Welcome to the PCOSUW Update!

This newsletter was created to share the activities of the Commission between full Commission meetings. It will come out monthly during the academic year and include highlights from Executive Committee meetings, upcoming events and feature women in the MSU news.

Please feel free to share with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to receive the email directly, please email us at [email protected] and we will add your name to the list.

Betsy Danforth and Leon Costello
Co-Chairs of the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women

Dear Members of the Commission,

Please share this information about nominations for the PCOSUW Student Awards.

Student Award Nominations Call, 2021  

Montana State University is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the President’s Commission on the Status of University Women Student Awards.  These (2) awards are designed to honor students who have worked to improve issues related to gender, equity, diversity and inclusion on any of MSU’s four campuses.  Nominations (including self-nominations) can be made by submitting the student’s name, contact information, and a short (maximum of five sentences) reason for nomination to Recognitions Committee Chairs, Ann Ewbank and Betsy Danforth at [email protected] and [email protected] .  Deadline for nominations is 4 p.m. Friday, March 5th. Individuals nominated will be asked to provide a one page narrative describing their work in this area and a current resume/vitae.  The award recipient will be recognized at MSU’s Day of Student Recognition in April.   

Also, if you haven’t had a chance yet to read the story on our PCOSUW Awardee for 2021, Rebecca Belou, click here to read it now.

Sincerely,

Betsy Danforth and Leon Costello, Co-chairs

Meet the Members

In our current environment, it is hard to get to know people. We started this section of our monthly newsletter to introduce member of the Commission to each other.

Monique HillMonique Hill, Fiscal Manager in the Office of Sponsored Programs and is the All Staff Council representative. Monique has a passion for being a part of the change process and so she is excited to be part of the PCOSUW. She has also joined the Communications Subcommittee of the Commission.

 

 

Stephanie WilsonStephanie Wilson, PhD candidate in the individual interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program and is the graduate Student representative for the PCOSUW. Stephanie, a member of the Commission for the last 4 years, has served on the Communications Subcommittee and currently serves on the Strategic Planning Policy Subcommittees of the Commission.

 

ASIA MSU imageAt the meeting, Stephanie shared that she is part of a new student group on campus called, “ASIA –Asian Student Interracial Association.” The group “strives to provide a comprehensive understanding of Asian nations, languages, cultures, and people among heritage and non-heritage students to enrich Montana State University.” If you are interested in learning more, contact Stephanie or visit their website or social media pages:

 

Events

HEART Initiative at MSU for Human Trafficking: A Survivor’s Success Story with Theresa Flores

Tuesday, March 2 at 5:00 p.m. on via WebEx. 

Discover how prevalent human trafficking is in the United States, and where and how this shockingly common crime is perpetuated.  Ms. Flores will provide insight into what can happen to a victim of trafficking both physically and emotionally. Learn why victims stay in their situations and are terrified to reach out for help, and leave with helpful information on how to identify and possibly prevent human trafficking as well as ways to support past survivors.  Ms. Flores’ story is one that will make you angry, but ultimately, give us hope that we can help others from this horror. 

Click here to register for this virtual event

This event is sponsored by The HEART Initiative at MSU, The Office of the Dean of Students, MSU Women’s Center, President’s Commission on the Status of University Women, Honors Presents, and the VOICE Center.

Sack Lunch Seminar Series coordinated by the Women’s Center is featuring Women in STEM during the spring series.

MentHERship: The Postdoc/Mentor Relationship

March 10, 2021 Noon-1 p.m. Virtually

One vital component to women’s success in STEM is mentorship. Presenters Dr. Agnieszka Rynda-Apple, Assistant Professor, and Research Scientist Dr. Kelly Shepardson, are both in Microbiology and Immunology.  Rynda-Apple served as Shepardson’s mentor while attaining her postdoc.  This seminar will provide an open discussion about both the mentee's and mentor's career paths and how each have benefited from this relationship. Topics will include choosing your mentor/mentee, maneuvering your partnership, establishing expectations, fostering development and independence. 

Email Betsy Danforth ([email protected]) to access the event.

See all the upcoming Sack Lunch seminars here

Dear Members of the Commission,

Happy New Year and welcome to the Spring, 2021 semester!  As we all look forward to a brighter and healthier 2021, the PCOSUW will be working to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding students and faculty working to close the gender gap, encourage mentorship between women in STEM and highlight some of these relationships and measure and improve the institutional climate for women working and studying at MSU. 

