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Online series focuses on undergraduate women in STEM

By SUE WUETCHER

Published October 4, 2017

Members of the UB Women in STEM Cooperative (UBWISC) are joining with Cornell University to present an online series of lectures during the lunch hour that focuses on increasing the participation of undergraduate women in STEM fields.

Rather than concentrating on behavior changes that undergraduate women can adopt to thrive in STEM classes, the series — “The Next 10 Years: Helping STEM Students Thrive” — takes a closer look at some of the systemic influences in the campus culture and environment that are needed for these women to thrive.

It features insights from a group of distinguished national scholars — among them Jay Labov from the National Research Council, Cathy Middlecamp from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jeanne L. Narum from Learning Spaces Collaboratory, Nancy Shapiro from the University System of Maryland, Renetta Tull of the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Lynne Molter from Swarthmore College — as well as representatives from UB and Cornell.

UB speakers include Liesl Folks, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Elisabeth Etopio and Richard Lamb, faculty members in the Graduate School of Education; Letitia Thomas, director of STEM diversity programs in the engineering school; Rebecca Rotundo, instructional technology specialist in the Center for Educational Innovation; and Lisa Stephens, associate for instructional resources in the Office of the CIO.

The sessions are interactive, so participants will be able to join the conversation, ask questions, share experiences, build networks and learn more about effective evidence-based teaching practices.

“This series is our attempt to share inclusive STEM teaching practices that translate into improved student success,” says Kathleen Murphy, service manager for network and classroom services for UB Information Technology, and a co-founder of WISC. “Participants who are interested in applying proven practices in their classrooms will have a  unique opportunity to engage directly with our featured experts, as well as peers from 35 institutions of higher education representing 18 states, three countries and counting.”

The free series kicks off on Oct. 11 with a session titled “Higher Education Trends.” Speakers include Molter, professor of engineering at Swarthmore who has received numerous grants to study and increase participation in STEM; Julia Thom Levy, associate professor of physics at Cornell; and Etopio and Lamb from UB.

Other topics to be discussed during the series are “Institutional Practices” (Nov. 8), “Learning Spaces” (Jan. 10) and “Introductory Undergraduate Courses in STEM” (Feb. 14). The series will conclude with a wrap-up session on March 14 led by Murphy and Patrice Prusko, instructional designer, Academic Technologies at Cornell.

The full schedule is available on the UBWISC website.

Sessions take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. via online video conference, so participants can take part from the comfort and convenience of their office or home.

Internet access and a web browser are required to participate; video conference setup details will be provide upon registration.