The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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CRF supports interdisciplinary, scientific collaborations aimed at understanding the diversity, health and well-being of families while discovering solutions to the challenges family face.

Nilanjana Dasgupta (FRS '12-'13) and Team Suggests Measures to End Sexual Harassment in STEM Labs

“I think the solutions to sexual harassment and gender bias problems cannot solely rest with individual actors and their good intentions,” says Nilanjana Dasgupta, professor of social psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a two-time former Family Research Scholar. “There have to be structural solutions, policies, procedures, incentives to be fair and checks in the system to ensure that the solutions are working as intended.”

Among many recommendations, the scientists pitched that investigators should be required to disclose harassment findings and settlements to all funding agencies and potential employers. According to a recent survey conducted by the American Physical Society, nearly three-quarters of the 471 undergraduate women who attended Society’s 2017 Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) had experienced sexual harassment at some point over the last two years. The study also found that 73 percent of respondents experienced gender harassment, which is often not categorized as a case of sexual harassment.

Ezekiel Kimball (FRS '16-'17) Publishes Report on a Lag in College Admissions for Rural Students

Ezekiel Kimball, a former Family Research Scholar, and three other UMass researchers,  Ryan Wells, Catherine Manly, Suzan Kommers, published a report on the lack of rural students applying to and going to college. The researchers advocated for further investigation into the subject, especially on the college-going behaviors of rural students. 

Students in rural areas have lower average rates of college enrollment and degree completion compared to nonrural students, according to the findings. As it stands, more than 18 percent of high school students looking at colleges are from rural areas. In the study the researchers noted that there are different opportunities when it comes to rural and nonrural students’ college trajectories, such as rural students having stronger connections to their home communities.