IVCC study included in book


A research study conducted by Illinois Valley Community College professors is featured as a chapter in a book published by the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Sue Caley Opsal, biology professor, was the lead researcher and author of the study which investigated gender stereotypes.
“We want to encourage girls to see that they can do anything they set their sights on,” said Opsal. “We are really happy to have an opportunity to publish our research in a book that will reach a wide audience.”
The study examined whether young women are comfortable with hands-on technical activities, which eventually impacts their career choices. Students at Lincoln Junior High School in La Salle and Putnam County schools participated in the study.
Opsal and IVCC communications instructor Rose Marie Lynch presented the results of the study at the ASQ STEM Conference at the UW-Stout in July 2011.  The paper documenting the research was one of 17 papers from the conference selected for publication, one of only three by community college instructors.
The book, entitled “Advancing the STEM Agenda: Quality Improvement Supports STEM,” focuses on strategies for increasing interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and math. It was sponsored by UW-Stout’s ASQ Education Division. IVCC’s study was part of a $520,000 National Science Foundation grant.