STEM advocate visits UWindsor to support equality and diversity in science

Imogen CoeImogen Coe

Ryerson University’s dean of science Imogen Coe will speak to the UWindsor campus community and the public at the seminar “Embedding Equity, Delivering Diversity, Saving Science,” on Friday, November 17.

Dr. Coe is a passionate advocate for promoting equity, diversity and inclusivity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In 2016, the Women’s Executive Network named her a trailblazer and trendsetter as one of its Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.

The cell biologist is internationally known for her work on membrane transport proteins, or transporters, which are the route of entry into cells for a large class of anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-parasite drugs. In addition to her public talk, she will be holding a seminar targeted to UWindsor’s scientific community, titled “Understanding transporters to improve chemotherapies: old drugs, new tricks.”

Dora Cavallo-Medved, biology professor, says Coe’s visit aligns with the launch of a Women in Science (WinS) initiative to support and promote equity for faculty, staff and students in the Faculty of Science. The initiative was an outcome of a Promoters of Experiential and Active, Research-Based Learning (PEARL) project, led in collaboration with USci co-ordinator Michelle Bondy and three undergraduate science students, Layale Bazzi, Kiruthika Baskaran, and Yucca Albano.

Coe says she supports the University of Windsor’s WinS initiative and emphasizes that doing so means talking to men as well as to women who are interested in what they can do to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM pursuits.

“I hope to be talking to as many men as women because it is very important that those with power and privilege understand their roles and responsibilities in effecting social change to drive diversity, especially in STEM,” says Coe.

WinS organizer Tanya Noel says they are putting together working groups to create and fulfil action-oriented tasks, which includes attracting impressive researchers and advocates like Coe.

“We want to encourage more discussion about diversity and equity in science, offering public seminars, workshops and supporting student-faculty mentorships,” says Dr. Noel, biology professor.

The public seminar is free of charge and open to everyone. It starts at 11:30 a.m. in room 102, Toldo Health Education Centre. The afternoon scientific seminar is also free, with more limited seating in room 122, Biology Building, and starts at 3 p.m.

For more information on Coe’s background, visit Coe’s research website or her blogpost

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