Elizabeth H. Simmons

Elizabeth H. Simmons, author of the Mend the Gap column, is dean of Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Lyman Briggs is a residential undergraduate college focused on the study of science in its historical, philosophical, and sociological context. Simmons’ physics research focuses on the origins of the masses of the elementary subatomic particles -- particularly the W and Z bosons that transmit the weak nuclear force and the heaviest known particle, the top quark. She earned her Ph.D. in theoretical particle physics from Harvard University, her M.Phil. as a Churchill Scholar at Cambridge University, and her undergraduate physics degree at Harvard. As an academic leader, her interests include evidence-based and interdisciplinary STEM education, faculty professional development, and creating inclusive academic communities. She leads workshops and offers consulting on diversity, faculty development, and academic finance. Her professional website is here. Mend the Gap addresses topics bridging the divide between faculty and administrators, in order to foster better communication and collaboration. Readers are welcome to suggest topics for future columns.

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Most Recent Articles

January 9, 2015
Diversity and inclusion can be challenging ideals to discuss, let alone realize. Elizabeth Simmons shares strategies gleaned from conversations with trusted colleagues.
December 12, 2014
About to interview for an academic position? Elizabeth Simmons suggests how to ask questions that convey your enthusiasm and readiness for the role.
September 12, 2014
Considering academic leadership at the institutional level? Elizabeth Simmons explains how pursuing a fellowship both prepared her for future positions and altered her perspective on her current position.
August 14, 2014
A visit to one of the country's most distinctive medical museums reminds Elizabeth H. Simmons how the humanities can bolster science and why science is best learned in social context.
August 8, 2014
Elizabeth Simmons discusses fair and efficient selection processes for distributing raises, grant funds, workshop seats and other resources.
June 20, 2014
Elizabeth Simmons discusses how "productivity software" can smooth the path for new administrators -- and offers tips on the tools she finds most useful.
March 28, 2014
Hiring? About to make an offer? Elizabeth Simmons offers advice on what you need to know to make your upcoming negotiation a success.
February 21, 2014
Need reliable information about promotions, leaves and other work-life issues? Elizabeth Simmons offers advice on how to research these matters at your institution.
February 14, 2014
The coursework and research from your postgraduate training have equipped you with the scholarly skills to help you master the mysteries of faculty life, Elizabeth Simmons writes.
November 25, 2013
On the job market? Anticipating an offer? Elizabeth Simmons offers advice on what you need to know to make your upcoming negotiation a success.


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