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June 5, 2006

Grad student women in sciences, engineering network with faculty

The first-of-its-kind networking luncheon brought nearly 50 graduate student women in the sciences and engineering together with Chancellor Denice D. Denton and women professors May 30 at the University Center.

Photo: Networking event
From left, Susan Schwartz, professor of earth sciences, and Aura Eroy Reveles, chemistry graduate student, talk to Chancellor Denton, right, at the luncheon.
Photo: Guy Lasnier

The event organizer, Lisa Sloan, vice provost and dean of graduate studies, called the lunch a success and said she hopes to hold several more on an occasional basis.

The idea, Sloan said, was to bring together women graduate students in a casual environment to provide mentoring and support on challenges they may face in science and engineering fields where men tend to dominate.

Discussions included work-life balance, difficulty in gaining recognition, and methods of providing support and networking on the UCSC campus.

Denton told the grad students she had participated in similar networking events at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she obtained her Ph.D. in electrical engineering. “Consider this an opportunity to build on the networks you can rely on in your careers,” she said.

Denton called for a show of hands that revealed that all but one of the graduate students were Ph.D. candidates. One participant brought her baby.

Denton also regularly held networking and mentoring lunches for female engineering students and faculty at the University of Washington where she was dean of engineering before coming to UCSC.

Twelve women faculty members and lecturers took part.

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