Women in Science group welcomes speaker Nov. 11

RIT College of Science Dean Sophia Maggelakis, left, stands with assistant professors Lea Vacca Michel, center, and Kara Maki at an AdvanceRIT award ceremony held last spring. Michel and Maki won an AdvanceRIT Connect grant for their Women in Science (WISe) Networking and Leadership Initiatives.

The Women in Science Faculty Lunch and Discussion Series continues on Tuesday with a talk by mathematician and blogger Rachel Levy.

Levy, an associate professor of mathematics from Harvey Mudd College and creator of the blog “Grandma Got STEM,” will discuss science communication at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 in the Campus Center Reading Room and share her experiences during a luncheon starting at 12:30 p.m.

She is the 2013 recipient of the Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award. Levy is the incoming vice president for education for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the outgoing editor in chief of the society’s Undergraduate Research Online.

Levy will also share her expertise in fluid mechanics in a seminar on “The Spreading of Surfactants on Thin Liquid Films” at 2 p.m. in the Center for Applied Mathematics, Gosnell Hall, room A300. Her afternoon talk is open to the RIT community.

The Women in Science Faculty Lunch and Discussion Series is a monthly forum and opportunity for RIT faculty to network with successful women scientists, mathematicians and businesswomen from Rochester and across the nation.

Guest speakers share their experiences and advice during informal luncheons and professional development workshops. They provide perspectives from different fields and discussion topics relevant to issues facing women faculty in science and mathematics.

“We have made a point to choose speakers from each of the disciplines in the College of Science who are leaders in their field, advocates for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and have specialized knowledge on an aspect of professional development that can be shared with RIT faculty,” said Kara Maki, assistant professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences and vice chair of WISe.

Maki and Lea Vacca Michel, assistant professor in the School of Chemistry and Materials Sciences and chair of WISe, won funding for the series through AdvanceRIT, a National Science Foundation project to increase representation of women STEM faculty at RIT. An RIT faculty-mentoring grant had launched the series last year with a local focus.

“The WISe Lunch and Discussion Series builds a community of support for tenured and tenure-track women faculty in the College of Science,” Michel said. “We wanted to create a forum for faculty to share strategies and skills, to learn from each other and to hear the successes of our guest speakers and how they manage their research, teaching, service commitments and an overall life-work balance.”

Upcoming events in the WISe Faculty Lunch and Discussion Series include a WISe Holiday Luncheon with Lynne Maquat, professor of biochemistry at the University of Rochester, from 1­-2:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the Bamboo Room. Maquat is the 2014 Athena Award recipient and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

An Effective Leadership Workshop for Women will be held in January and facilitated by the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists, or COACh, an organization that seeks to enhance the success of women and minority faculty in STEM disciplines through training in professional skills, negotiation and management, career advancement strategies, time management and effective communication methods.

For more information or to register for the WISe Lunch and Discussions, contact

Lea Vacca Michel at lvmsch@rit.edu. To request interpreting services, go to http://myAccess.rit.edu/.


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