Dip Meeting Notes 8/19

Hi everyone,

I apologize for the delay in writing up these meeting notes. These are the notes I took from last week’s meeting:

Notes for unconscious bias and microaggression

Orientation is 9/16

– faculty or students & male grad student in the presentation
– Rena could do it too.
– we chose students and we need one male student. Probably Gabe.
– what we want to include
-data driven
-we have the data
-crowd scene thing (Game of Thrones) video
-collaboration is important
-emphasis on colleagues. This is a new, different level of professionalism.
A few things I remember that are important to include. I’ve confirmed that Gabe wants to help with the DIP presentation during the orientation. Also, we can have more that 10 minutes, and can get up to 20 minutes. The time needed for the orientation is flexible (30 minutes can go up to an hour).

I know there are emails with relevant studies, but if anyone has anything they think is particularly relevant or wants to include, go ahead and send the email to the list.




Meeting Notes 4/14

-Sexual Harassment Policy Change

-Davis Democratic Socialist club has contacts for further information/action on this front.

-We discussed the possible audience for this statement

-We can try and get signatures from faculty in this department

Upper Division Discussion sections

-Undergraduate Curriculum Committee is currently meeting

-Facebook page is up, will be up and running soon

-There was lots of enthusiasm for physics club upper divisions

-We could write up an “I want discussion sections because…” template in the physics club space so that people can take pictures on their own.

-Need a statement of interest

-We ultimately want to have something to present to the department.

-We could do a presentation in a faculty meeting

-Andy will schedule a meeting in the next few weeks to meet with upper division undergraduates.

-Chair of engineering dept. says discussion sections have not happened yet because it’s very complex to make a curriculum change to a course.

-H-Bar is a good interim measure, but this is a first step of a larger change.

-Undergraduate curriculum committee- we could push to allow graduate students or, better yet, undergraduate students to be on the committee.

Main topic: Colloquium

-While this was very encouraging in terms of our department’s commitment to diversity, it seemed that there was more interest in affirmations of what we do right rather than identification of places we need to improve.

-Some of the definitions and examples of microaggressions seemed confusing and conflicting.

-Do people actually say positive and welcoming things or do they think they say these things?

-Ultimately, this was not a good forum for identifying places where improvement is needed, because power dynamics can shut down the conversation.

-Is it ever possible to call for improvement from faculty given our position in the University? Saying something like “When you said this, that affected me in this way…” would give feedback about how welcoming the physics classroom environment is, but is giving that feedback always putting one at risk? Is there a way to do this anonymously?

-We could include a 1uestion on course evaluations for inclusions/diversity/feeling valued feedback.

-Do we get a realistic and honest performance review from advisers? Rarely. Can we make that possible?

-Undergraduates don’t have faculty advisers, which is unusual.

-Evaluations from the department as a separate thing just for the physics department. In coursework, someone would need to read it.

-problems: creates more work, accountability

-Evaluations: who reads them? Are they open?

-Evaluations can be read by other people.

-We may want to bring this evaluations idea up during climate survey.

-time constraints from demanding workload is mitigated by privilege and primarily negatively affect people from lower socioeconomic status

-Environmental microaggressions were discussed:

-better seats that everyone can sit in.

-better handicap access to lecture hall.

Wrap up:

-Next week: pictures taken : #DiscUpPhyiscs

-We should try to set up a physical box for anonymous discussion topics during the climate site survey.

-Amanda will look at sexual harassment statement.

Meeting Notes 2/12: Creating the Well-Being Survey

Happiness & Well-Being Survey Tasks and the person who is responsible for them

1) Format draft with all instructions for grads –Kara (and she might delegate)

2) Format draft for undergrads –Thomas

3) Find out: what are the RULES for collecting & analyzing personal data – Mary & Gabe & Rachel W.

4) Find out (from Berkeley report or contacts) how to interpret & respond to survey findings – Molly will read 1/2 and maybe more. email list to look for someone else also.

5) Print and set up online way to take survey -Conner

6) Help advertise & hold down the hot cocoa table –Rachel H.

First order of business:

-any future meeting topics?

  • Prelim
  • Mental health survey
  • -gender neutral bathrooms
  • -mentor/mentee system
  • -find contact info for those who have graduated or left Davis.


Now about surveys:

-exit interview for people who leave, particularly not by the standard pathway

-happiness & well-being report. We already have a survey from UCB as a template.

  • different categories (demographics, depression, succeeding academically)

-our version of the survey is in a shared Google Drive. If you want access to edit and don’t have it (only some of us have it right now), contact Mary.

-canvas seminars & explain mission statement/vision for survey.

  • seminars
  • colloquium
  • first & second year classes

-for rules & identification. Send it to Prof. Zieve’s contact (Lynette Temple http://campuscounsel.ucdavis.edu/people/) for proofreading to make sure the survey is ethical. The ethical question is not “collecting data” but “releasing data.” These rules are complicated.

-Perhaps list who will be analyzing the information, so they know it’s not going straight to a department chair or PI.

-Notes about uniquely identified people being grouped in with at least ~10 people when the data will be presented to faculty.

-How do we pick “data analysis committee” who can see all the results? We think no faculty.

-What are we going to do with our findings? We want to present stuff to “the department.” Who is “the department?”

-Before we give out the survey: we should have an idea of what information exactly we want from the survey? What is our “motive” for asking these questions? We should make this public?

-What are our motives?

  • Generally how happy are graduate students?
  • Does happiness & well-being among graduate students vary among identification groups?

-What are our goals with respect to how strongly we want out statistics to look?

-No intention of publishing this survey in a research journal.

-we could include information from people who have graduated/left in the last 5 years

-different survey for undergrads? Combine?

-Survey-making committee?

Notes from Women’s Forum: Empowerment and Equality

Today I attended Part 2 of the Women’s Forum, Empowering Women in STEM. I took some notes, which I will leave here as a resource for the group.


Talk from Sue Miller from AAUW California:

-While the percentage of women in chemical/material sciences and biological sciences have increased dramatically since 1970, engineering has increased only slightly (1%-12%).  Women’s representation has had a decline in recent years (since 1990) in computing and mathematical careers.

-While women are typically underrepresented in engineering & computing careers, women of color are extremely underrepresented.

-What can colleges do? They can broaden intro computer science courses to accommodate a wider range of previous computer programming experience. They can create research opportunities for undergraduates in computer science. They can send women to conferences for women in computer science. Harvey Mudd sends their undergraduate women to the Grace Hopper conference for women in computer science, and has seen success with this endeavor.

-What can employers do? They can create a clear evaluation system to eliminate bias.

-What can the state do? Invest in better education. Help enforce Title IX. Fund extracurricular activities to expose girls to computing & engineering at and earlier than high school age.

Talk from Clare Singleton from Top Line Management Consulting:

-In outreach, we should make it clear to women that there are both challenges and opportunities in STEM.

-advice to women at early stages in STEM career: always have a plan, so people know how to help you. It’s okay if you’re not sure and you change your mind. Just have some idea/goal/plan in mind. It’s not a forever commitment. Also look for mentors everywhere.

-advice to women throughout STEM career: take calculated risks. You learn from failure, and being brave will turn you into being fearless later.

-focus on people who appreciate your work. Don’t waste time trying to convert the rest.

That’s all the notes I took. If you have any further questions about the forum, feel free to ask me in a future meeting or contact me (my info is public on UCD Physics site).