$1.9M grant aims to close gender gap

November 25, 2009

While experts predict the majority of workers in the United States will be women by the end of this year, they still lag far behind men in earning doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

To help close this gender gap, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a $1.9 million grant to a team of ASU researchers, led by Bianca L. Bernstein, a professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, to support efforts designed to help women persist and succeed in STEM doctoral degree programs. Download Full Image

“From a national point of view, we want to improve the quality of scientific discovery,” Bernstein said. “There’s no question the discoveries and innovations are important, but so are the human beings in the system, where the road to becoming a scientist or engineer can be a tough one for women.”

The rate at which women are earning doctoral degrees in STEM disciplines is 7 percent to 10 percent lower than their male counterparts, according to the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), which identifies gender as the strongest predictor of doctoral degree completion in STEM fields.

More women with advanced degrees in STEM fields translates into “new ideas, new patents and new developments coming to fruition,” said Susanne Neuer, the president of the Central Arizona Chapter of the Association for Women in Science and an associate professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences.

ASU’s CareerWISE II project seeks to understand and decrease the loss of committed women from science and engineering doctoral programs as it addresses an overarching research question: Can deliberate resilience training, delivered via the Internet, strengthen women’s persistence in doctoral programs in science and engineering?

The first phase of the project was supported by $1 million in NSF funding awarded in 2006. Through CareerWISE II, the researchers are extending their previous work by developing and testing a resource-rich Web site that will provide a unique, interactive, multimodal learning environment for improving interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills among STEM women.

The innovative Web site offers the first empirical-based approach to providing women pursuing advanced degrees in STEM with a comprehensive course of psychological education via the Web. It includes materials designed to help women strengthen their interpersonal skills and further develop the personal and psychological resources critical for mobilizing support and overcoming obstacles.  The site will feature:

• Key modules for building interpersonal skills.

• Videos from candid interviews with successful women who describe the challenges and successes they experienced during their own doctoral studies in science and engineering.

• Self-quizzes and other activities that promote resilience skills.

The CareerWISE program recently began recruiting female doctoral students in science and engineering disciplines nationwide to preview and evaluate the new Web tool. There’s been an overwhelming response, with about 300 women expressing interest in the first week.

The enthusiastic response came as no surprise to Bernstein.

“At conferences I never talk about obstacles women face in STEM doctoral programs without someone having a story about how it happened to them,” she says. “The perspectives of psychology can help women better manage these situations.”

Joining Bernstein on the CareerWise II project are Robert Atkinson, an associate professor of educational technology; Jennifer M. Bekki, an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at the Polytechnic campus; and a team of graduate students and research assistants led by Caroline Harrison, a postdoctoral researcher. Mary Lee Smith, a Regents’ Professor with the Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education and highly regarded scholar in qualitative and mixed methods research, is directing the research studies.

“We know from our early studies that it is not unusual for these bright and talented women to experience a loss of confidence during their graduate years,” Bernstein said. She added that interviews with women in STEM doctoral programs revealed four common sources of discouragement: lack of direction or active encouragement from advisers, difficulty with striking the work/life balance, facing a cold or isolating departmental climate, and coping with delays and setbacks. 

CareerWISE teaches skills to ward off discouragement and stay focused and motivated to complete their degrees.  Bekki said the training is flexible and “the Web site will appeal to STEM students and professionals because it supplements the problem-solving model scientists and engineers are so familiar with.”

The new NSF grant will allow the ASU researchers to take the project a step further by adding a comprehensive training in interpersonal communication skills. And, with the assistance of faculty and students from Educational Technology, Arts, Media and Engineering and Communication Studies, the research team will add branching simulations to the content that already is available. 

“The simulations will enable women to role-play and get immediate feedback on what would happen if they took this action,” Atkinson said. “Women will have an opportunity to practice their newfound skills in a safe environment and figure out a style that works best for them. The simulations also serve as a catalyst for women to go and read items from a collection of related resources, including briefs and other stories.”

