Diane Halpern Helps Outline Women in Science Findings

A committee chaired by professor of psychology Diane Halpern, on behalf of the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, will soon complete the final draft of a best-practices guide. This report will outline current problems facing girls and women in science and mathematics education and careers in fields commonly known as STEMscience, technology, engineering, and mathematicsas well as offer solutions that address those challenges based on research evidence.

Halpern, director of The Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children at CMC and past president of the American Psychological Association, says the committeewhich met in Washington, D.C.,was formed at the request of the U. S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, to help encourage and enhance the number of girls and women who chose careers in science and mathematics. Its resulting best-practices guide will begin with an explanation of why and what the problem is, as well as what can be concluded from current research.

Halpern’s research and publications include studies in gender differences in cognitive abilities. In December 2005, she discussed biopsychosocial contributions to cognitive performance during a public convocation in Washington, D.C., that was hosted by the National Academies of Science Committee on Women in Academic Science and Engineering to explore the impact of sex and gender on recruiting, hiring, promotion, and retention of academic science and engineering faculty.

She also served as a recent panelist on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday, discussing gender differences in learning.

Halpern received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned post-graduate degrees from Temple University and the University of Cincinnati. Along with Susan Murphy, associate professor of psychology and associate director of the Kravis Leadership Institute, she edited From Work-Family Balance to Work-Family Interaction: Changing the Metaphor, in 2005. Halpern’s other books include Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking (4th ed.), Applying the Science of Learning to the University and Beyond, and Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities (3rd ed.). Her numerous honors include the Western Psychological Association’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002; an honorary doctorate from Mount St. Mary’s College in 2004, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, University of Cincinnati.

Samantha Stecker ’08