2001 Business Meeting Minutes
Women's Initiatives Committee - Business Meeting 2001
Reno, NV - November 6, 2001
Meeting was brought to order by Vice-Chair Kim Forsten Williams (Virginia Tech) at 5:30 pm with ~25 in attendance. Stephanie Sullivan (Merck), 2001 Chair, was unable to attend the annual meeting so a plaque expressing the gratitude of AICHE for her leadership of WIC was exhibited at the meeting (in lieu of a presentation) and will be sent to her.
Vice Chair Williams announced that she would serve as Chair for 2002 and Melanie Miller (Bristol-Myers Squibb) had agreed to serve as Vice Chair. Williams announced that Carol Hall (NC State) and Maria Burka (NSF) had been named AICHE Fellows in 2001 and that Leonore Witchey-Lakshmanan (Schering-Plough) had been named to the Career and Education Operating Council and Stephanie Sullivan had been named to the Societal Impact Operating Council.
A review of 2001 activities was then presented by Williams:
Roommate Match - Jacqueline Goveas (Rice) set up a web posting system on the WIC website with the assistance of the webmaster, Stephanie Sullivan. Fourteen registered using this service and it was pointed out that this was less than previous years. Discussion focused on whether the low use was due to a reduced turn-out for the meeting or the new format used for the match. Patty Relue (Toledo) agreed to serve as coordinator for 2002.
Family Activities Match - A similar site was set-up for coordinating family activities and no users had been registered. It was decided that the committee would not pursue this effort for the 2002 meeting.
Student AICHE Meeting - Williams presented an overview of the two sessions sponsored by WIC at the Student meeting on Sunday November 4th. "Celebrating Women Chemical Engineer" was a poster session highlighting professional women chemical engineers - Jean Bender, Teresa Cheung, Jill Daugherty, Dianne Dorland, and Kim Ogden. The attendance was excellent (over 80 people) including 10-15 men. The format was very successful and a similar session will be held in 2002. Melissa Rieger (Oklahoma) and Christi Patton (Tulsa) agreed to chair the session.
The MAC-WIC session was a panel discussion on mentoring. Over 40 students attended the session and Emmanuel Dada (MAC) stopped by the meeting to thank us for the joint effort. Jamaica Prince (Florida) agreed to coordinate this session in combination with MAC for 2002.
Williams reviewed the "Women Engineering Success from the Inside Out" session sponsored by WIC at the Annual Meeting. Stephanie Sullivan (Merck) and Surita Bhatia (Massachusetts) served as session chairs. WIC is grateful for the industrial support received from Merck and Schering-Plough and the NSF funding via a grant written by Karen High (Oklahoma State). Dr. Carol Muller from MentorNet ran a session titled "Opening the "Black Box" of Mentoring" focused on the hows and whys of mentoring. Muller's presentation was followed by Dr. Valerie Young (Making Waves) titled "Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome: A Workshop for Women". Both sessions were presented both in the morning and in the afternoon on Tuesday November 6th. Attendance was good (~ 20 per session) and discussion was lively. One problem pointed out was the length of the sessions conflicting with the technical talks making attendance difficult. The 2002 session will be chaired by Surita Bhatia (Massachusetts) and Barbara Todd (Phillips Petroleum) and discussion at the business meeting indicated that the session will focus on "Sustaining the Chemical Engineering Career". Suggested topics included mentoring on the job, reentry jobs, dual careers/commuting couples, networking and making it to top management, job sharing/part-time technical careers, non-traditional chemical engineering careers. Williams and Muller briefly discussed the idea of AICHE joining MentorNet as an affiliate and Williams will look into the costs/benefits for the group.
A luncheon sponsored by WIC was held on Tuesday November 6th with 61 attendees. Peggy Layne (NAE) spoke on the NAE Program on Diversity in the Engineering Workforce and a spirited discussion followed the session. WIC was grateful for sponsorship received from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the organization by Melanie Miller (BMS) and Betty Feehan (AIChE). The luncheon will be repeated in 2002 and Ying Wang (DuPont) will coordinate the effort. A location with larger tables will be sought for 2002 to facilitate more interaction between participants. The question of differential pricing for students and non-students will be investigated.
Discussion was raised regarding coordination of WIC with other women engineering/chemical societies. ACS has invited WIC to participate in a symposium titled "Collaborations for All" on April 7, 2002. Joan Brennecke (Notre Dame), past chair of WIC, agreed to represent WIC at the meeting. Peggy Layne (NAE) indicated a similar session with other engineering societies is planned for July and WIC's participation will be sought.
The group discussed the importance of determining ways to sustain women chemical engineers in the workplace. Melissa Rieger (Oklahoma) agreed to liaison with the Local Sections Committee to see how women's involvement can be promoted.
Betty Feehan (AIChE) briefed the group about a topical conference planned for the Spring Meeting 2002 on Career Planning Opportunities. This precipitated discussion on WIC increasing involvement at the spring meeting and the possibility of having a business meeting in New Orleans.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:45.