Diversity Journal Club


Diversity Journal Club is held monthly on a Wednesday at 12:45pm in McPherson Lab Room 4054. Lunch is provided and will be served prior to the beginning of presentations/discussion at 12:45pm unless otherwise noted.


Autumn 2019 Schedule:

Sept 18 - Paul Martini (OSU) - Establishing a Department Code of Conduct

Oct 9 - OSU Dennis Learning Center Staff - Stress Less: Tips for Building Academic Confidence and Resilience

Nov 6 - Grace Olivier (OSU) - Demographics of OSU Astronomy Coffee Participation

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Previous Semesters


Mar 4 - Ben Wibking (OSU) - Mental Health and Graduate Students: A Review of the (Small) Literature

Abstract: I will present a summary of the current studies of graduate students' mental health, focusing in particular the prevalence of anxiety and depression.  I will summarize the recommendations of a small number of university- and graduate-student-sponsored reports on the topic, and conclude with a discussion of possible next steps for our department to be proactive about graduate student mental health.


Nov 13 - Paul Martini (OSU) - Lessons from Diversity and Inclusion from Google's Project Aristotle

Abstract: One famous quote from Aristotle is "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." This is the origin of the name of Google's Project Aristotle, which was a detailed study of 180 teams to answer the question: What makes an effective team? The answer was surprising - the most important factor was the existence of a sense of psychological safety, which is the perception of the consequences of taking an interpersonal risk, such as the risk of appearing unintelligent or negative. And many factors were not important at all, such as the mix of personality types, and whether or not the teams were simply stacked with the people with the strongest resumes. These results are very relevant for diversity and inclusion because environments with high psychological safety are also ones where people from diverse backgrounds feel most welcome to participate, and are the most inclusive. I will describe Project Aristotle and psychological safety in more detail, as well as draw parallels between teams at Google and academia.

Sept 26 - Sarah Kessler & Annika Peter (OSU) - LGBTQ+ Inclusivity in Physics and Astronomy

Abstract: We present the Best Practices Guide (https://arxiv.org/abs/1804.08406) for academic departments and other institutions striving to create more inclusive environments for physicists and astronomers in the LGBTQ+ community. The recommendations incorporate new research and are designed for anyone who wishes to become aware of -- and help mitigate -- the extra burdens that face members of the LGBTQ+ community in the physical sciences.

Paper discussed during this presentation: https://arxiv.org/abs/1804.08406

Aug 8 - Steven Villanueva & Katie Auchettl (OSU) - Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences

Abstract: The National Academies report "Sexual Harassment of Women" explores the influence of sexual harassment in academia on the career advancement of women in the scientific, technical, and medical workforce. This report reviews the research on the extent to which women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine are victimized by sexual harassment and examines the existing information on the extent to which sexual harassment in academia negatively impacts the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women pursuing scientific, engineering, technical, and medical careers. It also identifies and analyzes the policies, strategies and practices that have been the most successful in preventing and addressing sexual harassment in these settings.

Paper discussed during this presentation: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24994/sexual-harassment-of-women-climate-culture-and-consequences-in-academic

Jun 27 - Mike Lopez (OSU Physics) - Two Interventions in Motion at OSU Physics: Targeted Psychological and Programmatic Mentorship

Abstract: The theme of this astronomy/physics Diversity Journal Club meeting is interventions to increase retention, achievement, and satisfaction in physics/astronomy. The first paper demonstrates that a small targeted psychological intervention conducted in class can combat negative stereotypes of women in science and lead to greater learning and course grade outcomes among women especially those most susceptible to the stereotype. We will discuss this cutting-edge psychology education intervention technique and how underrepresented populations can receive boosts from them. The second paper shows how a physics mentorship program focused on creating community and belongingness can help increase retention, achievement, and satisfaction among underrepresented populations in physics. We will discuss each paper for about 20 min each. After each discussion I will present work being done at OSU along those intervention routes for about 10 min each. Any time remaining will be open discussion. I would like to stick around to have a post-discussion with graduate students to help bring astronomy input and leadership into Polaris, the OSU Physics graduate-undergraduate mentorship program.

Papers discussed during this presentation: