Four female panelists will discuss what it’s like to work in a male-dominated field at the upcoming Women in STEM program to be held Tuesday, March 12, at 5 p.m. in the amphitheater of the William F. Walsh Science Center at St. Bonaventure University.
The annual Education Forum, sponsored by the university’s School of Education, is free and open to the public.
The panelists will include Monica L. Ridgeway, Ph.D., a post-doctoral research fellow who is part of the Academic Pathways Program at Vanderbilt University, and St. Bonaventure faculty members Maureen P. Cox, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics; Althea Need Kaminske, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology; and Christine M. Uhl, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics.
Ridgeway is a former educator who has seen firsthand the educational disparities that marginalized children of color face. During her time at Vanderbilt, she has aimed to illuminate similar issues among underrepresented graduate students and faculty in engineering and computing disciplines by joining the Explorations in Diversifying Engineering Faculty Initiative (EDEFI) research team.
EDEFI’s mission is to investigate the institutional, technical, social and cultural factors that affect decision making, career choices and career satisfaction for engineering and computing doctoral students, candidates, postdoctoral researchers and faculty who have been marginalized by race and/or gender, as well as how those factors contribute to underrepresentation in engineering and computing faculty positions.
“I consider myself a social justice scholar,” she said. “I am passionate about my work and I am excited to be at Vanderbilt.”
Ridgeway is focused on two projects — analyzing the support systems of women engineering professors of color, and analyzing the unique experiences and perspectives that African-American computing and engineering professors offer the academy that may not be formally recognized by their institution, such as increased mentoring of underrepresented students or higher levels of service on faculty committees to ensure adequate representation.
Ridgeway sought out the Academic Pathways program because she craved the opportunity to do more research.
“I felt this was the best opportunity to not only prepare me for the professoriate, but to give me an opportunity to learn additional research methodologies while also benefiting from really good mentorship,” she said.
Ridgeway earned a Ph.D. in science education from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
The SBU panelists are all faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences.
Cox, chair of the Department of Mathematics, joined the university community in 1996. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the State University of New York at Albany, M.S.T. in mathematics from Boston College, and a B.S. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Need Kaminske is director of the university’s Behavioral Neuroscience program and co-director of SBU’s Center for Attention, Learning, & Memory. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in cognitive psychology from Purdue University. She did her undergraduate work at Indiana University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and linguistics and minored in anthropology.
Uhl holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in mathematics from the University of North Texas and a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Dallas. She joined the university community in 2016.
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