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Calendar

12/10/2016
“Telescope to Microscope: Perspectives on Science and Faith,” Boston, MA

12/10/2016
Vineyard's Men's Breakfast Meeting, San Dimas, CA

1/27/2017
“The Penultimate Curiosity: How science swims in the slipstream of ultimate questions,” Bristol, UK

2/4/2017
“The Big Questions: Richard Dawkins versus C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life,” Houston, TX

2/24/2017 » 2/25/2017
AMP Conference, San Dimas, CA

CWIS: Christian Women in Science
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Welcome Deb Shepherd

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Friday, September 23, 2016

 

From Lynn Billman

You know the story of why geese fly in a “V” shape?  As it’s been told to me over the years, the birds take advantage of the aerodynamics of flight and get a benefit in that formation from the slipstream of the bird ahead of them.  However, the lead goose has no such advantage.  And periodically, when it gets tired, the lead goose will move back from the lead, and another goose will take its place.

That is a good story to remember whenever you are overwhelmed with life. This past year, that has been true for me.  The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) duties as president of the Executive Council have been more time-consuming than normal, with the changes inherent in seeing Randy off to retirement, hiring Leslie, expanding duties for Vicki, and dealing with the resignation and replacement of one of our Council members.  Before these changes, I agreed to be program chair for ASA 2017, the annual conference being held in Colorado, which requires a lot of early planning to select the best venue, the theme, and the plenary speakers.  As you can imagine, I have not had as much time for CWIS as I did the first three years.  Faith pitched in at a critical moment and organized our great panel at ASA 2016, and Pat and others helped at that conference too, for which I am very grateful.  But for me, the next year does not look much better -- I’m on Council for another 18 months and much has yet to be done for next summer’s conference.  As a result, I have had much angst over the fact that I haven’t been able to make much time for progress recently on new actions or activities.

But, God has His ways!  I first was introduced to Deb Shepherd when the CWIS concept was first in development, and while she was very interested, she quite honestly explained that she was just at the pivot point from a very successful career in engineering, astrophysics, and astronomy, to enter Fuller Seminary, and would not have any spare time.  At the ASA conference in Azusa this summer, Deb and I found each other again.  She graduated in June from Fuller, and is ready to reach out for new God-given adventures.  I was thrilled!  It seemed / seems like an answer to my prayers.

Deb has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for lighting a fire under CWIS and making a difference in the lives of Christian women in the sciences, students and beyond.  Just as importantly, she is at a position in life to make some time for this important organization. After a discussion with the other CWIS Board members, we decided to invite Deb to take over leadership of CWIS, effective immediately.

I won’t go into the interesting details of Deb’s career here, but you can find that at the CWIS blog.  Deb and the CWIS Board are currently considering new actions and activities that would be beneficial to our mission to help Christian women in the sciences and related areas.  Shortly she will take over this periodic communication with you all, and invite you into the conversation as we develop new ideas and actions together!  You can reach her any time at dshepher@gmail.com . 

I will still be on the Board, to help out and support.  I think / hope that will be doable for me, because I remain as dedicated as ever to the real issues faced by women in the sciences and our unique challenges as Christians. So this isn’t good-bye, just the time for me to slide back into the slipstream. Please send an email of welcome to Deb, our lead goose now, whenever you can!

 

Tags:  CWIS  Debra Shepherd  Lynn Billman 

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CWIS Welcomes Deb Shepherd

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, September 6, 2016

 

Image result for Photo of Debra Shepherd Astronomer

The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) and Christian Women in Science (CWIS) are pleased to announce that the leadership of CWIS has passed from our first President and Founder Lynn Billman to Dr. Debra Shepherd. Deb began her career as a research engineer and spent 10 years working on space-based sensors and training NASA astronauts for Space Lab shuttle missions while getting a Masters degree in astrophysics. She earned a Doctorate in Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin.

For 17 years Deb worked as an astronomer and project manager at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), researching star and planet formation and helping to build and commission radio telescopes in the USA, Chile and South Africa.

Deb recently completed a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and serves as a science and English teacher at the Learning Works Charter School in Pasadena, California.

She also serves as a deacon in the United Methodist Church. Last summer she worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help Katanga Methodist University develop a strategic plan and help build a high school in the village of Muleji.

Dr. Shepherd has a great vision for the future of CWIS and she will share some of her thoughts in a post scheduled to appear next week.


The American Scientific Affiliation and Christian Women in Science are please to announce that the leadership of CWIS has passed from Lynn Billman to Deb Shepherd. Deb holds degrees in physics and earned a Doctorate in Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin. She began her career as a research engineer and spent 10 years working on space-based sensors and training NASA astronauts for Space Lab shuttle missions while getting a Masters degree in astrophysics.

