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Increasing Retention and Graduation Rates for Women in STEM

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2021 CoNECD


Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day

Publication Date

January 24, 2021

Start Date

January 24, 2021

End Date

January 28, 2021

Conference Session

CoNECD Session : Day 3 Slot 5 Technical Session 3

Tagged Topics

Diversity and CoNECD Paper Submissions

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Annette L. Pilkington Colorado School of Mines

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Annette Pilkington is the Director of the Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics (WISEM) Program at the Colorado School of Mines. She has a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa and a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Columbia University Teacher's College.

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Amy E. Landis

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Dr. Landis joined Mines in August 2017 as the first Presidential Faculty Fellow for Access, Attainment, and Diversity. Previously, she was a full professor at Clemson University from 2015 through 2017 as the Thomas F. Hash ’69 endowed chair in sustainable development. There, she served as Director for Clemson’s Institute for Sustainability, which brings together interdisciplinary research, education, and business for sustainability. Dr. Landis spent her Associate Professor years at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainable Engineering in the Built Environment from 2012 to 2015. Dr. Landis began her career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh after having obtained her PhD in 2007 from the University of Illinois at Chicago under the supervision of Dr. Thomas L. Theis.

Dr. Landis has developed a research program in sustainable engineering of bioproducts. Her research ranges from design of systems based on industrial ecology and byproduct synergies, life cycle and sustainability assessments of biopolymers and biofuels, and design and analysis of sustainable solutions for healthcare. In addition to building and maintaining a successful sustainable products research group, Dr. Landis has spent her career promoting and supporting women and underrepresented minorities in STEM. Like many of her predecessors, her early work was voluntary and informal. She began encouraging women in STEM through volunteer and outreach programs as a graduate student, and took on informal leadership roles as an Assistant and Associate Professor. Some of her early efforts included negotiation workshops, networking events, work-life balance discussion groups, and an impostor syndrome workshop. At Clemson University, Dr. Landis served as the Thomas F. Hash ’69 endowed chair in sustainable development and Director for Clemson’s Institute for Sustainability. In this role, Dr. Landis contributed in a formal capacity to improve opportunities for women and underrepresented students through the Institute. She established numerous successful programs in her short time at Clemson, including an undergraduate research program for underrepresented students, a graduate professional development program, and a workshop on communicating engineering for women. At Mines, Dr. Landis leads the President’s Council on Diversity, Inclusion, & Access, whose mission is to establish a strategic plan for access, attainment, inclusion, and diversity at Mines.

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Colorado School of Mines is a post-secondary institution primarily offering STEM degrees. Founded in 1873, Mines has a long history of delivering high quality degrees. Mines students were recently ranked 4th brainiest in the Nation. While Mines is the number one ranked mineral and mining school in the world, Mines is also well-known for degrees focused on the great challenges society faces today—particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment. As a STEM institution, Mines historically struggled with enrollment and retention of women. The first woman, Florence Caldwell Jones, graduated from Mines in 1898. The next three women would graduate between then at 1949. Today, however, things are drastically different. Despite the well-known challenges facing women in STEM, Mines has developed unique programming with astounding results for women. Women at Mines have better retention rates than the general population. Women graduate faster than the general population. And despite making up only 33% of the population, women hold more leadership positions on campus. This presentation will review the efforts of Mines Women in Science and Engineering and Mathematics (WISEM) program, and share best practices that have resulted in outstanding support and outcomes for women at Mines. Highlighted programs will include outreach, recruitment and retention, including: Evening with Industry, Networking Reception, Making the Connection, Girls Lead the Way Leadership Conference, SWE Mentoring Program, Florence Caldwell Scholarship Program and the Vanguard Community of Scholars Program. The WISEM office provides professional staff support and advising for SWE and the student lead events ensuring consistent high quality programs and professional development for student leaders.

Pilkington, A. L., & Landis, A. E. (2021, January), Increasing Retention and Graduation Rates for Women in STEM Paper presented at 2021 CoNECD, Virtual - 1pm to 5pm Eastern Time Each Day . 10.18260/1-2--36099

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