Physics Career Mentoring

Equity and Diversity


The purpose of this site is to provide a space where students, parents, and educators can find and share career mentoring resources with an emphasis on women, Blacks, and Latina/o scientists and their contributions to or career aspirations in the sciences--particularly physics. 



Our world is at a technological crossroads.  Not only is it important for everyone to have the skills needed in the new millenium to participate fully in society (professionally and personally).  Our society needs everyone's talents nurtured to the fullest in order to create innovations that serve our planet and ourselves well.  Unfortunately women and people of color are still underrepresented among individuals pursuing studies toward careers in the sciences according to several American Institute of Physics and the American Association of University Women among several research studies.  

The last thirty years have seen a dialogue among educational professionals at international, national, and local levels addressing the issue of underrepresentation.  Several women physicists and other scientists have been invited to speak about the issue of underrepresentation to the ISU Physics Department as part of our proactive approach to addressing the issue of underrepresentation.  Most recently, Dr. Laurie McNeil told us about the IUPAP Conference in Paris, France.  After her visit, Physics Chairperson, Dr. Richard F. Martin, Jr., wrote an article for the 2002 Physics Department Directions Alumni magazine about the issue of underrepresentation of women in science career tracks (pdf).


Creative Solutions--DREAMing of a Physics Career
Every student has the potential to learn and develop if given the educational opportunities and  support they need to thrive.  Students, parents/families and friends, and educators are the key people that can help make career and life dreams a reality--in whatever a student's chose profession might be.  The ISU Physics Department has seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of women students and graduates--a graphic representation of that increase may be viewed via a downloadable pdf--due in no small part to our career mentoring equity and diversity efforts.  To learn more about this mentoring philosophy, visit the Career DREAMs link.


Gateways to Career Information Solutions & Resources
Since students, their parents, and educators will each have different focuses regarding career planning or mentoring, the following three views are designed to quickly link you to career information that will be of most interest to you.  However, feel free to browse the other links for more information, or information presented in a slightly different format:


   Some ISU Physics Faculty and Students chatted with Professor Xide Xi after her talk.  to the department in 1996 (l to r.:  Emeritus Prof. Juergen Schroeer, Prof. Hiroshi Matusoka, Prof. Shang-Fen Ren, Prof. Xide Xi, Physics Major Alumna Heather Dowd, Physics Major Alumna Dr. Garnet Erdakos)

For more information about Prof. Xide Xi, read Dr. Shang-Fen Ren's biography of Prof. Xi in Notable Women in the Physical Sciences:  A Biographical Dictionary, Edited by Benjamin F. and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 1997.

For more information about the other women pictured above, follow these links:
Dr. Shang-Fen Ren - home page at ISU
Heather Dowd, ISU Physics BS 1997
Dr. Garnet B. Erdakos, ISU Physics BS 1997

Link to our Talent Pool of current women undergraduates and recent alumni--who helped with the Physics Department Career Exploration Workshops at ISU's annual EYH Conferences--to learn more about the ISU Physics Department's next generation of scientists.





ISU Physics Outreach Projects Contacts Cover Page (as presented at the BCCCPS Conference on 3/26/11)

The Changing Face of ISU:  Embracing Diversity in Our Students, Our Colleagues, and Ourselves

ISU Physics Department Home page

Sample of ISU Physics Department Career Outreach Activities (in pdf)

Profiles of some of the ISU Physics Department Women Students and Alumni

Download (pdf) Profiles of Women Scientists at ISU from Johns' 2003 Normal Public Library Exhibit for Women's History Month


The 21st Annual Expanding Your Horizons Through Math, Science, and Technology Conference is April 9, 2011--our 21st on the 20th!  (ISU is one of 60 institutional chapters nationwide)

National EYH home page


AWIS-HOI Home page (new)

AWIS (Association for Women in Science)


AAUW (American Association of University Women) home page (for resources)

NWHP (National Women's History Project) home page (for resource materials)

Other Organization Resource Listing



American Physical Society

American Institute of Physics


EAF 524 Projects Page

ISU Home Page

Johns Web Project Site Map


Temporary for Alumni Services:  Solar Car pix and Physics Alumni Event Invitation Postcard front

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Web Site Designed by Grace Foote Johns
For more information about this web site's designer, please link to About the Author at the ISU Physics Department or email her at

Page last updated 3/29/11gfj.