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Meeting Minutes
Torch Club of the Fox Valley
12 November 2015
Atlas Coffee Mill & Café

Notes taken by: Jude Kuenn, secretary
Attendees:  Karen Buchhuber, Jim Baumbach, David Debbink, Marcia Debbink, Mary Flanagan, Paul Freiburg, Jean Hedges, Walt Hedges, Jean Jepson, Barbara Kelly, Bill Kelly, Jude Kuenn, Amy Oberg, Mary Paulson, Richard Schoenbohm, Katie Shaw, Webb Shaw, Jan Smith, Bob Swain, Helen Thiel, Peter Thiel

Guests: None


Meeting called to order at 6:35pm.

  1. Guest introductions: There were no guests.
  2. Mary Flanagan was thanked for having recorded minutes at 10/08/15 meeting. They were accepted, motioned and approved.
  3. Treasurer’s report: balance as of 11/07/15 was $3,064.65. There were payments totaling $99.97 plus membership dues receipts equaling $1,340. Balance did not reflect $50.12 spent for books donated to the Appleton Public Library in memory of Dwight Easty. Report was accepted, motioned and approved. Barbara passed address roster around the table and requested any changes be noted.  
  4. New Business:
    A: Barbara will investigate when IATC dues is due, and reminded those who have not yet remitted for the year, price is $70 for individual and first household member, and $45 for second household member.
  5. Announcements:
    1. Mary invited everyone to 11/18/15 Noonhour Philosophers meeting. Guest speaker will be Chef Jeff, Jeff Igel, Department Chair, Culinary Arts and Hospitality at FTVC. Amy’s 11/11/15 talk on ‘The Brain’ was well-organized and informative.
    2. Barbara shared 11/07/15 E.A.T.s event was terrific at UW-Fox Valley. A fundraiser for UW-Fox Foundation, money from the evening will be applied towards ($180k of) scholarships given to worthy students.
    3. Paul attended a ‘Kaizen’ blitz at his company’s facility in Boscobel, WI. The word is Japanese for ‘good change’. He is interested in reading the books donated to APL in Dwight’s honor.
    4. Peter has watercolor notecards on display and for sale at Atlas Mill.
    5. Jan recommended ‘Transcending Time’, featuring work by world-renowned master glass artist Lino Tagliapietra. The exhibit at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass is superb.

Business segment adjourned at 6:52pm for dinner.
Barbara Kelly presented “Women in STEM”
STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, has also been referenced as GEMS (Girls…), STEAM (A for art), STREAM (reading and art), or STEMM (adding music).
Girls and boys study these areas equally, but an imbalance occurs in college when more males move into STEM fields. There are fewer women in these fields.
48% of the workplace is female with a 21% wage disparity male to female.
24% of STEM workers are female, and there is only a 14% wage discrepancy in these fields.  STEM jobs also generally pay better than other areas as well.
STEM fields are influenced by wide societal perceptions and behaviors –
beliefs regarding intelligence, there is no IQ difference between genders;
workplace bias;
self-assessment, which can ingrain cultural expectations; and
impact of ‘geek’ image for women.

Math and science came easily for Barbara as a youth. Eighth grade found her interested in biology. She saw the field as a possible career, and majored in Biology, Zoology and general science.  But it was difficult to overcome the biases identified above, and she added secondary school teaching credentials to the mix to make career choice more “normal” for a woman.  Teaching science to 7th graders wasn’t a great fit, so after many other jobs, she volunteered at the Appleton Public Library and found “voluntary learners”, people actually coming to her for help finding information they needed.  She made the decision to go back and get the Master’s degree in Library Science.
To raise awareness of women in STEM fields -
attend and promote the topic, like this evening’s discussion;
overcome stereotypes;
help reduce societal bias;
note intelligence skills can be learned (i.e. spacial skills);
change the name of programs from ‘talented and gifted’ to ‘growth’, as an example;
colleges and technical schools need to better promote women in STEM fields;
women need to be recruited to STEM faculty; and
we need to understand our own biases.

Increasing women in STEM fields would benefit to our culture in a variety of ways, broadening our understanding and awareness. 
Next meeting is 12/10/15; speaker will be Amy Oberg, topic: Power of Equus.

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