ADVANCE Speakers


Rita Balice-Gordon

Director of the WRD Postdoctoral Program
Pfizer IncorporatedRita Balice-Gordon is Vice-President and Head of Circuits, Neurotransmitters and Signaling in the Neuroscience and Pain Research Unit, and is Director of the WRD Postdoctoral Program.  She has built and led teams of scientists prosecuting targets relevant to cognition, depression, neuroinflammation and blood brain barrier integrity. Dr. Balice-Gordon leads a translational neuroscience team that has developed and is implementing a paradigm-shifting neurofunctional domains strategy, employing innovative forward and back translatable endpoints in preclinical and clinical studies to increase success in Phase 1b/2 studies for CNS diseases. Dr. Balice-Gordon joined Pfizer in 2012 after a 20 year academic career on the medical faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, where she currently holds an adjunct appointment. Among other awards and honors, Dr. Balice-Gordon was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2015.
(Nominating Department: Biology)

05-19-16

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3:30 PM 
Biological Sciences Bldg. East
115
 (Technical Talk)

Autoimmune Encephalidites: Pathophysiology to Therapeutics  

Autoimmune disorders that affect the brain provide opportunities to study how the immune system affects the nervous system, understand the pathogenesis of diseases that impact synapses, change circuit function, and produce profound changes in cognition and other behaviors. Dr. Balice-Gordon will describe new and published work on anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis and related disorders, pose some unanswered questions about how the immune system surveils the nervous system, and discuss challenges and opportunities for developing therapeutics for these and other CNS diseases.


05-20-16

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3:30 PM 
Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Bldg.
1105
 (Gender Equity Talk)
Reception to Follow

Building a Scientific Life: Lessons Learned from Academia and Industry

Developing a strategic plan to build a scientific career is more important than ever, but graduate students and postdocs often don¹t know where to begin. Dr. Balice-Gordon will discuss how to navigate career decisions, how work-life balance changes across the workspan, compare and contrast careers in academia and industry, address how to develop the skill sets to succeed in opportunities across the biomedical research landscape, and discuss how building a professional network can impact career advancement.


Alice H. Eagly

Professor of Psychology and Management & Organization
Northwestern University
Alice H. Eagly, James Padilla Chair of Arts and Sciences, Faculty Fellow of Institute for Policy Research, Professor of Psychology, Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University. Dr. Eagly has received numerous honors and awards including the Leadership Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Leadership Association. She is a past president of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. Her primary research contributions have been in the area of Social Psychology, as well as Personality Psychology and Industrial Organizational Psychology.Dr. Eagly’s research interests include: the psychology of gender, especially sex differences in similarities in leadership, prosocial behavior, aggression, partner preferences, and sociopolitical attitudes, the content of stereotypes, social role theory as a theory of sex differences and similarities and of the origins of sex differences in social behavior, and attitude theory and research, especially attitudinal selectivity in information processing. Dr. Eagly’s current research focuses on women in leadership, stereotype content, and feminism and psychology.
(Nominating Department:  Psychology)

3-3-2016

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3:00-4:00PM
Rudder Tower
Room 301
(Technical  & Gender Equity Talk)

Reception to follow

Rudder Tower
University ClubNorth Room
4:00-5:00PM

“Women as Leaders: Do They Make a Difference?”

As women gain more powerful leader roles, researchers are inquiring how and why their presence may affect group and organizational outcomes. The most consequential sex differences pertain to women’s participative and relational behaviors and their compassionate, other-oriented, and egalitarian attitudes and values. When women leaders display these attributes, groups and organizations may be more effective under socially complex conditions and groups and organizations may gravitate toward new goals.


Frances M. Leslie

Professor of Pharmacology
University of California, Irvine
Dr. Frances Leslie is a Professor of Pharmacology and Anatomy & Neurobiology, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate Division at the University of California, Irvine. She is a neuropharmacologist who is primarily interested in the effects of drugs of abuse on developing brain. Her research team uses an integrative range of experimental approaches, from molecular biology to animal behavior, to determine whether abused drugs have unique effects at various stages of brain development. The abused drugs currently under investigation include tobacco, cocaine and amphetamine. Although all stages of brain development are studied, two periods are of particular interest: the prenatal period and adolescence.
(Nominating Department: Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics)

11-19-15

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11:00 AM
HPEB
LL44
Health Science Center
(Technical Talk)

Tobacco and Nicotine Influences on the Adolescent Brain

Adolescence is a sensitive developmental period of enhanced vulnerability to nicotine-containing products, including tobacco and e-cigarettes, as well as other abused drugs. Data from both preclinical and clinical studies suggest that this adolescent sensitivity has strong neurobiological underpinnings, and reflects active maturation of forebrain systems that regulate emotional and cognitive control and motivated behavior. This presentation will provide preclinical evidence that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors modulate critical aspects of adolescent brain development, and that nicotine has unique neurochemical and behavioral effects during this period. In particular, nicotine may act as a ‘gateway’ drug by increasing adolescent sensitivity to the rewarding effects of other abused drugs, including cocaine and alcohol. Mechanisms underlying these unique actions of nicotine on adolescent brain will be discussed, as will preliminary findings that non-nicotine tobacco constituents may also have important effects on adolescent behavior.


