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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Women supported in ‘male’ majors

Female students may feel outnumbered in male-dominated majors, but they are not alone at the UA.

One resource available to female students is the Women in Science and Engineering program.

“”We are looking to enhance, maintain and recruit women into the sciences,”” said November Papaleo, interim director of the program.

The Women in Sciences and Engineering program is hosting a conference entitled ‘Expand Your Horizons’ this year to recruit female students into majors that are traditionally male-dominated.

According to Papaleo, the conference provides campus tours and workshops to give students a more hands-on experience.

The program also created the “”WISE wing”” on the third floor of the Gila Residence Hall reserved for female engineering students.

“”(The WISE wing) seeks to construct and solidify a community of women who are underrepresented in most of these fields,”” said Papaleo.

Residents of the reserved wing are happy about the arrangement.

Shanna Tune, a chemical engineering freshman, said she thinks the WISE wing is helpful.

“”It’s really nice to have that support system of other girls going through the same classes,”” Tune said.

Caitlin Schnitzer, who is also a chemical engineering freshman, shared Tune’s sentiment. 

“”There are people in my classes, so if I need help with chemistry, (I) can find someone with the same problem,”” Schnitzer said.

According to Rebecca Myren, coordinator for Recruitment and Retention of Women in the College of Engineering, female students make up 19 percent of the engineering college.

“”I know that seems really low, but 17 percent is the national average, so we’re a little bit higher. That’s the good news,”” Myren said.

This year’s freshman class of engineering students is evidence of the hard work done by people like Myren and Papaleo. According to Myren, the class is nearly 22 percent women.

A study done by the National Science Foundation in 2006 suggests that this trend is neither local nor recent. The report shows that the number of science and engineering degrees earned by women has increased almost every year since 1966.

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