Monthly Meetings

Summaries of past meetings can be found on this page.

April 24, 2019

This was the final meeting of the semester, and several major agenda items were addressed. First, it was decided that Women in Astronomy will, starting after the end of the spring semester, be known as the Society for Equity in Astronomy (S.E.A.). Over the summer, we will be applying as a registered student organization. Second, we have some new officers! Please check the officer page for our new lineup!

In addition, we laid out the last events that we have this semester, including a potluck at Susan Lamb’s house on Saturday with the Women in Physics & Astronomy, WIPA’s Clothing Swap & Sale on May 1, and the Work-In (sponsored by us) on Reading Day. We also discussed ways to improve engagement for our events targeted at undergrads next year, including advertising workshops to TA’s and professors to tell their students and doing programming workshops earlier in the semester.

March 27, 2019

At this meeting, we reviewed the suggested new names for the group and discussed upcoming events. We will be conducting ranked-choice voting (distributed via the mailing list) between the suggested new group names, including the option of no name change. The results of this poll will be presented at the next meeting, with the name change occurring after the end of this semester.
Upcoming events include programming workshops, an Astronomy Culture Journal Club, Colloquium Teas, a write-in, and the April general meeting. We discussed advertising for the programming workshops, and decided that the topic for the next ACJC would be on the relation between service work, gender, and race in academia. All visiting colloquium speakers will be invited to Colloquium Tea via email from the department, not our group. We discussed the possibility of a trip to Chicago over the summer to see Adler, Fermilab, and possibly University of Chicago, but funding is pending. Finally, the next meeting will be the last of the semester, and we will need to choose several new officers, including Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

February 29, 2019

Our general meetings this semester will occur the last Wednesday of the month, from 5 – 6 pm. Pizza will be provided. At this meeting, we focused primarily on our discussion of a Code of Conduct for the group. We discussed ideas of things that we would like to include, such as having multiple people to contact to report a violation of the code, ways to ensure that people would feel comfortable reporting, and some sort of anonymous box for complaints. We also discussed some levels of response to code violations (ranging from private warnings to suspension from the group to reporting to authorities for acts that are illegal or violations of the University’s code of conduct). A full summary of our Code of Conduct discussion from this meeting can be found here. We also discussed the idea of a name change for the group. We will begin accepting suggestions for a new name, which we will review at the next meeting. The goal with the new name suggestions is to make it clear that the group is no longer restricted to women only.

January 23, 2019

After the increased advertising at the beginning of the semester, our first meeting started with an introduction to the group and our programs. As usual, we briefly discussed the budget for the coming semester; we will find out if we will receive funding for the proposed Chicago trip after APS March meeting. We brainstormed undergrad events such as study nights, another hack and snack, and workshops on topics like working in a terminal on Unix/Mac/Windows, virtual machines, using LaTeX, REUs, etc. A writing lock-in was also proposed as an additional event. It was decided that attendance will be easier if the meetings occur at a regular time and more frequently, so they will move to once a month. A single poll will be sent to determine the recurring day and time. Finally, we will begin sign-ups for the baked goods advertising booth in Loomis and make an official call for interest in re-ordering the t-shirts.

December 12, 2018

For the final meeting of the semester, we reviewed the budget utilization from this semester and updated the budget proposal for Spring. As per the suggestion at this meeting, we now have a channel on the department’s Slack. The main topic of this meeting was increasing undergraduate engagement in the group. We now have three Undergraduate Engagement Officers (Amelia, Melanie, and Cassidy) who will spearhead advertising to undergraduate courses and organizing undergraduate-targeted events such as study nights with TAs present. There was also interest in having an informational booth in Loomis with free baked goods.

October 20, 2018

We reviewed the semester’s budget and touched base on our different programs including the career development panels that were held this semester. We primarily brainstormed and gauged interest in some more ambitious events to propose for next semester. The highest priority events were a workshop at FabLab or coordinating a day trip to Chicago to see, eg. Fermilab and Adler, perhaps with similar groups at another institution.

September 6, 2018

At the first meeting of the year, we first reviewed our budget, including options for mentoring incentives. We discussed additional events for this semester and to propose for the future. We decided to organize post doc panels (aimed at graduate students) and graduate student/faculty panels on applying to graduate school and getting into research (aimed at undergrads), ideally in the next month or so to be applicable to this round of applications. Possible future events include networking trips to similar groups, going out to dinner as a group, taking a day trip to Chicago to visit Fermilab/Adler/Observatories, and workshops at FabLab. It was noted that the links on our website should include information about workshops regarding industry/non-academic jobs. For future meetings this semester, we may go to the apple orchard or pottery place. We discussed the topic for the next Astronomy Culture Journal Club, and chose our new Vice Chair (Ada).

