By Emma Epperly, Undergraduate Education

I-Am-Malala-BookPULLMAN, Wash. – Preliminary research to identify why some predominantly Muslim countries attract so many women in engineering will be presented in a free, public common reading lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, in CUE 203 at Washington State University.

Speakers Julie Kmec, professor of sociology, and Nehal Abu-Lail, associate professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, recently received a two-year, $589,200 National Science Foundation grant for the work (see

They will contrast engineering participation by women in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Malaysia and Tunisia with that in the U.S. and discuss theoretical explanations of the differences. They will talk about their study and how its findings will be used to attract U.S. women to engineering.

The WSU common reading book is “I Am Malala.” Nominations for the 2017-18 book are open through Nov. 1 at For more information, visit


News media contacts:
Susan Poch, WSU common reading, 509-335-6037,
Karen Weathermon, WSU common reading, 509-335-5488,
Emma Epperly, WSU Undergraduate Education communications, 509-335-9458,