As we work to educate and engage the MSU population in an open dialogue around gender equity and enhancing opportunities for women to succeed, we are going to be reaching out to commission members to have them join an Executive Committee meeting to get to know them and share their thoughts on our goals. Keep an eye out for an invitation!

Congratulations to Ann Ewbank for receiving the Anna K. Fridley Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Teaching Award recognizing a faculty member whose accomplishments with students reach beyond the classroom and the library. 

We also want to express our congratulations and appreciation to founding PCOSUW member, Marilyn Lockhart, who has been named the 2020 Women’s Faculty Caucus Distinguished Mentor, which recognizes extraordinary efforts in mentoring junior women faculty in the university and contributing substantially to the career development of one or more women faculty members. 

Sincerely,

Betsy Danforth and Leon Costello, Co-chairs

 

Executive Committee

 

The Executive Committee has met in December and discussed upcoming events and plans for assessment.

December Meeting Minutes

See attached minutes.

 

Events

Sack Lunch Seminar Series coordinated by the Women’s Center will feature Women in STEM during the spring series.

February 10: MentHERship: Women In STEM

Mentorship and Microfluidics: High Quality Medical Care for All

Virtual  Noon-1 p.m.

Dr. Stephanie McCalla, Associate Professor in Chemical and Biological Engineering and Chemical Engineering senior, Mikayla Wood, are working to engineer faster and cheaper alternatives to current medical diagnostics with the goal of improving access to medicine. They use tools like microfluidics, which are miniature devices that can manipulate small volumes of fluids, to detect and quantify indicators of disease. They will also discuss the important role that mentorship plays in the lab for women in STEM.

Email Betsy Danforth ([email protected]) to access the event.

See all the upcoming seminars here

Black History Month Book Display to Celebrate Black Artists

In honor of Black History Month, the MSU Library, Diversity and Inclusion Student Commons (DISC), and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host a book display during the month of February.  "Prose and Poetry 4 Women Writers" will feature works by Audre Lorde, Tracy K. Smith, Mahogany L. Browne, Roxane Gay, and other black women writers. This display will be on the second floor of Renne Library outside of Archives and Special Collections. The books of poetry and prose will be available for check out. Learn more about this event

Dear Members of the Commission,

The Fall semester has wrapped up and we hope our students have all made it home safely and that a much-needed break will revive us for the Spring semester ahead. 

We would like to congratulate Rebecca Belou from the Office of Planning and Analysis as the PCOSUW Award winner for 2021. Becca's contributions to the Commission and to the University in the areas of gender equality and diversity and inclusion are certainly notable, and she is very deserving of this award.   We would like to thank Becca for all her work to make Montana State University a better place for women and members of underrepresented populations. 

Ann Ewbank has agreed to take over the role of Chair of the Recognition Subcommittee. Thank you Ann!

Christine Foreman was recently promoted to full professor in the College of Engineering. We congratulate her and laud her efforts as director of the Women in Engineering program which recently hit a milestone with 20% enrollment in the College.

This Fall was, as you all know, unique and challenging, but we had great success with our Picture a Scientist events. The film screening (over 500 people signed up) and follow-up panel discussion were well attended and very engaging, and we have already had requests for future events along this theme.  So, in that vein, we have been in discussion about programming around women in STEM for the spring!  We will keep you updated! 

Also, we will be working closely with the LBGTQ focused Rainbow Over the Rockies Summit planning committee, and will keep you updated about that event as well.

We know that connecting with colleagues in this socially distanced time is difficult. The subcommittees of the Commission are looking for new members so if you are interested in connecting with the work of the Commission, reach out to the chairs:

Assessment Committee - Ian Handley - review current information/data or collect new data to assist in identifying issues; report general findings. Issues can be raised through the Assessment Committee or by constituent approaches to the commission or liaison contacts, etc.

Communication Committee - Nika Stoop  - To increase the visibility of the Commission, promote the purpose and accomplishments of the commission, recommend updates to the web site, and publicize its special programs and events.

Recognition Committee - Ann Ellsworth - To implement and select the winners of the Commission’s recognition awards.

Policy Review Committee - Leslie Taylor  - To engage in on-going reactive and proactive policy review to identify current policies that need revision as well as suggest new policies to implement that promote this mission of the PCOSUW.

Strategic Planning CommitteeLeon Costello —To create an updated PCOSUW Strategic Plan for 2021-2025. Join us to give your valuable insights and thoughts as wel plan for the next 5 years!