May 3, 2018

During this meeting, we discussed recent collaboration with Women in Physics groups resulting from a grant to promote increased mentoring, etc. to women/non-binary people in physics and astronomy. This collaboration is working to organize a retreat, jointly-organized networking and professional events, and ensure that scheduled events between different groups do not overlap. Incidentally, through this work it may be possible for WiA to receive money for operations and events from the Physics department. We discussed the current account balance – along with the results of the t-shirt sales – and a new proposed budget to request. Over the summer, we will continue to have events; proposed were brown bag picnics and a trip to the pottery place for mentoring participants or the general group. We discussed future callouts for Astronomy Culture Journal Club and the opening of the Vice Chair position in the Fall. We also discussed inviting Kathryn Clancy to tea (a former local colloquium speaker that we had not met with previously).

March 14, 2018

This meeting was a Snack ’n Hack! Last semester, we had reviewed the Nashville Recommendations from the 2015 Inclusive Astronomy Conference and compiled a list of our recommendations to the department. Many of our recommendations were to make certain information easily available to those in the department. At this meeting, we went through that list and worked on gathering information and resources to be placed in an easily-accessible place (perhaps the department’s website).

February 5, 2018

Our first meeting of the semester was a potluck at the Astronomy department. Our main topics of discussion for this meeting revolved around fundraising for this semester. We had previously discussed doing a fundraiser at a local restaurant, but most of them (post-meeting correction: all of them) require registration as a 501c tax-exempt organization. We had also discussed having a bake sale, and were discussing locations that could be reserved despite us not being a registered student organization (RSO). Suggestions were in the lobby of Loomis and in front of the Astronomy Building when the weather warms up. We discussed our t-shirt fundraiser. At an estimate of ~$10/shirt to make, we opted to sell them at $15/shirt to serve as both a fundraiser and allow for an artist commission. We decided a few of us would take a trip to Weiskamp Screen Printing to decide which base shirts to order. We also set a goal of ordering the shirts by the end of February.

We discussed our next Astronomy Culture Journal Club, and it was decided that we will be discussing the Clancy et al. 2017 journal article titled Double jeopardy in astronomy and planetary science: Women of color face greater risks of gendered and racial harassment. Finally, a number of the recommendations that we brought to the department from the 2015 Inclusive Astronomy suggestions simply involve making information readily available to the department. So for our next meeting, we will be having a “Snack and Hack,” where we all work together to compile those resources.

September 27, 2017

Our first meeting of the year was a potluck at Cassie Reuter’s house. Remaining officials were selected, and we discussed plans for the semester, including having t-shirts made (potentially as a fundraiser). We decided to discuss the Nashville Recommendations from the 2015 Inclusive Astronomy conference at the next Astronomy Culture Journal Club and work as a group to compile a list of recommendations for the department.

April 13, 2017


March 10, 2017

We had a meeting in the astronomy classroom to discuss future Astronomy Culture Journal Club topics and collaborative meetings and events with the STEM-Fem group this semester, including an Empower Hour on April 6th and a visit to the Original House of Pancakes & Pottery Place, Saturday, April 29.

February 4th, 2017

We had a potluck dinner with the Women in Physics group at Prof. Susan Lamb’s home.

January 23, 2017

Our first meeting of the semester was our field trip to see the film Hidden Figures! We had a very brief meeting at the Astronomy Department before the meeting to discuss scheduling events for the semester. We were also joined again by our friends from STEM-Fem.

Movie description from their website:

HIDDEN FIGURES is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.

December 2, 2016

The last WiA meeting of the semester was held in the classroom. We discussed ways to take care of yourself during this busy time of year. Any ideas/recipes discussed at the meeting should be emailed to Dom ( if you would like to share them on the website here. We also chose the next Astronomy Culture Journal Club topic, unconscious bias.

October 14, 2016

We met briefly at the department before our field trip to Curtis Orchard, and decided to rename the former “Diversity Journal Club” to “Astronomy Culture Journal Club.” Several members of the STEM-Fem Alliance joined us on our trip, and we discussed our plans to take another field trip to see Hidden Figures when it is in theaters (likely in January). We will try to arrange this trip so we can again be joined by STEM-Fem.

August 31st, 2016

At this potluck meeting we made some minor changes to our mentoring program.  We also made plans to advertise in classes and firmed up plans for the next Diversity Journal Club.  We also started to come up with ideas for occasional social events instead of or in conjunction with future meetings. Click here for full meeting minutes.

August 3rd, 2016

We discussed what we do and don’t like about the Diversity Journal Club format, ways to improve it, and plans for opening up the discussion to men in the near future.  We can also caught up, shared our experiences from the past year, and talked about other ideas we have for the future of Women in Astronomy (like group outings).  For detailed notes and meeting minutes please click here.

June 27th, 2016

As discussed at our previous meeting, there are enough people still around over the summer that we can continue having article discussions during these monthly meetings. At this meeting, we discussed Internalized Sexism, focusing on the article FAQ: What is Internalized Sexism? from Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog. We also decided that the moderation rules for the official Diversity Journal Club discussions will include a 1 minute time limit on any individual’s comment.