 

For 17 years she worked as an astronomer and project manager at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), researching star and planet formation and helping to build and commission radio telescopes in the USA, Chile and South Africa.

 

Deb recently completed a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and serves as a science and English teacher at the Learning Works Charter School in Pasadena, California. She is a deacon in the United Methodist Church. Last summer she worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help Katanga Methodist University develop a strategic plan and help build a high school in the village of Muleji.

The American Scientific Affiliation and Christian Women in Science are please to announce that the leadership of CWIS has passed from Lynn Billman to Deb Shepherd. Deb holds degrees in physics and earned a Doctorate in Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin. She began her career as a research engineer and spent 10 years working on space-based sensors and training NASA astronauts for Space Lab shuttle missions while getting a Masters degree in astrophysics.

 

For 17 years she worked as an astronomer and project manager at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), researching star and planet formation and helping to build and commission radio telescopes in the USA, Chile and South Africa.

 

Deb recently completed a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and serves as a science and English teacher at the Learning Works Charter School in Pasadena, California. She is a deacon in the United Methodist Church. Last summer she worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help Katanga Methodist University develop a strategic plan and help build a high school in the village of Muleji.

The American Scientific Affiliation and Christian Women in Science are please to announce that the leadership of CWIS has passed from Lynn Billman to Deb Shepherd. Deb holds degrees in physics and earned a Doctorate in Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin. She began her career as a research engineer and spent 10 years working on space-based sensors and training NASA astronauts for Space Lab shuttle missions while getting a Masters degree in astrophysics.

 

For 17 years she worked as an astronomer and project manager at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), researching star and planet formation and helping to build and commission radio telescopes in the USA, Chile and South Africa.

 

Deb recently completed a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and serves as a science and English teacher at the Learning Works Charter School in Pasadena, California. She is a deacon in the United Methodist Church. Last summer she worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help Katanga Methodist University develop a strategic plan and help build a high school in the village of Muleji.

Tags:  CWIS  Debra Shepherd 

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CWIS Celebrates First Year

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lynn Billman

"I don't have to filter what I say!" Sharon Petzinger, a wildlife biologist who studies birds for the state of New Jersey, said this to me with a light of joy in her eyes. Hannah Ryan, a grad student at the University of Colorado, echoed the sentiment.

We were at the 2014 Annual Conference of the American Scientific Affiliation, entitled "From Cosmos to Psyche," and this was the first conference for both these women -- a real highlight in their careers.

(Photos courtesy of Sharen Petzinger, left, and Hannah Ryan, right)

2014-08-06-SharonPetzingergwwa.JPG 2014-08-06-IMG_3153.jpeg

The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) is one of my passions. In this organization, a Christian who does serious science can find camaraderie without literally having to "filter what I say." If you've ever gotten "the look" from your church friends when you mention that you are a scientist, or gotten a similar "look" from your lab friends when you mention that you go to church, you know what I mean. At ASA, we can be "out" about both loving Jesus and having passion for excellent science. We work with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in their "Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion" program. And we've been around since 1941 -- yes, it's been a challenge to be both a Christian and a mainstream scientist for a long time... well, since Darwin in the 1850s... OK, since Galileo centuries before, I suppose. Today at least we have this encouraging community to join!

Read it all here.




Tags:  CWIS  Lynn Billman 

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CWIS and ASA: A Place to Connect

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lynn Billman

President CWIS


Do you want to get acquainted with other Christian Women in Science in your area? Would you like to connect with other ASA-CWIS supporters in your state? Would you like to connect with other Christian women chemists, astronomers, or physicists? 

As a professor at a Christian college, would you like to know other Christian women professors near you?  Well, you can do all that and more by searching the ASA Membership Directory at the ASA website. 

The ASA Membership Directory is for members only and only appears when you sign in. It is not public information and this is the membership data the search engine depends on. So, if you are not receiving information from ASA or CWIS it may be that your addresses are not current. Check out the Membership Directory and update your ASA profile.

The search fields I find most useful are:

Name – to find one person

Location (i.e., State) – to find who is in my state

Profession – to find someone in the clergy, medical, government research,  and other professions.

Discipline – to find people in biology, astronomy, engineering, or other areas


After you decide how these search elements may be helpful to you, you have a choice of searching the entire ASA membership list, or you may search "Affiliate:  Christian Women in Science.”  Checking CWIS will help you find others who have signed up as members of our ASA group, thereby demonstrating their interest and commitment to the challenges faced by Christian women in STEM. 

While you’re at it, check out the ASA website in general. You’ll find a lot of interesting information – major science headlines, God and Nature magazine, information on the upcoming ASA annual conference (July 2014 in Ontario), and loads of great articles, blog posts, news feeds, etc., on science and Christianity.  Check it out today!  And use the ASA Membership Directory to find other CWIS members in your area.

