Patricia VanLeuvan received a B.A. in Mathematics from Nazareth College of Rochester, and both an M.A. in Educational Psychology and Ph.D. in Instructional Psychology from the University of Delaware. Dr. VanLeuvan’s research investigates perceptions of mathematics and science as both courses of study and as potential career paths. Her research traces changes young women make in articulating their career goals, from seventh grade into college, especially their views of the desirable and undesirable aspects of math and science-based professions, and their interest in pursuing such careers.
Professor VanLeuvan believes that women have been under-represented in math and science-based careers, and she wanted to investigate why that might be so. This research has been conducted with young women who have attended the Math Options Career Day that Dr. VanLeuvan has coordinated since 1992 at PSU Brandywine. The Math Options Career Day is an annual event at which girls from local elementary and middle schools visit the campus, attend workshops, and begin to explore employment opportunities available to them in math and science fields. Many times, these young women are surprised to learn about their options, such as working in various fields of engineering and research science. The Math Options Career Days have been partially funded by grants from ARCO, Bell of Pennsylvania, and Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Recent Publications and Presentations
VanLeuvan, P. Tracing Young Women’s Career Aspirations from Junior High School into College, Advancing Women in Leadership, Volume 21 (Summer 2006). Research on Women and Education.
VanLeuvan, P., La Belle, D., & Margle, J. Collaboration to Increase Young Women’s Interest in Technology and Related Career Options. In the Proceeedings of the 2006 Hawaii International Conference on Education Co-sponsored by the East West Council on Education, Asia Pacific Research Institute of Peking University, St. Mary’s College of California, and the University of Louisville Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods (January 2006).