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Underrepresented Women Leaders in STEAM Conference

This event has been canceled.

The Underrepresented Women as Leaders in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) symposium, scheduled for early April has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date. Registrations are not being accepted at this time. For questions, please contact Robert Wildermuth at

This conference will:

  • Open a dialogue and provide safe space for diverse, minority and underrepresented women and LGBTQ leaders in the STEAM fields to share stories of success and lessons
  • Provide insights about how to augment inclusive professional communities
  • Engage in discussions and talks that will focus on expressing everyday challenges faced by underrepresented individuals in STEAM disciplines, that hinder their leadership growth, and on developing approaches for building bridges among diverse and minority communities in the workplace

In commemoration of International Day of Women & Girls in Science:

  • Talks will be held by a diverse set of women leaders in which they will share stories of success, their lessons learned, and provide insight for methods to augment inclusive professional communities in listeners’ chosen fields.
  • Discussions focusing on inclusion, succeeding as women of color and LGBTQ women in STEAM fields, challenges faced, success stories, and approaches for building bridges among underrepresented communities in the workplace will take place.
  • A workshop for graduate students and post-docs in STEAM disciplines will be held. Participants will be better prepared with the soft skills needed to establish flexibility, communication, and trust in their professional communities as they establish their own research groups, firms, and companies in the future.

Keynote speaker

Shakhnoza Kayumova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of STEM Education and Teacher Development as well as a Research Scientist at the Kaput Center for STEM Education Research and Innovation. Shakhnoza is the founder of the STEAM Language, Learning, and Identity Research lab. Shakhnoza also directs Community Research and Partnership Initiative (CoRPI) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Shakhnoza is the NSF Early CAREER awardee and recognized for her work that bridges university research and community engagement with schools, teachers, families and children/youth from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Danielle Ignace studies plant physiology and ecosystem ecology in response to climate change as an Assistant Professor at Smith College. She actively engages in science education, producing the podcasts “Bio Banter” and “Cool People I Know,” educational YouTube videos, and collaborating with the Art-Science Collective. As a Coeur d’Alene Tribe member, she is a role model and advocate for people of color in STEM. She earned her bachelor's in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin Madison and her doctorate at the University of Arizona.

Jacqueline (Allie) Brashears studies thermal physiology of reptiles and teaches at LaGuardia Community College. She received her bachelor's and doctorate at Arizona State University. She also maintains a blog and advocates about her experiences as a trans woman.

Folashadé Solomon is a Principal Investigator at TERC and Assistant Professor at Framingham State University. She explores how out-of-school learning environments in the arts support youth of color in the classroom and how to train teachers to account for this diversity in subject matter and teaching. She earned her BA at the University of Massachusetts Boston, MS at Wheelock College, and MEd and EdD at Harvard.

Cynthia Ezeani is the Grants and Contracts Administrator at TERC, supporting TERC’s mission to mentor emerging researchers. She also helps small nonprofits locally and in West Africa to build capacity. She earned her LLB at the University of Calabar, LLM at Boston University Law School, and MPP at Simmons University.

Heather Jo Davis is an Associate Lecturer at Curry College teaching ceramics and an art inquiry course looking at the science behind sleep, dreams, and nightmares. Her multimedia works emphasize the value of the wild and the uncultivated in order to inspire reverence for wildness and to preserve the absence of human control in areas of the natural world. She earned her BA in Studio Art and BS in Biology at Mercer University and her MFA at UMass Dartmouth.

Emily Klein is a Senior Post-Doctoral Associate at Boston University studying exploring complex dynamics of coupled human-natural marine systems and is dedicated to increasing diversity, inclusion, and equity in STEM fields. She earned her BS at UC San Diego and her MS and PhD at the University of New Hampshire.


Day 1 (Friday, April 3): Underrepresented Women as Leaders in STEAM Symposium

  • 8:30–9:00 am: Registration
  • 9:00–9:10 am: Welcome
  • 9:10–9:40 am: Keynote speaker 1 – Shakhnoza Kayumova
  • 9:40–10:20 am: Keynote speaker 2 – TBD
  • 10:20– 10:45 am: Morning break, refreshments
  • 10:45 am–12:15 pm: Breakout session 1 – Intersectionality and leadership in STEAM, introductions, tips and lessons for encouraging inclusive work communities in STEAM, Q&A sessions
  • 12:15–1:30 pm: Lunch
  • 1:30– 3:30 pm: Panel 2 – Opportunities to further include the arts in STEAM, introductions, and Q&A
  • 3:30–4:00 pm: Conclude symposium. Brief ad for mentorship training
  • 4:00–4:30 pm: Afternoon break. Relocate for the networking event
  • 4:30–8:00 pm: Meet-and-greet networking event, appetizers, and cash bar

Day 2 (Monday, April 6): Mentorship Training (following syllabus provided in Hund, et al. 2019)

Preparation before training: Take Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test - $10 charge

  • 8:30 am: Light snack and welcome
  • 9:00 am: Brief writing exercise
  • 9:15 am: Check-ins, one success and one challenge each from professional and personal life.
  • 9:30 am: 1-2 hour training presentation from Hund et al. (2019)
  • 11:00 am: Presentation and interpretation of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator scores from the UMassD Career Center
  • 12:30 pm: Working lunch – discussion of writing exercise, introvert-extrovert exercise and discuss
  • 1:30 pm: Small group activity 
  • 4:00 pm: Write a mentorship philosophy statement and share and discuss with a partner
  • 5:00 pm: Plus, delta, each person states something that they thought went well and something that could be improved about the meeting

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Take a virtual tour of the UMass Dartmouth campus.