 


Tags:  CWIS  Lynn Billman 

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NY Times article on Women in STEM

Posted By Ruth D. Miller, Monday, October 7, 2013

My father brought this (rather long) article to my attention.  It is discouraging, frightening and hopeful all at the same time.  Comments welcome.  It ran in print on 6 October.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/magazine/why-are-there-still-so-few-women-in-science.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&emc=eta1

Tags:  CWIS 

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Engineering job opening: Messiah College

Posted By Ruth D. Miller, Monday, October 7, 2013

CWiS colleagues:

Messiah College is looking for an engineering professor, preferably (but not absolutely) in Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering, and they really really want to hire a woman.  The job listing is here:

https://jobs.messiah.edu/postings/2675

 Ted Davis is one well-known ASA member at Messiah and would probably be happy to answer questions.  Please forward this on to whomever you think would be a good fit.

Tags:  CWIS 

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Lynn Billman: Do We Really Need CWIS?"

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lynn Billman is a scientist and analyst who is just about to retire after 26 years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and 10 years at Chevron and Amoco.  She feels that the Lord has opened a door in her next chapter of life to work with Christians in the sciences, especially women.



Lynn Billman


To my amazement, I was elected to the National Council of the American Scientific Affiliation in December 2012.  When the Executive Director, Randy Isaac, suggested to me that there was work to do in the realm of women’s involvement in science, my reaction was "Really?”  I knew the participation of women in ASA was relatively low (one of the main reasons I ran for Council), but across the science establishment in the U.S.?  When I decided to major in chemistry at the University of Illinois in 1971, of course, there were few women students – and even fewer in the ranks of chemical engineering students – but today, in 2013, I was skeptical that gender issues in the sciences are still a problem.  


Always having faith in my executive director, and being a scientist/analyst, I dug into the data for myself.  And what did I find in the prestigious "Science Indicators” from the National Science Foundation?  Proof that Randy was right.  Along with this blog, we are posting on the ASA/CWIS website a set of slides that I prepared for our July 20 "launch” of ASA’s Christian Women in Science affiliate.  You will see there the numbers that aroused my passion for reaching out to Christian women interested in science, and gave birth to CWIS.  


Take a look yourself.  Our sisters in Christ need support to pursue and stay engaged in science.  Our sisters in science who are not Christians need to understand, at least, that Christians are not troglodytes when it comes to science.  Our mission in CWIS is to encourage Christian women of all ages to pursue, sustain, and grow in a career in science,

technology, engineering or math, and to encourage women in these endeavors to pursue, sustain, and grow in the Christian faith.  If you haven’t already, come join us!  


 

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Lynn Billman: CWIS is Launched!

Posted By Alice C. Linsley, Saturday, August 3, 2013

Christian Women in Science 

Lynn Billman


Christian Women in Science (CWIS) is a brand new organization launched on July 22, 2013. 

We are an affiliate group of the American Scientific Affiliation (asa3.org), a long-standing organization dedicated to networking and dialogue among Christians involved in science.    Even though we are just getting started, we have great enthusiasm to encourage and support women who are Christians to consider and sustain careers in science, technology, engineering and math!

Many women have already become involved with CWIS, and offered great ideas. We are in the process of forming a CWIS Board to provide direction to the group and organize volunteers to lead the initial activities. The first year activities will include at least these ideas:

· Setting up a web-based way to bring potential mentors and mentees together

· Developing and posting personal stories of Christian women leaders in science to provide role models

· Using a blog and forum to discuss questions and offer insights

· Having some women-centered activities at the 2014 ASA national conference near Toronto.

We’ve also talked about helping to start up local chapters wherever Christian women in science want to get together; partnering with other Christian groups and other scientific groups, including those for students on college campuses; putting together a women speaker’s list; coaching women in their presentation and speaking skills to enable them to speak more boldly to their church and science groups about their passions; and providing support and information for women in various challenging situations in their lives and careers.

So join us! See the box below for details.


What You Can Do Now

· Join Christian Women in Science (CWIS)!  If you are an ASA (American Scientific Affiliation) member already, sign in go to the CWIS page and click on "Join Group" to make yourself a member of the  CWIS group.

· If you are not an ASA member, first join ASA as a member or follower on the ASA website  asa3.org.  Then join the group as above

· Share this link via your own email lists and organizations and encourage women to get involved.  We will be adding more content soon. 

· Tell us what areas you are most interested in, and where you might be able to help.  For now, just please let me know at lynn.l.billman@gmail.com .

 


Tags:  CWIS  Lynn Billman 

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