In the summer of 2014 we started the WIC Lunch Series with the Female Faculty. The goal of this series is to provide an opportunity, in a more informal setting, for community building between WIC members and the female faculty in the Department of Chemistry. These lunches have spanned an entire year, and in addition to the female faculty, we were able to invite the chemistry lecturers and MLK visiting professor. Looking back, it was a unique opportunity for us to hear many different perspectives on topics ranging from mentorship, finding balance, gender issues, applying to faculty positions, and transitioning from graduate student to post doc to faculty. So much great advice was shared by the inspiring women in our department! We look forward to planning future events that bring students and faculty together.
Professor Cathy Drennan
— Go for the thing you’re interested and passionate about. Just go for it.Professor Liz Nolan
— On transitioning from a post doc to managing a lab as a faculty member: You learn not to make the same mistake twice.
Professor Mei Hong
— On choosing a research focus: Follow your heart as much as your mind.Professor Alice Ting
— You have all these resources and you’re only limited by your creativity. It’s exciting and scary.
— Having scientific conversations are extremely important for idea development.
Dr. Beth Vogel Taylor
— In teaching, it’s useful to have had bench experience. You use it for stories and context.Professor Gabriela Schlau-Cohen
— On advising: You don’t need a style. The most important thing is having communication and being able to adapt.
Professor Susan Solomon
— On formulating research questions: I don’t do work that is derivative of others. I’m often trying to consciously think outside the box.
— On time management: Women are really good at being helpful. Always ask yourself if this would be asked of a guy. Never say yes to something on the telephone. Manage your calendar in the privacy of your own mind.
— Strategies for combatting implicit bias: Have a sense of humor. You don’t want to get mad and create barriers for someone to be more thoughtful about these things.Professor Sylvia Ceyer
— Skills are needed to address bias. If these things take you by surprise, you’re not going to react in the best way. More training and thinking ahead of time about what the best strategies are will help you to react in a constructive way.
Dr. Patti Christie
— If you’re given an opportunity, you take it.Professor JoAnne Stubbe
— On the strength of MIT: I’ve been able to do things here that I couldn’t do anywhere else.
— All of you can find something that excites you.
Professor Malika Jeffries-EL
— I knew I was a chemist early in. I was that girl melting her crayons to find out what happens.
— It’s a sprint and not a marathon. Take a detour, even if it slows down your research. Pick up some other things along the way.
— On being a professor: This is the best job ever.