An anxious yet enthusiastic wave

Hello? – ello – ello – lo… Wow, this is a big sandbox. Can I come play?

My name is Alice. As in Wonderland. I’m a newbie faculty member in the super-cool School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. I’ve also been blogging 2 months shy of 2 years, but pseudonymously – that’s the first time I’ve publicly blogged my name and job. It’s true, blogging under your own name does sort of make you feel like you’re naked in a crowd. At least, until I get used to it. 😉

I’m an engineer. But a comparatively weird engineer: a feminist, radical, social justice-y engineer. In my research, I combine theoretical frameworks from women’s studies, sociology, science and technology studies to apply to the study of engineering and engineering education – I like to think of my work as feminist engineering research. I look at how we define engineering, how we develop identities as engineers, and who gets to count as “we.” For starters. I’m looking forward to talking more about my work on this blog, something I couldn’t do easily under my pseudonym.

I’m also a local foodie, and a granola-y vegetarian cook and gardener trying to make a smaller carbon footprint. I’m a Mac person, a hiker and camper, a not-very-good sailor, and a not-very-good-but-at-least-in-tune singer. Oh yeah, and a photographer. I’ll share snippets of this stuff amidst the “I’m trying to work out how to be a good faculty member and not compromise my feminist ideals” posts.

I’ve been… I’ll say, pretty involved in the “women in science” blogs – I’m a Zuska fan, an FSP fan, and of course a ScienceWoman fan, and I was just so thrilled when she asked if I would like to co-blog with her.

While I don’t have Zuska’s skill at ranting, my anger at the persisting sexism, racism and classism in engineering is similarly scalding. So I’ll just leave my first post with a few words from the inimitable Peggy Seeger: “But I’ll fight them as a woman, not a lady / I’ll fight them as an engineer.”

See you ’round the sandbox!


  1. #1 PhysioProf
    February 9, 2008

    Hi, Alice!

  2. #2 chezjake
    February 9, 2008

    Welcome, Alice! I was pleased to see the Peggy Seeger quote. She’s an amazing woman and an incredible songwriter.

    And, BTW, she’ll be touring in the US this April, including a performance and radio show in Goshen, Indiana. See the Itinerary section of her website:

  3. #3 LM
    February 9, 2008

    Hola! I look forward to your posts.

  4. #4 Lab Cat
    February 9, 2008

    Welcome Alice. More physical science women bloggers are needed. And good luck with your position at Purdue.

  5. #5 Sanguinity
    February 9, 2008

    Feminist engineer! Hooray!

    Soooooo looking forward to this! :-DDD

  6. #6 Becca
    February 9, 2008

    *crowd goes wild* (ok, I’m a sucker for the Peggy Seeger quote too)
    Welcome! Looking forward to your posts!

  7. #7 Fizzle
    February 9, 2008

    “Those who can, do – those who can’t, teach”. Discuss.

    Seriously, why “engineering education” and not “real” engineering research?

  8. #8 Mrs Whatsit
    February 9, 2008

    Welcome, Alice! How are you liking Wonderland so far?

  9. #9 Carrie
    February 9, 2008

    Aloha Alice! I’ve been following your other blog and am happy to see you here with my other favorite ScienceWoman. I am an -ologist who works for an engineering firm. One of these days I’m going to drop you an email for some fresh perspective on my workplace (and how to just ‘deal’ with the fact that I’m the only woman in a group again and again and again).

  10. #10 Ewan
    February 9, 2008

    Peggy Seeger is one of the *extremely* small number of people in whose presence I became awe-struck. Partly because (no surprise given my name) Ewan MacColl is one of my favourite-ever folksong writers; but mostly because of her own singing, writing, and activism.

    One of the highlight memories of my life was getting to be in the front row when Peggy played at the (very, very sadly defunct) Prism in Charlottesville. It turns out that one of my friends had her as a childhood piano teacher – boy was I jealous :). I think of her as a slightly older, more elegant if less hip, Annie Lennox, actually.

    Sorry to hijack your welcome with such a diversional memory. But thanks for the prompt to my cortical storage :).

    [And finally… looks very very likely that as of this coming autumn, I will also be in the first-year faculty club. I may even take up blogging rather than just posting elsewhere…]

  11. #11 sciencegirl
    February 9, 2008

    Welcome, Alice! Looking forward to learning more about you!

  12. #12 keely
    February 9, 2008

    *Purdue undergrad waves*

    I’m a biochem major, so despite the fact that you’re at Purdue I’ll probably never see you… but it is still exciting to find a blogger so close to home. Looking forward to your posts.

  13. #13 John S. Wilkins
    February 9, 2008

    Welcome, Alice. The echo has more to do with the empty headedness of some of the locals (you know, the males). Fill the vacuum.

  14. #14 Sandra Porter
    February 9, 2008

    Welcome Alice!

  15. #15 blf
    February 10, 2008

    An engineer who doesn’t rant? Weird…!

    No, sorry, I misread: One who is not an accomplished ranter. Ah, good, that I can understand. Normal service has been restored.


  16. #16 saxifraga
    February 10, 2008

    Welcome Alice. What a nice surprise to see you here. I’m looking forward to reading your posts and to see what you and sciencewoman work out together. Two of my favorite bloggers in the same space. This is going to be great.

  17. #17 "GrrlScientist"
    February 10, 2008

    excellent, alice! it’s great to add another woman to the group!

  18. #18 Alice
    February 10, 2008

    Thanks, y’all. I’m going to print out all these nice welcomes and stick them on my bulletin board for when I’m feeling lousy. Nice to see a Purdue undergrad too – hi keely. And some familiar names too. Yay!

  19. #19 ecogeofemme
    February 10, 2008


  20. #20 Nele
    February 11, 2008

    And those who can’t teach go into administration…

    Doing research into engineering education, huray! Looking forward to hearing more about this, also because we have a department that looks into some of those issues but I haven’t heard anything from them regarding more feminist points of view.

  21. #21 Zuska
    February 11, 2008

    This welcome is belated…but WELCOME! Many times over! Can’t tell you how glad I am to have you on board. The co-blogging is going to rock out loud.

    About that ranting: I think you know how to rant quite well, albeit in a different style than mine. The world needs more ranting feminist engineers just like you!

    By the way, Fizzle is a moron. I puke in his/her general direction.


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