Women in STEM: a Roundtable

By Nora Connors ’17 and Hannah Hrobuchak ’17

On October 18th and 19th, Nora Connors and Hannah Hrobuchak hosted the Women in STEM Seminar Series for students to hear the experiences of the wonderful female STEM professors here at Juniata. Both Nora and Hannah are currently senior pre-medical students at Juniata College. Nora has a POE in Conflict Studies and Social Justice with a secondary emphasis in Biology and Hannah has a POE in Biology. The idea for this event was born last semester when we were students in the class Nonviolence: Theory and Practice. We were to propose a project that would bring attention to inequalities that exist in our world. Because we are both passionate, female science students who plan on entering the medical field, we thought this event would be a great way to portray our interests to the Juniata community.

The seminar series exceeded all of our expectations. Over 100 students were present over the two days and 7 Juniata professors presented. The seminar involved both of us asking the professors questions and then giving the audience an opportunity to also ask questions. We were both happy with the involvement and attention the audience gave during the presentations. One of the main goals of this series was to convey that these professors are not only extremely successful in their field, but also can serve as resources for all students on campus. A crucial aspect of supporting women’s involvement in the STEM fields is having a support group or mentor that can help encourage us to continue when we are feeling overwhelmed or uncertain.

We would like to close with a great resource that Dr. Williams shared at the event: Project Implicit, which is a test designed to make people aware of the biases they may have. An important step in changing the inequalities that exist in our world is to recognize the biases that each individual personally holds. We often do not mean to have these biases, but once we know of their existence, we can work towards overcoming them. Check out the link if you have the time (there is even a Gender-Science bias test)! https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

For any current Juniata students who are reading this, please let us know if you are interested in getting involved with the Women in STEM Seminar Series. Both Nora and Hannah will be graduating this year and we would love to have the Women in STEM Seminar Series continue on for future students.