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Volume 42, Number 3


At Iowa, Those Who CAN Teach

Four Year Grad Plan

Half the World Away from Home

In This Office, Students Come First

Pass the Plastic

Tax Deductions

Summer School?

Creating the Level Playing Field

Expanding E-Mail Network

Parent Times Briefs


      Chris Peterson Brus was named to head Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) in October. After several months of networking with students­both women and men­as well as staff and faculty in the sciences and engineering, she says, "I'm trying to create a place where women can be women and men can be men, and both can be recognized for their achievements."
But that isn't easy, she notes, since the way that academics work is predicated on male preferences and patterns. "We have to figure a way to have equal performance standards that take into account the difference between male patterns of learning and leadership and those that women use," she says.

WISE works with science, engineering, and mathematics programs at Iowa to increase opportunities and advancement of women as students, faculty, and professional staff in its areas; to promote a supportive environment for women; to integrate women's ideas, strengths, and approaches into research, teaching, and service; and to inform the public of educational and career opportunities in the field.

Women students are socialized to see that they have a responsibility to their families and communities at all stages of their lives, she says. "Women don't see themselves as defined by their jobs. They do an amazing amount of good work on a volunteer basis, in addition to their studies and other responsibilities. We have to make this a part of recognizing the academic achievement of the whole person."

Brus writes letters to students, their advisers, and the deans of their colleges whenever she sees a news article or other recognition, pointing out these extracurricular achievements. "The more deans get these letters, the more they will have to look at the issue" of the difference in male and female socialization, she says.

"I don't want to put anyone above anyone else, but I do want to make a point of recognizing what we do when we socialize young men and women differently. It's part of creating an equal opportunity for everyone. But first we have to level the playing field."

Brus came to WISE from the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center, where she was director of community outreach and education.

WISE Director Chris Brus chats with students at an ice-cream social.

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