Letter to the Editor: LGBTSTEM Day

To the editor:

July 5, 2018 was the first international celebration of LGBTQI individuals in STEM. You probably didn’t get to celebrate. In fact, you probably didn’t hear about it at all unless you happened to notice that it was trending on twitter for most of the day on Thursday.

Regrettably, it was not observed at UConn or recognized through any official university communications (so far as I am aware). It was celebrated elsewhere – by numerous professional societies (e.g. American Society for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry), top tier scientific journals (e.g. Science), and even popular magazines (e.g. Scientific American).

If you are curious to know why LGBTSTEM day is a big deal or worthy of celebration– Jon Freeman, an Associate Professor of Psychology at NYU did the research for you and published an editorial in the journal Nature on July 3 – it is a sobering read.

Here’s the short version: Individuals who identify as sexual minorities are underrepresented overall in STEM. As students, they are almost 15 percent more likely to switch out of STEM majors and at a faster rate than women. Of those who finish their degree and find jobs in STEM, over two thirds feel uncomfortable being open about their sexuality at work – especially if their employer doesn’t offer same-sex benefits. 

There is no data about people who aren’t “out”.  Despite many funding agencies (NSF), universities (ehem), and STEM employers having diversity initiatives, as they absolutely should, very few of these programs specifically target LGBTQI individuals or even consider them to be a minority.

We are lucky to be in Connecticut and at UConn - to live, work, and study in an environment where there are resources and support networks available.  The future is bright. I’m here and I’m happy! But it would be incredibly naive, regardless of where we are, to pretend that these issues don’t exist.  The numbers don’t lie. And even supportive communities are still riddled with microaggressions and implicit bias.

Visibility and representation matter 365 days a year, not just on July 5. But next year on LGBTSTEM day, I hope that we can give a visible affirmation to our LGBTQI students, staff, and faculty who work in STEM.

We see you. We welcome you. We want you here. We need the diversity that you bring to be the best. 

Sincerely,

 John M. Redden, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor-in-Residence

Physiology and Neurobiology

Brown back to Storrs in personnel role

Brown back to Storrs in personnel role

The acquisition of Brown rounds out Hurley’s coaching staff. Brown joins a staff that includes Kenya Hunter, Tom Moore and Kimani Young as assistant coaches, director of basketball operations Eric Youncofski, director of scouting-video Tripp Doherty, director of human performance Sal Alosi, and athletic trainer James Doran.

Former MLB player Hanley Ramirez connected to federal investigation

News broke Friday afternoon that former MLB player Hanley Ramirez may be connected to both ongoing federal and state investigations.

Ramirez’s connection to the investigation was first broke by Boston-based investigative journalist Michele McPhee. McPhee, one of the first reporters to break the Aaron Hernandez story five years ago, sent out an ominous tweet regarding Ramirez.

Upon further explanation, it seems that Ramirez’s involvement in the case stems from a contact of his being stopped by police in Lawrence, MA, with a significant amount of drugs. The suspect claimed that one of the items in the vehicle belonged to Ramirez and went on to FaceTime the 34-year-old former first baseman in front of authorities.

The Red Sox cut Ramirez on May 25th. Since the news has broken, the organization has made it a point to explain that the move was strictly baseball-related.

Kevin Gregg, the Boston Red Sox vice president of media relations, said yesterday, "The Red Sox are unaware of any investigation involving Hanley Ramirez."

Meanwhile, Ramirez’s agent, Adam Katz, spoke to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, "Hanley has no knowledge of any of the allegations contained in this media report and he is not aware of any investigation."

Members of the Boston media are saying differently. One radio host explained on Twitter that he first heard the Ramirez rumors on May 29th, just four days after the Red Sox made the roster move.

It would make sense that this rumor has been out there for a while. While a talented Red Sox team cut Ramirez, there’s certainly room out there for the first basemen on another MLB roster. Up until Friday, it was surprising that Ramirez had still not found a job.

It may not be as surprising anymore.


Connor Donahue is the digital editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets @conn_donahue.

UConn investigation alleges Kevin Ollie violated multiple NCAA regulations

UConn investigation alleges Kevin Ollie violated multiple NCAA regulations

The Hartford Courant reported that the UConn investigation alleged multiple NCAA violations from Ollie, including players working out with outside trainers, shooting baskets with a recruit during an official visit and setting up a phone call between Ray Allen and a recruit.

2018 NBA draft notebook

2018 NBA draft notebook

Despite the last-minute posturing, media manipulation, and general over analysis, the 2018 NBA Draft has arrived. It is projected be experts to be an intriguing lottery and this a class with numerous distinctive and divisive prospects a bound. Still, it is largely considered a strong and deep class, far more so than the upcoming 2019 still over a year away. Here are some musings and blurbs on the various anticipated movers and shakers.

Baseball: UConn fights hard, but gets eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Washington

Baseball: UConn fights hard, but gets eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Washington

UConn’s season came to a close on Sunday, as they beat host Coastal Carolina in an elimination game that afternoon 6-5, but fell to the regional champions Washington for the second time in the tournament in the nightcap.