UVa CHARGE Program
   
  U.Va. CHARGE
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U.Va. CHARGE Initiatives

Initiative 2: Reimagined Spaces—Voices and Visibility

Oral Histories

What was/is life like for UVa’s women pioneers in the STEM and SBE fields? What do they have to teach us about what it means to be on the leading edge of history? What it means to be a scientist or an engineer? What it means to be a woman faculty member at U.Va.?

CHARGE personnel have been busy this year identifying these women, recording their stories, and conducting qualitative analysis to understand women’s common experience in these uncommon situations. We plan to create an online exhibit, scheduled to go live in the fall of 2015, which will include lessons learned from these early pathfinders and professional photographic portraits of women faculty in all stages of their STEM and SBE careers (see below). There will be a curated exhibit the following year in a local gallery.

Goal: To increase the positive visibility and sense of belonging of STEM and SBE women in the social and physical environment across U.Va. Grounds.

What We’ve Done So Far: The oral history team has interviewed 15 women in STEM and SBE; qualitative coding and analysis is underway.  

For more information contact UVa CHARGE.


Portraiture

We are highlighting women faculty in STEM at UVa by creating exhibitions of professionally executed portraits, which will be coupled with responses from those portrayed to questions such as, “What compels you to be an engineer/scientist/mathematician?” or “What are the highlights of your career so far?”

Why portraiture? And why convey your excitement about being a STEM faculty member?

  • We realize that changing the cultural perceptions of men and women about participation of women in STEM is important.
  • We believe that providing visible images of women in STEM fields can positively improve perceptions of women as scientists.
  • We know that women graduate students consistently say that they rarely hear from the few women faculty in their profession about the joys and benefits of being a scholar/scientist. They want to know: What motivates you and keeps you involved?  

We plan to create an online exhibit, scheduled to go live in the fall of 2015, which will include lessons learned from these early pathfinders and professional photographic portraits of women faculty in all stages of their STEM and SBE careers (see below). There will be a curated exhibit the following year in a local gallery.

Goal: To increase the positive visibility and sense of belonging of STEM and SBE women in the social and physical environment across U.Va. Grounds.

For more information contact UVa CHARGE.


Claiming Spaces – Social Science Research

Useful public spaces are the cornerstones of strong communities and the opportunities those spaces offer to create a free exchange of new ideas and new perspectives benefit all of us.  But when some members of our communities feel unwelcome or unsafe in those spaces, we all lose.

Sophie TrawalterSophie Trawalter, assistant professor of public policy and psychology at U.Va., is examining how public spaces are inviting to some and hostile to others, and her research is helping us change the way we think about public space and the way we empower all individuals to thrive and to contribute to a richer future for everyone.

Goal: To research best ways to increase the positive visibility and sense of belonging of STEM and SBE women in the social and physical environment across U.Va. Grounds.

What We’ve Done So Far: Professor Trawalter and her team have surveyed and interviewed hundreds of students and faculty members. When early study results indicated that safety concerns were a significant issue for women, apparently affecting productivity because of reduced use of research facilities at night, Trawalter added additional research in that arena. She is currently working with the Office of the President, the working group on Safety and Security, and Facilities Management on specific interventions to improve safety on UVa Grounds, based on this research.

For more information contact UVa CHARGE.   If you want to support Professor Trawalter’s work on space and safety on grounds, go to safergrounds.org

Related links

Portraiture Project

safergrounds.org


© Copyright 2012-2015 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia

This is an ambitious effort that will require the assistance of many! If you are interested in getting involved, we welcome your participation. Please send an email to the team at uvacharge@virginia.edu. Feedback and suggestions are also welcome.

U.Va. CHARGE Program | Rice Hall 85 Engineer's Way | P.O. Box 400239 | Charlottesville, VA 22904