Women's Conference Focuses on Women's Success in Science, Engineering and Medicine

Three speakers discuss women's roles in these areas.

The 24th Annual All University Conference on the Advancement of Women in Higher Education will feature three speakers who will provide a world view on women’s issues.

A reception from 5-7 p.m. honoring the three guest speakers will start the conference on Feb. 28 at the International Cultural Center, 601 Indiana Ave. This is sponsored by the Women's Studies Community Connection.

The conference, themed "The Face of Innovation: Women Changing the World in Science, Engineering and Medicine," runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Student Union Building on the Texas Tech campus. It’s sponsored annually by Texas Tech’s Women’s Studies Council and the Office of Women’s Studies.

Throughout the years, the event has transformed from a small gathering of female researchers talking about their research to a full-blown regional conference focusing on women and women’s issues, said Charlotte Dunham, chairwoman for the event.

"The topic for this year’s conference comes from a recognition that equal representation of women in technical fields is critical to our competitiveness in the global economy," Dunham said. "There is an increasing understanding that all talent must be nurtured and developed and that we need to find ways to increase inclusiveness in these professions. We have an exciting program of invited speakers who are internationally known for scholarship on issues of gender equity in science, engineering and medicine who will provide important insights for improving representation of women in these fields."

The event begins at 9 a.m. with an opening keynote address by featured speaker, Kimberlee Kearfott, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Michigan.

Kearfott has more than 29 years of research and applied experience in health physics and related topics. Some of her work includes pioneering work in radon gas measurement and mitigation. She was the first to discover and mitigate elevated radon problems involving indoor air returns. She is well known in the medical radiation community for her widely used internal dose assessments for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and for her work designing several clinical PET facilities.

Her speech is titled "Being Different: One Woman Engineering Professor’s Lessons from the Eye of the Storm."

The Academic Paper and Poster Session from 10:15-11:45 a.m. will feature studies done by Texas Tech researchers and scholars from elsewhere.

Following the luncheon and scholarship awards from noon to 1:15 p.m., Alice Hogan will give the keynote address "From Leaky Pipelines to Glass Cliffs: Structural Perspectives on Women in Science."

Hogan is the past program director for ADVANCE at the National Science Foundation. ADVANCE is designed to address the underrepresentation of women in academic science and engineering, particularly at the senior ranks. Hogan has worked with ADVANCE since its inception, first as chairwoman of the committee at NSF charged with design of the ADVANCE Program and then as program director. Currently, she is a fellow in the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is chief administrative officer for the Asian University for Women Support Foundation.

Following another Paper and Poster Session from 2-4 p.m., Anne MacLachlan will take the podium at 4:15 p.m. to discuss "Where Are All the Women Scientists of Color?"

MacLachlan is a senior researcher at University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education. Her research focuses on first generation underrepresented students and women in science, technology or engineering and math with projects on community colleges, undergraduate summer research students, graduate students and faculty. She has ongoing ties with German higher education, and has served as a reviewer for NSF, NIH, Sloan, and other agencies.

Registration cost, which includes luncheon, is $45 for faculty, staff and community members. Excluding the luncheon, students may attend all conference sessions for free. Student luncheon price is $10. Registration deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 25.

For more information, call 742-4335 or e-mail womens.studies@ttu.edu.

CONTACT: Charlotte C. Dunham, chairwoman for the event, Office of Women’s Studies, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2401 ext. 226, charlotte.dunham@ttu.edu.