My Name is Julie

My name is not Julie.

My Worst Moment: My worst moments were in my first year graduate student office. The male students viewed it as a frat house, not a workspace. They would vocally rank the female grad students in attractiveness, one spent a day yelling vagina every time a female student walked into the room, another started stalking some of the male graduate students after taking a scissors to someone’s hand. When the last offense was reported, the male students were told “that’s just the way mathematicians are” and none of the women felt comfortable coming forward.

The student was left in the program and started sleeping in the office. Our female only office request for the next year was denied and many of my female colleagues left without completing their PhDs.

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After a student was injured by a grad student with scissors she was told, “That’s just the way mathematicians are” Julie declined to post a photo.

I Have Given Up On: I completed graduate school, but then walked away from math and switched fields.

I’m Afraid: Of how many women leave math because of the hostile environments created by classmates.

This Has Cost Me: By switching fields, I am currently 4 years behind many of my colleagues from graduate school who continued on to tenure-track positions in the same field. I estimate being at reduced rank, I’ve lost at least $200K in wages.

Something You Should Know About Me: I am a passionate advocate for and dedicated mentor to women in science. I am grateful for all the support I received in switching fields and view it as my personal obligation to pay it forward.

Is There a Bright Side: I was able to be successful in a new field, with colleagues and research topics that I absolutely adore.

My Fight Song: Let it Go (maybe it’s because my 3 year old forced that on me).

Secret Weapon: Yoga and online peer support networks.