Webinar Series: Helping STEM Students Thrive

Women in STEM Webinar photo.

The UB Women in STEM Cooperative is proud to offer the Helping STEM Students Thrive series, a webinar series collaboration between Harvard University and the University at Buffalo featuring the perspectives of national thought leaders and institutional representatives about expanding the participation of women in undergraduate STEM education at different scales as informed through the lens of higher education trends, institutional practices, learning spaces and introductory undergraduate courses in STEM.

This year’s theme is Helping STEM Students Thrive in 2021 and Beyond.  The onset of the COVID-19 virus has affected us in many different ways and continues to do so.  What does the future look like and how do we move forward?  We will explore these topics and ways to support, encourage and build community to move forward.

Take a look at the recordings from this past year and join us to explore more topics!

Helping STEM students thrive in 2021 and beyond

2021 - 2022

Where are we Now and How do we Move Forward supporting students in this “New Normal”/Post Pandemic world in Higher Education?

April 14, 2022  | 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST


  • Mara Huber , Ph.D. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning at the University of Buffalo. Huber is founder of the UB Project Portal, a web-based platform that connects students with mentored projects, leveraging digital badges. Opportunities include engagement with global non-governmental organizations, allowing students to contextualize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals while contributing resources and talents.

  • Alyshia Keys-Harris, MS Ed. Learning Designer at Harvard University Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. She is a passionate Learning Experience Designer/Instructional Designer with 10+ years’ experience crafting engaging and effective, dynamic learning systems. Proven understanding of adult learning theories and frameworks which I use to iterate development, and delivery of eLearning, Instructor-Led Training (ILT), Blended, and Flipped Learning.

  • Jossara Santos Dias , STEM Education Coordinador for Vertex Pharmaceuticals, is pursuing her Bachelors in Biochemistry from Union college.          


How has our Understanding of the Student Experience and Student Support Changed?

March 23, 2022  | 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST (Tentative)


  • Marina Blanton, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo. She was recently named the inaugural  Faculty Director of Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE), a program at UB that provides support and extracurricular opportunities for female students in STEM fields with the goal of increasing the recruitment, retention and success of women in the sciences, math and engineering.  She is also the Co-founder and Senior Scientist of Interrupt Sciences LLC , a company providing consulting expertise in a variety of computer science areas. Interrupt Sciences has in-house experience and deep knowledge in such areas as networking, operating systems, embedded platforms, cryptography, and computer and information security.

  • Sadé Abraham, M.A. M.Ed, Harvard University. Abraham is a learning scientist and pipeline initiative strategist serving as an Academic Coach for the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Harvard University. Born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Queens, New York, Sadé completed her first master's at Rutgers University and her second master’s in cognitive neuroscience through the Harvard Graduate School of Education Mind Brain & Education program with a focus on developmental cognitive neuroscience. Her research explores toxic stress, trauma, and adversity through the lens of neurocognition and education. Sadé's professional portfolio and experience spans across public, private, liberal arts, Ivy League and international institutional landscapes, most recently Sadé serving as the founding and inaugural director of “FYRE”, a pre-orientation program that supports first-gen low-income students and Assistant Director at the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. Prior to Harvard, Sadé spent seven years working in university leadership including three years in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as an instructor, academic advisor, and founding member of the first residential college program in the Middle East at New York University Abu Dhabi.              


"What Does Innovation Look Like Now?"

November 18, 2021  | 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST


  • Lynne Ann Molter, Ph.D., Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Engineering, Swarthmore College. Her research in optics and photonics has focused on waveguide and fiber optic devices for signal processing and sensing applications. Over 100 undergraduate students have been research assistants in her on-campus laboratory. She is also very committed to increasing student retention in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, with special attention to women and members of under-represented minority groups. 
    Molter’s work in photonics has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) along with small grants and donations from businesses; she has been funded by The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the NSF (through collaboration with the Business and Higher Education Forum) to study and increase participation in STEM. She was the PI of a 35-institution Sloan-funded effort to develop predictive models for student retention that included ~20 historically black colleges and universities.  She is a member of the IEEE, OSA, ASEE, AAUP, and WEPAN. Molter earned her Sc.D. and S.M. in EECS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her B.S. in Engineering and B.A. in Mathematics from Swarthmore College.
  • Eleonora M. Botta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo. Her research aims at studying the dynamics and control of space tethers and large space structures in recent areas of interests, such as active debris removal, formation flying, and solar propulsion. She is also interested in Space Situational Awareness at large, as well as topics related to Entry, Descent and Landing. She received her diploma for the Excellence Program of Innovation and Interdisciplinarity from Alta Scuola Politecnica in Milano-Torino, Italy. 
    Click here for a description of her current research and PhD, Masters and Undergraduate student research openings. 

  • Evangeline J. Tsibris Cummings, Assistant Provost and Director of University of Florida Online, at the University of Florida, a position she has held since 2015. Prior to taking on her current role, Cummings served at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cummings holds an M.S. from The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering, and is finalizing an Ed.D. in Higher Education/Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Certificate in Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies from the Harvard Kennedy School.           

Supporting Women in STEM in 2020

2020 - 2021

Burnout and Wellness in 2020

October 22, 2020  | 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST


  • Tanya Joosten, Ph.D. Senior Scientist, the Director of Digital Learning Research and Development, co-PI and co-Director of the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA), and advisor to the Provost for innovation projects at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Catherine Cook-Cottone, Ph.D. Professor Counseling, School and Educational Psychology, and Director, Advanced Certificate in Mindful Counseling, University at Buffalo
  • Lauren M. Hay, PhD Student, Physics, UB

Recruitment, advisement and creating community - How it has changed in 2020

November 19, 2020 | 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST


  • Nancy Campos, Ph.D. Director of LSAMP, SUNY New Paltz
  • Simone Ragland, LCSW, Executive Director, WNY STEM HUB
  • Elizabeth "Betsy" Rodriguez, LCSW, Director, Educational Opportunity Program, University at Buffalo
  • Alexis Stokes, LCSW, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering, Harvard University

Persisting During COVID-19

February 18, 2021 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST

Dr. Patrice Prusko, Harvard
Dr. Prusko is the Associate Director, Learning Design, Teaching and Learning Lab at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.  She will present her related research on this topic.
This will be followed by an interactive session with questions to explore individual experiences.
Overall themes and solutions will be formulated from these experiences.

Research and Publication in COVID Times

March 18, 2021 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EST

Please join us for a lively conversation regarding the challenges and solutions our community and Higher Ed in general have experienced over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will provide time for our members to contribute their individual experiences and solutions.


  • Haley Olson, PhD Student, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

  • Glenna Bett, Deputy Director, UB Institute for Research & Education on Women and Gender, Associate Professor, UB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice Chair for Research, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of Resident Research, UB Obstetrics and Gynecology, Associate Director, UB Center for Cellular and Systems Electrophysiology, President, American Heart Association, Buffalo Niagara Region

  • Attendees from our Women in STEM Cooperative community will be invited to share their experience.


The Details
  • Time: All sessions are scheduled from 12 to 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Intended audience: Faculty, students and administrators
  • Why attend: Discover inclusive STEM teaching practices and culturally-sensitive pedagogies that can easily be incorporated into your curriculum to improve underrepresented student learning.
  • Format: Online Video Conference (Note: Internet access and a web browser are required. Video conference setup details will be provided upon registration.)
  • Cost: Free