Thank you for your interest and all you do for gender equity at MSU; have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Betsy Danforth and Leon Costello, Co-chairs

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee has met this semester and discussed upcoming events, worked on strategic planning and the Annual Report for 2019-2020.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is continuing to meet monthly to discuss events, policies and other issues important to women of Montana State.  

Events

Picture a Scientist Viewing and Discussion Event

Picture a Scientist: The film PICTURE A SCIENTIST chronicles the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. The event offered the MSU community access to watch the film from October 22 – 28th and then the October 27th event featured keynote speaker, Dr. Corrie Moreau, Entomologist and Cornell professor.  Dr. Moreau, who is teaching a course on racism, bias and exclusion in STEM, shared data in this area and then led the panel of MSU students and faculty in a discussion of the film, the role of women in STEM, and the collective cost of sexism and racism in the sciences.

  • Over 500 people registered to view the film and over 100 people logged on to participate in the discussion.
  • Learn more and watch the discussion here
  • Thank you to the sponsors: Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering, Diversity & Inclusion Student Commons (DISC), President’s Commission on the Status of University Women (PCOSUW), Women’s Center, Women in Science & Engineering (WISE), Science Math Resource Center, and Center for Faculty Excellence. 

Policy Review

December will be the deadline to make changes to the Title IX policy. The new Executive order on Combatting Race and SexStereotyping (September 22, 2020) applies to MSU as a government contractor so Leslie is looking at what this means. The deadline for putting together a plan is November 24th, 2020.

Dear Members of the Committee,

This year has proven to be quite unusual in many ways. The Executive Committee had a long discussion in May and have continued that discussion this fall around the impacts of COVID-19, quarantining and online education on the lives of women as MSU employees and faculty, mothers and family members. We know that women are struggling in this environment and are looking for suggestions for things we can do to help alleviate some of these challenges.

Do you have ideas of how we can help? Send us an email. [email protected] and [email protected].

 The PCOSUW had to cancel several of our planned events last spring, but we were able to reschedule one for this Fall semester. The “Expanding the Arc of Women’s Suffrage” virtual event was a great success and we had over 300 viewers!  If you missed it on September 17th, you can access the recording here. The panel featured MSU professors, students and local activists for a lively discussion about the exclusion of women of color from the U.S. Constitution’s 19th Amendment, the state of voter rights today and why it is crucial to remember and critically examine this part of American history.

The PCOSUW along with NACOE and other university partners are planning and are very excited to co-host a virtual screening of and panel discussion about the award-winning documentary, Picture a Scientist. This film follows three successful scientists through their career challenges and asks the important questions around the culture of exclusion that exists in STEM today. See details below 

In November, the Recognitions Committee will meet to coordinate and select our PCOSUW faculty/staff award recipient, and if you’d like to join that committee, please let Betsy know at [email protected].

We will not be having a full commission meeting this Fall as President Cruzado requested that we not do so until we can meet safely in person.  So please let us know if you would like to join a subcommittee, have a voice in the 2020-2025 Strategic Planning process or have another way that the Commission might assist you!  We look forward to seeing all of you at a Spring full commission meeting! 

New Members for 2020-2021

We’d like to welcome several new members this fall, and thank them for joining the Commission!

  • PJ Diamond, DISC Program Manager
  • Monique Hill, Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Diane Debinski, Department Head, Ecology
  • Kara Tangedal, Extension
  • Jamie Rizutto, Bobcat Athletics

Be well and have a terrific Fall,

Betsy Danforth and Leon Costello, Co-chairs

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is continuing to meet monthly to discuss events, policies and other issues important to women of Montana State. They met on September 16 and discussed the membership and events for the upcoming year, as well as restarting the strategic planning process.

Upcoming Events

Viewing and Discussion of Picture as Scientist

Picture a Scientist, an award winning documentary, chronicles the groundswell of women scientists who are changing the face of science in the United States and around the world. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks, and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal gender harassment to years of subtle slights. Along the way, from cramped laboratories to spectacular field stations, we encounter scientific luminaries - including social scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists - who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all. 

The film Picture a Scientist (see trailer below) will be available to the MSU community for viewing from 

October 22-28, followed by a panel event at 6:00 p.m. MDT on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

Learn more and register here

Policy Review

The Office of Institutional Equity has announced a new Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures that will replace the university’s previous policy. The policy and related procedures were announced as Interim Policies effective August 14, 2020, to assure compliance with new federal regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education governing how schools and university will handle Title IX cases. The policy covers discrimination and harassment based upon race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, gender, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation (referred to as “protected classes”).  The portion of the policy related to the Title IX regulations addresses sex based discrimination and sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  The most significant change in the procedures is the incorporation of the federal requirement of a hearing with the opportunity for cross examination as part of the investigative process. Complainants (defined as an individual who is alleged to be the subject of Prohibited Conduct under the policy) can be provided with supportive and protective measures, such as counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus, safety planning, referrals to on and off-campus services, trainings, mutual restrictions on contact, without filing a “Formal Complaint” or proceeding with the investigative process.  