Atkinson adds the Web site allows users to spend as much or as little time as they choose.

“We recognize that women who will be using it will only be going in for short bursts of time to get content that’s relevant to their particular issues,” he said.

Randomized clinical trials now are under way. The researchers expect to announce the public launch of the Web site in 2010.

Lori Baker, lorikbaker">mailto:lorikbaker@cox.net">lorikbaker@cox.net
Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education

Wrestling set to host intrastate rival Grand Canyon

November 25, 2009

Following a tough road swing through Oklahoma that resulted in a pair of losses to nationally ranked foes, the No. 20 Arizona State University wrestling team will look to get back to its winning ways this weekend in its home opener as the Sun Devils welcome the Antelopes of nearby Grand Canyon University on Sunday. ASU and GCU -- an NCAA Division II school in Phoenix -- will meet inside Wells Fargo Arena at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

For the third year in a row, the Sun Devils will wrestle against two schools hailing from the state of Arizona, which, prior to the 2007-08 season, had not happened since 1981 when ASU won, 34-12, at Arizona and 43-6 at home against Northern Arizona. The first of the two intrastate battles is set to take place this Sunday at 2 p.m. with Grand Canyon visiting the Sun Devils while the second dual will be held January 24 at 3 p.m. when the Sun Devils travel north to Prescott to face Embry-Riddle, just the program's second road dual against another Arizona school since 1993. In that 16 year span, the Sun Devils have wrestled another Arizona school 10 times (11-0), defeating Embry-Riddle nine times and Grand Canyon twice. Overall, the Sun Devils stand 55-9-0 all-time against teams from the state of Arizona, including 9-0-0 against ERAU and 2-0-0 against GCU, the lone remaining programs in the state. Download Full Image

After opening their season with two wins on the road in California, the Sun Devils dropped a pair of duals on the road in Oklahoma, falling 21-9 at No. 4 Oklahoma State and 24-11 at No. 12 Oklahoma over the weekend. Despite the losses, the Sun Devils hung tough throughout as all 10 matches at OSU were decisions, including three that were decided by two points and three others decided by three points. In the dual with the Sooners, only two matches produced bonus points (one for each side) with the remaining eight matches ending in decision, including two, one-point endings and three, two-point decisions.

While eight Sun Devils entered the weekend with undefeated records, only two came out of the Midwest road swing with zero losses on the year as both No. 3 Anthony">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/robles_anthony00.html">... Robles (125) and No. 5 Chris">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/drouin_chris00.html">Chris Drouin (141) went 2-0 on the weekend.

Chris">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/drouin_chris00.html">Chris Drouin's weekend included a pair of nationally ranked opponents with the Sun Devil junior winning both matches. First up in Stillwater, Drouin used an early takedown in the first period to push himself to a 4-1 victory over No. 11 Jamal Parks. Then, on Sunday, Drouin and No. 17 Zack Bailey met with Drouin's early takedown also standing as the difference as the 2009 All-American won by a 3-1 score.

Once again this year, opponents are finding it difficult to score on Anthony">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/robles_anthony00.html">... Robles. Through four matches, Robles has won three technical falls and one decision, a 2-0 defeat of No. 8 Chris Notte of Oklahoma State. Combined this year, Robles has outscored his opponents, 60-8 and has shut out his last two foes, including the 2-0 defeat of Notte and a 16-0 technical fall over Justin Forrest of Oklahoma. Robles' previous wins were technical falls of 20-3 and 22-5 on the road at UC Davis and CS Fullerton, respectively.

Ben">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/ashmore_ben00.html">Ben Ashmore has put together a solid opening to the season as the junior stands 3-1 and is currently ranked No. 20 in the nation according to Amateur Wrestling News (Nov. 24). Ashmore opened the year with a win by forfeit at UC Davis and followed that with a pin of Eddie Garcia of CS Fullerton in 6:15. He nearly knocked off No. 11 Jordan Oliver, instead falling in a tough 4-2 overtime decision in his return to Stillwater. He rebounded on Sunday with a 7-5 decision over Alex Ekstrom of Oklahoma.

