The Virginia Tech College of Science in partnership with Alumni Relations will host two public panel discussions in September focusing on the lack of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The events, titled “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM),” will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, 2 Riverside Drive, Roanoke, Virginia, and from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, 15 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

“The women on these panels know what it’s like to work in male-dominated fields and will impart terrific insight and advice about their work,” said Sally C. Morton, dean of the Virginia Tech College of Science. “Their voices are important, because science becomes stronger when it includes a breadth of backgrounds and life experiences.”

Open to the public and free of charge, attendees will hear from alumnae who are navigating the challenges and excelling in male-dominated fields. Each discussion will be followed by a networking reception with fellow alumnae and university faculty with free hors d'oeuvres and beverages.

The Women in STEM event is a chance for alumnae to share experiences, build professional networks, and explore industry trends, according to organizers. Each panel discussion will be livestreamed. The discussions are part of a series of networking events being organized by Alumni Relations. 

Panelists for both events come from the College of Science, the College of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

Scheduled Roanoke panelists are Ashley Flora (biological sciences, ’07), research compliance officer at Salem (Virginia) Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Teresa Martinez (fisheries and wildlife sciences, bachelor’s ’92, master’s ’98), chairwoman of federal advisory committee to aid the U.S. Forest Service in the development of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail; Mary Miller (master’s, computer science ’85), founder and president of Interactive Design and Development; and Jennie Zabinsky (human, nutrition, foods, and exercise, bachelor’s ’09, and School of Education, master’s ’13), associate athletics director for sports nutrition in the Virginia Tech Athletics Department. Nancy Howell Agee, CEO of Carilion Clinic, will welcome attendees. Moderating the night’s talk will be Cynda Ann Johnson, founding dean of VTCSOM.

Scheduled Research Triangle Park panelists are Laura Bostic (mathematics ’07), a senior research associate with Novozymes; Megan Stallings (packaging systems and design ’15), who operates a sheet plant in High Point, North Carolina; and Nisha Thuruthy (civil engineering ’07, and environmental engineering ’12), a project engineer at McKinm & Creed Inc. 

The September events follow a similar panel discussion hosted by the College of Science in Arlington, Virginia, in February 2018. There, Morton served as moderator on a panel that included alumnae from across the university. The night’s event brought dozens of alumna from the Northern Virginia region.

More panel discussions with the same theme are planned for February 2019 in Richmond, Virginia, and Arlington.

Register for the Sept. 25 Roanoke event

Register for the Sept. 27 Research Triangle Park event

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation for either or both events, please contact Katie Lafon at 540-231-8706 or during regular business hours at least five business days prior to the event.

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