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chalking of Women in ScienceUSci Network’s Science Meets Arts students provided an artistic flair to the Essex CORe atrium celebrating women in science.

Program promotes women in science

A project in the Faculty of Science is helping promote women in science and better prepare female students for science careers.

The USci Network’s Women in Science Initiative (WinS) provides female science students with a network of support through workshops, mentorships, resources, outreach, and advocacy.

“It is important for us to build an academic environment that promotes and supports our female science students,” says Dora Cavallo-Medved, biology professor and director of the USci Network. “These are the next generation of female scientists, and through WinS we are able to foster their passions for science and celebrate their achievements.”

Over the month of February, WinS held several events to celebrate Women in Science:

  • It hosted a public talk on diversity and inclusivity by Anne McNeil, a professor of chemistry and macromolecular science and engineering at the University of Michigan.
  • It also partnered with USci Network’s Sci of Relief program to feature physics professor Dan Xiao in the UWindsor Humans of Science post where she shared her experiences as a scientist and educator.
  • Chemistry and biochemistry professor Tricia Carmichael joined Dr. Cavallo-Medved to speak about women in science and the WinS initiative in an interview with biology student Asma Ghafoor, host of CJAM’s Peer Reviewed program.
  • And the USci Network’s Science Meets Art students created an artistic illustration on the chalkboards of the CORe atrium to highlight the month.

“We are proud of the USci Network and their Women in Science Initiative,” says dean of science Chris Houser. “They were able to put together these successful events featuring inspiring female scientists and celebrating diversity and inclusion in science.”

Cavallo-Medved notes one additional measure — a travel subsidy to six undergraduate and graduate students attending the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Conference.

Lara Watanabe, Natalie Arnouk, Sabrina Piazza, Aya El-Sabbagh, Ikjot Saini, and Summer Locknick are the six female students who won the Women in Science travel subsidy. They attended the WISE Conference in Toronto, a national conference that brought together delegates from all across North America to share experiences and ideas.

“We are always looking for opportunities to promote and celebrate our students, staff and faculty in the sciences,” says Cavallo-Medved. “And the efforts are showing in our faculty. The Department of Economics, for example, is one area where female faculty is on the rise. This is a great advancement from only a few years ago.”

In addition to the efforts of WinS, the student Science Society capped the Women in Science month by hosting Roberta Bondar, a neurologist and the first Canadian female astronaut to go to space. The event hosted 400 people from across Windsor-Essex.

—Darko Milenkovic

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