The National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) released its coaches' team rankings once again on Tuesday with Sun Devils remaining in the No. 20 position for the third week in a row. Five of ASU's 2009-10 opponents are also currently members of the national Top 25 rankings, including No. 2 Iowa State, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 25 Cal Poly. Oregon State also is on the list as receiving votes.

According to the latest Amateur Wrestling News Individual Rankings (Nov. 24), three Sun Devils are currently members of the national Top 20 with all three coming in the lightest weights. Anthony">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/robles_anthony00.html">... Robles remained No. 3 at 125 pounds while Chris">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/drouin_chris00.html">Chris Drouin remained No. 5 at 141 pounds. At 133 pounds, Ben">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/ashmore_ben00.html">Ben Ashmore is the newest addition to the rankings for the Sun Devils as he enters the list this week at No. 20.

The Sun Devils hold a 2-0-0 advantage in the all-time series with the Antelopes after winning each of the last two duals after Grand Canyon started their program. The Sun Devils are 1-0-0 all-time at home after winning the first meeting in the series, 42-10, in Tempe. In the last meeting, the Sun Devils traveled into Phoenix to Antelope Gym and recorded a 41-6 defeat of the host Antelopes on January 3, 2009.

The Sun Devils traveled to Phoenix and won 9-of-10 matches to cruise to a 41-6 defeat of Grand Canyon in a dual held in Antelope Gym on January 3, 2009. The dual opened at 157 pounds with the Sun Devils winning the first nine matches in a row, including seven that produced bonus points. Michael">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/swigart_michael00.html"... Swigart (157), Kyle">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/deberry_kyle00.html">Kyle DeBerry (165) and Jake">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/cranford_jake00.html">Jake Cranford (197) all won by major decision; Chris">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/drouin_chris00.html">Chris Drouin (141) won by technical fall; Jake">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/meredith_jake00.html">Jake Meredith (184) won by fall in 1:44 and both Imanibom">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/etukeren_imanibom00.htm... Etukeren (285) and Anthony">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/robles_anthony00.html">... Robles (125) each won by forfeit. Other winners for the Sun Devils included Eric">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/starks_eric00.html">Eric Starks (174) and Angel">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/alegre_angel00.html">Angel Alegre (133).

Are you a social net-worker that wants to get connected to the Sun Devils? Well, we have two ways you can do that! If you are on Twitter, request to follow our program by going to Twitter.com/ASUWrestling for our latest tweets. If you are on Facebook, type Sun Devil Wrestling into the search box and join our fan page, which will have updates and photos throughout the year. And be sure to check back throughout the season to find out about special happenings, including auctions for seats on the ASU bench and other great deals.

While the social network sites are a great way to get updates on us, another way for future Sun Devils, their coaches, our alumni and all friends of the program can stay in touch with us is by filling out the form on the wrestling page of TheSunDevils.com. On that page, under the headlines, are links to filling out a recruiting questionnaire as well as a questionnaire for our alumni to reconnect and for others to also become part of the program. Make sure you fill out the form to stay up-to-date on the program.

This weekend, the Sun Devils will be playing host to Grand Canyon (Nov. 29, 2 p.m.) inside Wells Fargo Arena in their first of five home duals this year. Fans have the unique opportunity to get up close to the action as they can purchase mat side tickets for the entire season for a $75 donation to the program. Fans can also support the program and show their Sun Devil pride by purchasing 'Wrestling with the Devil' T-shirts. Both the ticket and T-shirt forms can be found on the right side of the wrestling page on TheSunDevils.com (look under SUPPORT ASU WRESTLING). Merchandise and autographs with the wrestlers and coaches also will be available on the arena floor following the dual.

