And so, smartwomentalking.com was born. Tuten felt that a blog would be an effective way to help people understand their differences by gaining insight from others’ experiences. “We have students writing blogs on what it is like to be queer, religious, black, or a woman, to allow students to tell their perspectives and help us learn about their complex identities,” she adds. “In this blog, I am really interested in answering the question ‘what is it like to be fill-in-the-blank; and what do you want people to know about that?’
"From looking at data, we have learned there is a huge disconnect from minorities and women in the natural sciences."Belle Tuten, professor of history
“We are a small school, and answering questions like this is important because we should be able to help mentor people that need it,” Tuten says. “From looking at data, we have learned there is a huge disconnect from minorities and women in the natural sciences. These two groups of people are leaving college at high rates. We want to know if there is a reason they left and if we could have done things better. Understanding individuals and what this question means to them helps us understand them without typecasting—and gives them the necessary tools they need to succeed in the programs they want to.”
Tuten debuted the blog by advertising it in the College’s email announcements and has been inundated with Juniata students who want to contribute. “Right now we have people scheduled to do blogs through March,” says Tuten excitedly.
For any student thinking about writing an article, please contact Belle Tuten at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. There is a guide to help you get started. Professors and staff are also welcomed to submit articles. Please visit smartwomentalking.com to learn more about the issues you may face in professional life.