the problem
about these microaggressions are people call them different things, subtle gender
biased, unconscious biased, right? Things like that. And you’re right because women tend
to accumulate those things and turn them into doubt, which affects
the persistence piece, right? Whereas I think socially,
men are socialized to ignore, [LAUGH] what other people say.
>>[LAUGH]>>I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care what you think. [INAUDIBLE]
>>[LAUGH]>>Obviously it’s a blanket statement, and it’s not true of everybody. And that is a challenge. So I think part of that is, and
it’s a tricky one because I do worry, we wanna educate so that people recognize. But you also don’t wanna have the negative
impact which is the same problem that we had early on with STEM, right? If you say enough times to a woman, well
there aren’t many women in STEM, right? And yes, you may add onto it,
there’s no reason you can’t be, right? But you still get that constant message,
there aren’t many women in STEM, right? So we have to be careful about the balance
of negative and positive messaging. And so I think we wanna make sure that
every career path is difficult, right? There’s not really an easy career path,
but it’s if you understand
why you’re doing it. We had Cady Coleman, astronaut,
come and speak, right? And that’s a profession where, boy,
there’s very few people who make it. But if someone goes, I wanna be
an astronaut, cuz it’s cool, right? They don’t think,
well I’m gonna have to learn this. And I’m gonna have to be able
to go in the thing, right? They just say,
I wanna be an astronaut, and they’ll figure out how to make it happen. So I think it’s the right
balance of positive messages with giving them tools
to address the things that they’re gonna have to face, right?
>>Take one more question, [INAUDIBLE] over here.
>>Would you say something about how you got interested in
engineering to begin with?>>Yeah, so I was fortunate because my parents, I always forget whether
it’s considered first generation. My parents came over from Taiwan, right? So a lot of first generation families. In fact, they go, [LAUGH] you
have to be in medicine or STEM, right?
>>[LAUGH]>>Because you have to make a living. So fortunately,
I was good in math and sciences. So some guidance counselor said,
you’re good at math and science, you should try engineering. I had no idea what engineering was, right? But I tried it, and
I found out I liked it. Unfortunately, it’s a bit accidental,
right? Because if I hadn’t had
a guidance counselor say, you should try engineering cuz
you’re good at math and science, I don’t know what I would’ve
ended up with, right? Same thing, I had my parents support because it
was gonna be a good paying job, right? But there’s lots of kids that their
parents don’t know anything about STEM, and they should not be limited
because of that, right? So I think we have to do a better job
of telling the story of what STEM is. People think they know what doctors do,
what lawyers do, right? So they think of that as an option. Most kids don’t really understand what
engineers do because we don’t do a good job of telling what it is. So why would they pick it if
they’ve heard it’s hard, and I don’t really know what it is.
>>[LAUGH]>>It’s our job, right? To keep telling that story over and
over again about societal impact, solving these big societal
problems takes STEM experts. Science and engineers, and math, and all
that is gonna be important for the world. I will tell you one quick
story cuz it always amazes me. One of my very good friends who’s now
an engineering professor at Harvard, she wanted to be a phys ed major.
>>[LAUGH]>>Very good athlete, right? Would’ve been an amazing phys ed teacher, except her father said I’m not paying for
you to go. [LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH]>>Right? She got a scholarship for ceramics, she
had no idea what ceramic engineering was, right?
>>[LAUGH]>>Who knows what ceramic engineering is, right? And now-
>>[LAUGH]>>Professor at Harvard has started a company, extremely, extremely successful
in the National Academy, right? We need to tell those stories. So, all right, thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]>>All right, well thanks, that was a fantastic talk. Thank you for your great presentation and
for being such a wonderful leader in STEM, and a great field hockey player as well.
>>[LAUGH] [APPLAUSE]
>>We have a little gift for you, take that. Part of that gift is a behind-the-scenes
day at the Museum of Science, so you’re coming back. [LAUGH]
>>[LAUGH] All right, and before, you can go, sit down.
>>[LAUGH]>>[LAUGH] Let me make sure I didn’t forget any important notes. One is, in your program,
there’s a little card. If there’s any volunteering that
you’d like to do, certainly for the upcoming November event that Amy
talked about, please fill out the card, can the museum staff people
raise your hands for a minute? So just please give the card to
one of the museum staff people. And with that, I think we’re done. I hope everybody had a great time today. And I hope you have a super afternoon,
thank you.>>[APPLAUSE]