Program WishlistThe Women's Caucus hopes to pursue other programs and activities to improve the work life for individuals on campus and to attract students to ESF. We count on Caucus members to bring forward ideas and projects of current interest. Some examples of discussion items from previous meetings:
Onsite Childcare Facility
Biological and tenure clocks often coincide, and our programs of study are generally full-time, with little flexibility in course schedules. With the rise in dual career couples (both for intellectual stimulation and financial necessity), more and more families rely on child care providers. SUNY childcare centers allow parents to attend school and work while providing solid foundation of care and education for young children (http://system.suny.edu/university-life/child-care/). While there is a very highly rated SUNY center very close to the main campus, the wait list is lengthy, with ESF personnel on a low priority tier. More here.
Plus, there is something poetic about building a children's nursery on what was once a tree nursery, guarded by ESF's patron saint's understated better-half, Elsa S. Freeborn, featuring a curriculum steeped in environmental education to encourage the next generation to work and play outdoors.
Future Faculty Program
Individual faculty have created some wonderful individual courses that guide doctoral students through the challenges they will face in academia: Seminar on College Teaching, Writing for Scientific Publication, Grant Writing and Management, Research Methods, Seminar Presentation Skills, Collaborative Processes and Dispute Resolution, fantastic statistics classes, and our own Perspectives on Career and Gender (aka the Women's or the Mentoring seminar). Successful completion of some percentage of these could be the basis of a really great certificate program, with little extra cost. To really add value, discussion groups and dedicated mentors could be involved.
Opportunities for Partnerships and Training to Improve Our Network of Scientists (OPTIONS)
Combat implicit biases which undermine classroom practice and professional assessment and advancement through purposeful intervention. We envision a multi-pronged approach through faculty development, curriculum assessment and a future faculty initiative (see above)
While we have one dedicated "nursing room" on campus (Baker 313), in the dead of winter, if you aren't in Baker or Jahn to begin with, you can use most of your break simply bundling up to get there!
Participant Support Fund
We would love to have a little pot to use to help offset costs (including, but not limited to, child- and elder-care) for graduate students and faculty while they attend workshops and conferences that they would have otherwise need to decline.
Kids Take Time for Science
An irregular program of care for school-aged children to help ESF parents on superintendent or teacher conferences days or other non-school days. ESF children would come to campus to work with ESF students and others in ongoing research or in science projects specifically designed for primary and secondary students.
This program could also give ESF students interested in teaching science at the primary and secondary levels experience in an informal setting.
If you find your applicant pool, or speaker slate, unrepresentative of the population (i.e, all white, all male, or all of similar age), or are looking for folks to talk with Girl Scout Troups, K-12 classes, afterschool programs or STEM clubs, ask us for recommendations, or to send your invite to the listserv.