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AWIS Women to watch: Dr. Lamiaa El Fassi
Dr. Lamiaa El Fassi is an associate professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Mississippi State University, and she has an amazing story to tell. Growing up in Morocco, her family lived very modestly. She lost her Dad, the main support of the family, in her second year of college. The family struggled a lot afterward thus her older sister, who quit her education during middle school to take care of her sick mother, had to look for a job to support her studies. She always loved science and chose to study nuclear physics. What could she do as a nuclear physicist in Morocco? Nothing. Still, she moved to the capital, Rabat, to pursue a master’s degree and hoped for something miraculous to happen and it did.
Posted on 27 Nov 2022
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson is the first woman to serve as a NASA launch director
“Go for launch.” Words like these are often uttered when a rocket is seconds from heading to space. Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, NASA's first woman launch director, led the successful launch of the Artemis I mission.
Posted on 27 Nov 2022
Sara Sanford’s Tips for Negotiating While Underrepresented
As a woman in the workforce or lab, it can feel challenging to negotiate for yourself. It can be even more challenging for minorities, people with disabilities, or those who are neurodivergent. Learning how to navigate the biases you may face in advocating for yourself, however, is essential to career growth and satisfaction. According to Sara Sanford, founder and executive director of Gender Equity Now (GEN), the first step is knowing what you are up against.Leverage the power dynamics at play during negotiation by following these tips from Sara Sanford of GEN. Learn why and how to use "tactical empathy," ask collaborative questions, and turn objections into opportunities.
Posted on 10 Nov 2022
Meet Dr. Vanessa Kercher Ph.D
Meet Dr. Vanessa Kercher, a clinical assistant professor at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington. As a clinical assistant professor in the Kinesiology Department for the School of Public Health at Indiana University (IU). Dr. Kercher’s research passion focuses on helping individuals optimize their physical activity experiences through behavioral strategies to promote sustainable, positive health behaviors. At IU, Dr. Kercher serves as the advisor for Exercise is Medicine® On Campus and partners with a worksite wellness program, Healthy IU, to support the well-being of employees at IU. She also serves on the editorial board for the ACSM Health & Fitness Journal and is a member at large for the National ACSM Certification Committee Review Board. Prior to joining the faculty at IU, Dr. Kercher was a clinical exercise physiologist at a medical fitness center in Kalispell, Montana where she led multidisciplinary projects, including evaluation of clinical wellness interventions in multiple remote rural locations, community health needs assessment in complex health care systems, and psychometric development for clinical wellness coaching and cardiac rehabilitation programming.
Posted on 29 Oct 2022
Women to Watch: Caroline Guerra - AWIS
Meet an inspiring WomanInSTEM! Caroline Guerra, a student at the Community School of Naples, is researching how to transform food waste like banana peels and corn husks into innovative, eco-friendly bioplastics.
Posted on 13 Oct 2022
Resources – Society of Women Engineers
SWENext offers a variety of resources for students, educators, SWE members, and adult advocates. It includes recruitment flyers, various outreach resources, books, and presentations for your use. Program support is generously provided by Bechtel Corporation.
Posted on 13 Oct 2022
Women to watch: Claudia Espinosa-Garcia, PhD
In the Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month Meet Dr. Claudia Espinosa-Garcia, an instructor at Emory University. Witnessing her father overcome a brain disease when she was a child ultimately inspired her to enter neuroimmunology. She is a first-generation college graduate and the only woman in her family with a PhD. She believes women, as minorities across the world, face innumerable barriers in STEM. Years ago, She had no one to guide her or advice when she was lost. Nowadays, it is a privilege for her doing what she loves for a living. Therefore, besides her work in the lab, she is a member of many organizations supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. For example, AWIS, an organization supporting women success and driving systemic change; SACNAS, a society that aims to further the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American students in science. Additionally, she is part of the FALAN networking that promotes relationships between neuroscience researchers in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the rest of the world. She sincerely hopes she can help to those in need.
Posted on 29 Sep 2022
How we boosted the number of female faculty members at our institution
Twenty years ago, when one of us (E.W.) joined the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, women represented only 13% of the academic staff. By the end of 2017, the figure was still only 16%, despite efforts to bridge the gender gap. For years, women were told by those working in the field that they simply had to be patient as the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce caught up with social movements, and that a new generation of young female engineering and science graduates was coming through. But that hasn’t happened. Despite a small increase in the number of women studying STEM subjects as undergraduates or postgraduates in Australia, female enrolment in these fields was only 36% of the total in 2019. Female representation in science and engineering, especially at the senior level, is still appallingly low. Find out how a one-year recruitment drive led to an unprecedented increase in women faculty across STEM departments at The University of Melbourne.
Posted on 13 Sep 2022
Dr. Holly Porter uses forensic science to solve crimes
Dr. Holly Porter found meaningful work in forensic biology, but she had to overcome obstacles to get there. For SummerOfScience, she shares her story and advice. As a DNA analyst at the Baltimore City Police Department her role involves completing the technical as well as analytical steps involved in recovering and analyzing DNA from evidence items. In addition, she authors reports, review the work of other analysts, and testify in court. She has more recently begun working on audit teams to assess crime laboratories to ensure that they are maintaining high standards and performing quality work.
Posted on 29 Aug 2022
Improving Health through Food Engineering
Dr. Christina Chuck shares how food engineering impacts society and the status. Her profession is food engineering, a multidisciplinary area that leverages chemistry, biochemistry, nutrition, microbiology, and engineering to solve problems associated with the food system. Food science and engineering use scientific principles to overcome storage, processing, packaging, and food distribution challenges. Her mission is to use science to make healthier and nutritious foods readily accessible to all, to improve the lives of countless people struggling with food-related diseases.
Posted on 26 Jul 2022

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