Online Program

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Friday, October 20
Fri, Oct 20, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM
Aventine Ballroom F
Knowledge, Community, Influence

Comparing and Contrasting Two Generations of Women Working in the Fields of Mathematics and Statistics (303862)

Mary A Wiest, Emeritus, Minnesota State University, Mankato 
*Michelle M Wiest, University of Idaho 

Keywords: navigating career stages, social and societal challenges, mentors, environment, personalities

This mother-daughter duo will relate their experiences and provide advice for navigating graduate school, early, mid, and senior career stages. Mary (mother) was born in 1948, obtained her BA in 1970, MS in 1972, and PhD in 1982, all in mathematics. She has four children and five grandchildren. Michelle (daughter) was born in 1979, obtained her BS in chemistry in 2001, MS in statistics in 2004, and PhD in epidemiology in 2007. She is not a mom, but has human and goat kids in her life. Both of us have held tenure-track faculty positions at mid-size universities, and Michelle had a stint in industry. We will compare and contrast what helped and hindered us at different career phases in the context of the times. We will discuss how the interaction of the environment and our personalities resulted in different experiences and perspectives. More importantly, we will highlight the commonalities between our experiences and what helped us become -- and persist as -- women faculty members in male-dominated departments. In particular, we will stress the importance of having and being a mentor, getting to where you want to be, and dealing with social and societal challenges along the way.