Women in the Academy: Female Leadership in STEM Education and the Evolution of a Mentoring Web

By Gorman, Susan T.; Durmowicz, Meredith C. et al. | Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, Summer 2010 | Go to article overview

Women in the Academy: Female Leadership in STEM Education and the Evolution of a Mentoring Web


Gorman, Susan T., Durmowicz, Meredith C., Roskes, Ellen M., Slattery, Susan P., Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table


Introduction

The words "quiet crisis," "creeping crisis," and "gathering storm" have been used to describe the status of the United States in an increasingly flat world (Friedman 2006; National Academy of Sciences 2006). In The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Freidman addresses the "education gap" that is emerging in the United States and sounds an alarm intended to rouse people to action (2006, 323-359). Similarly, Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL), the national alliance dedicated to improving undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, has stepped up the urgency of the call for fundamental, long-term, coordinated transformational change of the entire system so as to prepare the United States for the future (PKAL 2006, 1-27). From the perspective of women in the academy, it is of special interest to note that these concerns occur in the context of a gender imbalance in the STEM workforce.

Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields and in STEM leadership positions in the United States. For example, data reported in Science and Engineering Indicators 2010 show that only 26% of the college-educated workforce in science and engineering are women (NSB 10-01 2010, 3-32). When considering first-time college freshmen in the national student population, more males (41%) than females (30%) select science or engineering as their intended field of study (NSB 10-01 2010, Appendix Table 2-6). Interestingly, females end up earning 50% of the bachelor's degrees but only 40% of the doctoral degrees in science and engineering (Burrelli 2008, 1; NSF 09-305 2009, 39). In academia 31% of full-time faculty in science and engineering are women, with the preponderance in the life sciences (NSB 10-01 2010, 3-32). Further, only 27% of STEM deans and department heads are women according to the most recent data available from the National Science Foundation (NSF 09-305 2009, 14, 254). There are ample reports in the literature that address the underlying reasons for this imbalance and it is not the purpose of the present paper to add to this body of knowledge. Rather, the question that has emerged in writing the present report is a pragmatic one: given the gender imbalance in the STEM workforce, what can be done to encourage, enable, and empower women to engage and be successful in the STEM disciplines?

By sharing strategies and results in a case study format, this paper will demonstrate a model for "what works" with regard to women leaders building and sustaining successful and effective academic programs in STEM and will suggest approaches that may be helpful in working to achieve gender equity in the STEM workforce.

CASE STUDY INSTITUTION

Stevenson University

Stevenson University (SU) serves as the case study institution. Located near Baltimore, Maryland, SU is an independent, comprehensive institution of over 3,400 students pursuing bachelor's and master's degrees whose primary niche is career-oriented liberal arts education. In U.S. News and World Report's 2010 edition of "America's Best Colleges," Stevenson climbed to the 11th ranking among the "Best Baccalaureate Colleges-North Region" and again was recognized as one of the nation's "Top Up-and-Coming Schools" and "Great Schools, Great Prices" (U.S. News and World Report America's Best Colleges 2010).

It is worth noting that Stevenson University has been Stevenson University for only two years (since 12 June 2008). After nearly four years of careful deliberation and an extensive vetting process, the institution that had been Villa Julie College for 60 years was redefined from a college to a university with a new name that better reflects its scope and mission. Decades of program development, curricular expansion, enrollment increases, and growth in the size and scope of the campus itself contributed to the recent institutional transformation. This bold and dramatic step is characteristic of the institution well-known in the local community for its entrepreneurial spirit, innovative culture, and responsiveness to the needs of the workforce. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Women in the Academy: Female Leadership in STEM Education and the Evolution of a Mentoring Web
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.