The policy was approved by President Cruzado as an interim policy effective August 14, 2020, to assure that MSU could meet the deadline for compliance with the federal regulations.  As required by university policies, the policy will remain an interim policy until reviewed and approved by the University Council. As an interim policy, it will expire in six months unless reviewed and approved by the University Council.  The Office of Institutional Equity will collect comments on the Interim Policy and present a final proposal for the Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures at the December 2020 University Council meeting, to be voted on at the January 2021 meeting. 

Executive Committee

Spring Full Commission Meeting

PCOSUW Full Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 15th, 11:30-1:00 p.m. in the President’s Conference Room. Mark your calendars!

From the Policy Review Sub-Committee

The Personal Transportation Device Policy (updated 14 February 2020) is up for review. See current proposed policies for review

MSU has been nominated by President Waded Cruzado to participate in the NASPA Culture of Respect program for cohort 4. This initiative is designed to provide evaluation and improvement in the realm of sexual violence prevention, support, and response on participating campuses. If you have questions about this initiative, please contact Emily Stark, Director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator who is co-chairing this project with Joey Morrison from VOICE Center.    

Fall 2019 Full Commission Minutes

Please see the minutes on the PCOSUW website

Upcoming Events

NCUR’s Women’s Affinity Group Event

Thursday, March 26th, 4:30 – 6:00 pm,

Shroyer Gym, Montana State University – Bozeman

Come celebrate women in research! At this women's networking space, MSU will be recognizing Senior Distinguished Female Faculty Members from each academic college. Refreshments and appetizers provided!

Looking for volunteers!! Can you help with set-up in Shroyer the afternoon of March 26th? Respond to this email…

Extreme History Project’s Centennial of Women’s Suffrage event, March 26th, 2020

“The 19th Amendment: Expanding the Arc of the Suffrage Story”

The panel discussion, featuring MSU Professors Franke Wilmer, Tomomi Yamaguchi, Kiersten Iwai of Forward Montana, and Ekoo Beck of Montana Women Vote, will focus on inclusion and the limited scope of women’s suffrage. The panel will start at 6:30 pm in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies. Please join us at 6:00 pm for a reception that is free and open to the public. Sponsors include the MSU Women’s Center, the PCOSUW, MSU Libraries, and several community partners.

Would you like a poster to put in your department? Contact [email protected] and we’ll get you one.

WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings to lecture April 15 at MSU

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7, for Catchings’ April 15 lecture. Winner of an NCAA National Championship, WNBA Championship and four Olympic gold medals, Catchings will speak about rising through adversity to become a champion.

Buy your tickets now!

Women and Gender in the News

Montana State researchers earn National Science Foundation grant to study caddisflies and stream health

March 2, 2020

Lindsey Albertson and Geoffrey Poole were awarded a $1.17 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Environmental Biology to research how silk nets spun by caddisflies influence water quality.

MSU receives $2.1 million grant to help Native Americans succeed in nursing
February 27, 2020

MSU's Caring for Our Own Program in the College of Nursing received the five-year grant from the Indian Health Service. The funds will support 10 American Indian nursing students per year with funds for tuition, books and other educational expenses. 

Speaker series resumes March 11 with lecture about AI gender stereotyping
February 25, 2020

Jennifer Robertson, an international expert on sexism in robots and artificial intelligence, is next up in the College of Letters and Science Distinguished Speakers series.

Holzer wins Compact award for public service

February 24, 2020

Holzer is one of 11 recipients of the Dennison Civic Engagement Scholarship. 

Why higher ed needs to hire and promote more women faculty

An overabundance of men are tenure-track faculty members in comparison to women, report says

University Business, February 19, 2020

Executive Committee

National Council on Undergraduate Research Conference

MSU will welcome more than 4,000 students from around the world March 26-28, 2020. As part of the event, Micah McFeely is coordinating Affinity Events and will take the lead to have a women’s event that will incorporate women’s groups from MSU.

If you have ideas of what to incorporate or want to volunteer to help with the Affinity event, please reach out to Micah at [email protected].