Last year, the Sun Devils had a starting line-up much of the season that consisted of two sophomores, two juniors, three true freshmen and three redshirt freshmen. With eight of the 10 in just their first or second seasons, the Sun Devils had one of the youngest lineups in the nation. This year, however, those young wrestlers enter the season with more experience and a line-up that has just two freshmen, Michael">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/hawkins_michael00.html"... Hawkins (redshirt freshman) and Anthony">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/pike_anthony00.html">An... Pike (true freshman) at 197.

Just the sixth head coach in the 47-year history of the program, former Sun Devil All-American Shawn">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/charles_shawn00.html">S... Charles made his debut on the sideline over the weekend and became the fourth coach in a row to win his first dual with the Sun Devils as Arizona State downed host UC Davis, 39-6. The past three coaches each posted victories in their debuts, including a 30-15 win at CS Bakersfield for Bobby Douglas (1974-75 season), a 23-15 win at Clarion for Lee">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/smith_leeroy00.html">Lee Roy Smith (1992-93) and a 40-6 home win for Thom">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/ortiz_thom00.html">Thom Ortiz against CS Fullerton (2001-02). Ted Bredehoft, following one forfeit win and one forfeit loss, led his team to victory with a 38-0 blanking of Cal Poly Pomona (1962-63) to also collect a win in his first dual in which wrestling took place. The only coach that did not register a victory in his first dual was John Wadas, who saw his Sun Devils fall at home to Utah, 23-11, to open the 1971-72 season.

Arizona State continued a recent string of success in their first dual of the season as the Sun Devils' defeat of UC Davis have ASU a win in it's fifth season-opening dual (including three in a row against UCD). Overall, the Sun Devils are 35-13-0 all-time in their first dual of the season and 32-16-0 all-time in their first road contest of the season.

Since joining the Pac-10 Conference in time for the 1978-79 season, the Sun Devils have built a 28-4-1 all-time record in their first conference dual of the season and hold a mark of 23-5-0 all-time in their first Pac-10 road dual of the year (ASU didn't wrestle a Pac-10 foe on the road five times) following the win at UC Davis. Arizona State is 12-0-1 in its last 13 Pac-10 openers with its last loss coming during the 1996-97 season in a 21-18 set back to CS Bakersfield in Tempe.

Despite posting a 3-4 record against Pac-10 foes last year, the Sun Devils still hold a strong record all-time against schools in the conference and are 2-0 so far this season. Dating back to Arizona State joining the conference for the 1978-79 season, the Sun Devils have been one of 18 different schools that called the Pac-10 home with ASU and seven others still competing (including Boise State, Cal Poly, CS Bakersfield, CS Fullerton, Oregon State, Stanford, UC Davis). As members of the Pac-10, ASU holds an 84-21-1 record. When counting in the other schools that no longer compete, ASU is 125-21-1 against 17 teams during their time as members of the Pac-10.

In the 31 years the Sun Devils have competed in the Pac-10 Conference, they have won 16 championship crowns and 100 individual Pac-10 titles. When you include all 47 years the Pac-10 has sponsored a wrestling championship, the Sun Devils trail only Oregon State in both categories as the Beavers have won 17 team titles and 117 individual titles. Also since ASU joined the conference, the Sun Devils and Boise State are the only two schools to have won at least one individual title in each of the 10 current weight classes while ASU is the only school in Pac-10 history to win at least one title in each of the 19 weight classes that have been used since the 1979 championships.

