Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Women in Physics

Between 2012 and 2014, approximately a tenth of physics bachelor's degrees at U of I have been awarded to women. Despite the Department of Physics being commonly known as a friendly and encouraging community committed to achieving academic excellence through collaboration, this number is rather low. As a community, we are dedicated to rejecting this status quo and want to not only encourage more female students and researchers to join our ranks, but also support the women already working within our department. We believe that we will be most successful only when everyone with a passion for research, education, and outreach can work within our community without fear of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, sex or sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, religion, culture, national origin or ancestry, or socioeconomic status. We recognize that discrimination and bias based on gender and gender identity are all too common and aim to strengthen a departmental culture that makes these incidents rare and unacceptable in every way. Furthermore, we want to actively maintain and reinforce an environment where women and gender minorities can thrive and feel supported and empowered as researchers, members of our community and, quite simply, people. Through our work, we wish to present these individuals with tools for success, provide resources for amplifying their voices, and offer any aid necessary for making everyday experiences in the Department of Physics encouraging and positive.

November 2018

Intersectionality 101
November 26, 2018
Intersectionality 101 November 26, 2018
To kick-off Intersectionality Week in the Department of Physics, Women in Physics and Astronomy invite you to a panel discussion introducing the concept of intersectionality and outlining its relevance for issues of diversity, representation and education in physics and STEM fields in general. 

Featuring experts in social science and physics education, this panel will aim to answer questions about how we can best talk about the complexity of identities (What does it mean to experience both oppression and privilege? How have past reforms and attempts at diversity related activism fallen short due to lack of intersectionality? How can we use the framework of intersectionality to be better teachers, better collaborators and better physicists?) represented in our department and the larger scientific community. The panel will conclude with a Q&A session and light refreshments will be served. 

We hope you can join us!

October 2018

WIPA Celebration and Solidarity Hour October 3, 2018
WIPA Celebration and Solidarity Hour October 3, 2018
Hosted by Illinois GPS (Guidance for Physics Students) and WiPA (Women in Physics and Astronomy), the Solidarity and Celebration Hour will be an opportunity to reaffirm the contributions of women and nonbinary folks to the field of physics and society at large. 

Particularly in light of the recent CERN incident and the barrage of media discussing sexual assault, this space is intended to be a place where we can eat comfort food, be kind to each other, and celebrate our newest woman Nobel prize winner, Dr. Strickland, with a big cake!





September 2018

Poster making bootcamp Monday, September 17, 2018
Poster making bootcamp Monday, September 17, 2018
The Women in Physics and Astronomy group is excited to host a Poster Bootcamp next Monday 9/17 at 5:30pm in 222/276 Loomis with dinner afterwards. Celia Elliot will introduce you to the art of making a great scientific poster, and we'll have examples and a quick feedback session at the end as you make your own. This is a great event to come to if you have a conference or presentation coming up, or just want to learn or improve a useful skill. Bring a laptop and a friend, and let us know on our facebook event so we know how much food to get. Everyone is welcome!


August 2018

Women in Physics and Astronomy Retreat at Camp Widjiwagan in Springfield, IL flyer August 21-22, 2018
Women in Physics and Astronomy Retreat at Camp Widjiwagan in Springfield, IL flyer August 21-22, 2018
As a first step in building a supportive community for women and gender minorities in our department, we are starting the 2018-2019 academic year with the first ever Women in Physics and Astronomy Retreat at Camp Widjiwagan in Springfield, IL. This free, two-day camping retreat will be a great time to meet new people, learn about the department, and have fun! Food, housing, and transportation will be provided, along with a host of fun activities!

If you have questions or would like more information don't hesitate to contact us at wip.retreat@gmail.com.