Program Details

Western Michigan University

Updated: September 18, 2018

Total number of tenure-track or tenured faculty

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Number of women in tenure-track or tenured faculty positions

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[Calculated] Percentage of women in tenure-track or tenured faculty positions

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Total number of graduate students

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Number of women graduate students

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[Calculated] Percentage of women graduate students

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Total number of post doctoral associates

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Number of women post doctoral associates

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[Calculated] Percentage of women post doctoral associates

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Is there a family leave policy for graduate students? If so, describe.

No.

Is there family health insurance for graduate students? If so, is it included in the stipend?

Graduate students can purchase family health insurance, but it is not included in the stipend.

Do you have a Woman in Physics Group? If yes, please include link to their website if they have one.

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Do you have a Physics Graduate Student Association? If yes, please include link to their website if they have one.

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What other relevant student groups are there in your institution?

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Has your institution ever hosted a Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics? If yes, which year?

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Has your institution ever hosted an APS Climate Site Visit for Women and Minorities in Physics?

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Please describe why someone applying to graduate school who is interested in a female-friendly department should choose your department.

The Department of Physics at Western Michigan University consists of 2 female (Profs. Lisa Paulius and Nora Berrah) and 16 male professors. Since the department began offering a Ph.D. in 1990, a total of 40 Ph.D. degrees have been granted, of which 6 have been to women (15%). In addition, a total of 90 Master's degrees have been granted, of which 23 have been to women (25%).

Students interested in a female-friendly physics department should apply to WMU because 1) the department offers a variety of programs in Astrophysics, Atomic and Molecular, Condensed Matter, and Nuclear physics. 2) The department has two role models as full physics professors, Profs. Paulius and Berrah who have been in the department since 1993 and 1991, respectively. Both started as Assistant Professors and climbed the ranks to become Full Professors. 3) The department strives successfully to recruit female students. 4) The retention rate of female graduate students funded by the department is nearly 100%. 5) The department has social events such as a holiday potluck dinner and fall and spring picnics to increase the interaction between faculties and students. 6) The department offers a mentoring program to undergraduate students. Graduate students are mentored via their research advisers/thesis committee members. 7) The Chair and a department committee have organized a lounge space (Physics Student Commons) where students can meet to increase networking and work together. 8) We have recently begun a journal club that allows students to meet and discuss research topics outside their research areas to both increase their research experience and also informally socialize. 9) Informal meetings between female students and female faculty have occurred, and we are planning more frequent interactions. 10) One of the female faculty, Prof. Berrah, has experience with gender issues and was a member and chair of the APS Committee on the Status of Women in Physics (CSWP). All the professors are committed to working with students to make their experience at WMU both productive and enjoyable.

Please include the name of faculty or staff member and an email they can be reached at for further questions.

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