If you are interested in becoming involved with NCUR 2020, please register at signupgenius.com/go/70a0b49aaae2da1fc1-ncur.

From the Policy Review Sub-Committee

The Faculty Modified Duties Policy will be up for review in the near future.

See current proposed policies for review

December Meeting Minutes

See attached minutes.

Fall 2019 Full Commission Minutes

Please see the minutes on the PCOSUW website

Upcoming Events

NCUR Women’s Affinity Group Event

Thursday, March 26th, 4:30 – 6:30 pm,

Shroyer Gym, Montana State University – Bozeman 

Extreme History Project’s Centennial of Women’s Suffrage event, March 26th, 2020

“The 19th Amendment: Expanding the Arc of the Suffrage Story”

The panel discussion, starting at 6:30 pm in the Hager Auditorium at the Museum of the Rockies, will focus on inclusion and the limited scope of women’s suffrage.

PCOSUW Full Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 15th, 11:30-1:00 p.m. in the President’s Conference Room.

WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings to lecture April 15 at MSU

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 7, for Catchings’ April 15 lecture. Winner of an NCAA National Championship, WNBA Championship and four Olympic gold medals, Catchings will speak about rising through adversity to become a champion.

Women in the News

MSU scientist's big idea about materials will shape national research priorities
February 4, 2020

Chelsea Heveran's proposal to develop a new generation of building materials that could excel on Mars and solve infrastructure challenges on Earth was one of only seven to win the NSF's 2026 Idea Machine Competition.

Director of MSU counseling center to give free talk on student mental health
February 3, 2020

Dr. Betsy Asserson, director of MSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services, will deliver “Student Mental Health: A Status Update” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in Norm Asbjornson Hall’s Inspiration Hall on the MSU campus.

Shannon Willoughby named MUS teaching scholar
February 3, 2020

Shannon Willoughby, a physicist and educational researcher at Montana State University, has been named one of the inaugural group of Montana University System Teaching Scholars who will explore innovative ways to improve teaching practices.

Executive Committee

National Council on Undergraduate Research Conference

Montana State University and the Bozeman community will host the 34th annual National conference on Undergraduate Research, NCUR 2020. MSU will welcome more than 4,000 students from around the world March 26-28, 2020. As part of the event, Micah McFeely is coordinating Affinity Events and will take the lead to have a women’s event that will incorporate women’s groups from MSU.

  • If you have ideas of what to incorporate or want to volunteer to help with the Affinity event, please reach out to Micah at[email protected].

November Meeting Minutes

See attached minutes.

Fall 2019 Full Commission Minutes

Please see the minutes on the PCOSUW website

From the Policy Review Sub-Committee

The PCOSUW Policy Committee made several recommendations to the Relationship Policy Committee that were incorporated into the policy. 

Approved Policies: October 2, 2019: Breastfeeding Policy

Upcoming Events

Kara Richardson Whitely, author of “The Weight of Being”

MSU’s Health Advancement Office is spearheading this lecture with the help of Panhellenic, Women’s Center and other sponsors. Kara will present an evening lecture on Monday, January 27th sharing her story of tackling Mount Kilimanjaro three times – once at the weight of 300 pounds. Learn more about this event

Centennial of Women’s Suffrage event, March 26th, 2020 in the Hagar Auditorium: The 19th Amendment: Expanding the Arc of the Suffrage Story

This Extreme History Project event will start with a reception at 6:00 and the lecture following at 6:30. While the 19th Amendment was a key achievement for white women's rights, many women of color were excluded from both the process and the outcomes of the fights for suffrage. This panel discussion featuring scholars, activists and historians, will serve as a kick-off event for a series of programs that will be held in Bozeman through the end of 2020.

  • The Exec Committee would like to ask the commission for ideas for possible panel speakers on the topics related to white privilege and suffrage, and the continued struggle for equality in voting rights, etc. Please email us at [email protected]with your ideas.

Women in the News

See all of the news on our website

For MSU undergrads, research expands what it means to be an engineer
December 30, 2019

Tessa Sybesma and Monika Kwapisz, seniors majoring in industrial and management systems engineering, are contributing to an MSU study of how engineers view their leadership potential.

MSU and partners receive $2.3 million for five-year project to educate school counselors to fill jobs in rural Montana
December 17, 2019

The majority of the grant will support graduate students in their preparation and their post-graduation placement, including lodging, travel and living expenses during a 10-month internship they must complete before graduation.

MSU undergraduate documents microplastic in precip

December 16, 2019

Engineering senior Bekah Anderson studies plastic particles in snow and rain.