Twenty-five wrestlers return to the roster once again this season, including nine of the 10 men that competed at the Pac-10 Championships. The Sun Devils return three Pac-10 finalists in Anthony">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/robles_anthony00.html">... Robles (125 champion), Chris">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/drouin_chris00.html">Chris Drouin (141 runner-up) and Eric">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/starks_eric00.html">Eric Starks (174 runner-up) with both Robles and Drouin coming off an All-American season as the duo placed fourth and sixth, respectively, at the NCAA Championships. Other starters returning include David">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/prado_david00.html">David Prado (133), Vicente">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/varela_vicente00.html">... Varela (149), Te">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/edwards_te00.html">Te Edwards (157), Kyle">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/deberry_kyle00.html">Kyle DeBerry (165), Jake">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/meredith_jake00.html">Jake Meredith (184) and Imanibom">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/etukeren_imanibom00.htm... Etukeren (285). Several others that started at various points in the season are also back this season, including Erik">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/nye_erik00.html">Erik Nye (285), Michael">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/swigart_michael00.html"... SwigartJerrad">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/trulson_jerrad00.html">... Trulson (157). In all, the returnees include four seniors, nine juniors, nine sophomores and two redshirt freshmen. (157) and

The program also has welcomed eight new wrestlers to the fold with six coming to Tempe as true freshmen and two in their sophomore year at Arizona State. The newcomers include Carlos">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/castro_carlos00.html">C... Castro (141, Tucson, Ariz./Amphi HS), Sergio">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/cortez_sergio00.html">S... Cortez (165, Moorpark, Calif./Royal HS), Tai">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/fukumoto_tai00.html">Tai FukumotoKalin">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/goodsite_kalin00.html">... Goodsite (133, Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King HS), Orson">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/lor_orson00.html">Orson Lor (165, Tucson, Ariz./Amphi HS), Anthony">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/pike_anthony00.html">An... Pike (197, Tucson, Ariz./Sunnyside HS), Jared">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/stephens_jared00.html">... Stephens (133, Westland, Mich./Westland John Glenn HS) and Daniel">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/walker_daniel00.html">D... Walker (133, Phoenix, Ariz./Shadow Mountain HS). (149, Seattle, Wash./Lakeside HS),

Not only did eight new wrestlers join the program this season, but so did three staff members, including Bryan">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/snyder_bryan00.html">Bryan Snyder (head assistant coach), Raymond">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/jordan_raymond00.html">... Jordan (volunteer coach) and Ben">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/askren_ben00.html">Ben Askren (director of operations).
• Snyder was a four-time All-American (157) for Nebraska and was a two-time national runner-up. A four-time Big XII Champion and three-time NWCA All-Star Classic selection, Snyder went 136-11 with a 69-4 dual record in his days in Lincoln. He was a four-time NWCA All-Academic and Academic All-Big XII selection before earning two degrees from NU in 2002 (Sociology, Communication Studies).
• Jordan was a two-time All-American at Missouri, earning the honors at 174 (2009) and 184 (2008) to become just the fourth Tiger to earn All-America honors at two different weights. A four-time NCAA qualifier and 2007 Big XII Champion (174), Jordan went 123-29 in his career before earning a degree in Personal Finance Planning from MU in 2008.
• Askren, a U.S. Olympian at the 2008 Beijing Games, was a four-time NCAA All-American, four-time finalist and two-time NCAA Champion for Missouri. A two-time Dan Hodge Award winner, the three-time Big XII Champion went 153-7 in his career, won an NCAA record 18-consecutive matches by first-period pin and won 93 matches by pin in his career. Askren was a four-time NWCA All-Academic honoree and graduated from MU in 2007.

With their performances in St. Louis, Robles and Drouin both earned All-America honors to become the 63rd and 64th national honorees in the program's history. Overall, the Sun Devil program has collected 104 total All-America honors with four individual earning four honors in their careers, including current head coach Shawn">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/charles_shawn00.html">S... Charles, the first Sun Devil in program history to do so. Robles and Drouin will now look to become the 31st and 32nd Sun Devils to earn multiple All-America honors in a career, which also includes current assistant coach Brian">http://thesundevils.cstv.com/sports/m-wrestl/mtt/stith_brian00.html">Brian Stith, who was a two-time honoree.

The Sun Devils will compete in their first tournament action of the season next weekend as they will travel to Primm, Nev., for the 2009 Cliff Keen/Las Vegas Invitational on Friday and Saturday, December 4-5.