11-20-15

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11:00 AM
HPEB
LL44
Health Science Center
(Gender Equity Talk)
Reception
12:30 PM LL43A in HPEB

“The Accidental Scientist”

In this presentation Dr. Leslie will trace her path into science, emphasizing factors that influenced her educational decisions and career choices. From the perspective of her more than forty-year career as a pharmacologist, she will then discuss her views as to the influences that shape the decisions of modern women. She will outline her former role as an Equity Advisor for Health Sciences in the ADVANCE program at UC Irvine, and how that influenced the DECADE program that she established to improve the climate for equity and inclusion in graduate education on the campus. She will also describe the current challenges that women graduate students and postdoctoral fellows face in establishing careers in STEM.


Virginia Davis

Professor of Chemical Engineering
Auburn University
Dr. Virginia A. Davis’ research is primarily focused on using fluid phase processing to assemble cylindrical nanomaterials into larger functional materials. In addition to many national awards, Dr. Davis is the past chair of Auburn’s Women in Science and Engineering Steering Committee (WISE) and the faculty liaison to Auburn’s 100 Women Strong alumnae organization. Dr. Davis earned her Ph.D. from Rice University. Prior to attending Rice, she worked for eleven years in Shell Chemicals’ polymer businesses.

(Nominating Department: Chemical Engineering)

09-29-15

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12:00 PM
Jack E. Brown
Room 256
(Gender Equity Talk)

“The 3 Rs: Recruit, Retain, Reward”

We all know the stats, and we have all faced the naysayers and the challenges. We all want success and to help women succeed in STEM. But what does it come down to? Is there a one-size fits all solution? This talk provides perspectives on increasing the size and diversity of the STEM pipeline based on personal, industry, and academic experience. It provides trends on women engineering enrollment in the SEC. In particular, it highlights ongoing cultural changes facilitated by the WISE Institute, and the energy and acumen of the 100 Women Strong Auburn engineering alumnae organization.


09-30-15

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3:00 PM
Jack E. Brown
Room 106
(Gender Equity Talk)

Nanocylinders: New Materials Meet 125 Years of Liquid Crystal Science and Engineering

Liquid crystal science is a 125 year old field that has repeatedly been reinvigorated and extended by the discovery of new materials capable of forming liquid crystalline phases. The discovery of rod-like polymers and their ability to form lyotropic liquid crystals enabled the production of high strength fibers such as DuPont Kevlar. Nanocylinders (e.g. nanorods, nanotubes, and nanowires) are the latest addition to liquid crystal science’s rich history. We have compared the rheology and morphology of five distinct nanocylinder systems: cellulose nanocrystals in water, carbon nanotubes in aqueous DNA, mixtures of silver nanowires and spheres in ethylene glycol, and silica nanorods in dimethyl sulfoxide . Comparison of these systems to each other and their lyotropic liquid crystalline polymer cousins highlights opportunities for new insights into the behavior of colloidal rods. These insights promise to provide the next generation of advanced materials based on anisotropic building blocks.

 


Kathryn Clancy

clancy k 72x96Assistant Professor of Anthropology
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dr. Kathryn Clancy is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Yale University, and her BA in Biological Anthropology and Women’s Studies from Harvard University. Her research interests are in human reproductive ecology, and in issues of intersectionality and inclusion in science. Dr. Clancy and her collaborators have examined relationships between inflammation and ovarian function in rural agricultural and urban sedentary environments. With colleagues she has empirically demonstrated the continued problem of sexual harassment and assault in the field sciences. Dr. Clancy was named as one of Nature’s “10 people who mattered” in 2013 for this work, which was covered by many media outlets.

(Nominating Department: Anthropology)

09-28-15

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3:30 PM
Koldus
Room 111
(Gender Equity Talk)

“I’ve always thought about leaving:” The Effects of Harassment and Assault on Female Scientists’ Careers

Clancy and colleagues(PLOS One 9(7), 2014) have found that, in an internet-based survey of over 600 respondents, scientists are harassed and assaulted in fieldwork settings, female trainees are most vulnerable to harassment, and codes of conduct and reporting mechanisms are rare and largely unsatisfactory. In this presentation, Clancy will support these results with thematic analysis of 26 interviews, demonstrating the qualitative differences in types of discrimination and harassment faced, the types of workplaces more prone to harassment, and the effects a hostile work environment can have on a scientists’ career.

Reception to follow


09-29-15

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9:30 AM
Glasscock
Room 311
(Gender Equity Talk)

Ecological Contexts in the Study of Women’s Reproductive Functioning: Insights from the US and Rural Poland

As human populations become more industrialized and sedentary, inflammatory disruptions from immunological or psychosocial stressors as well as obesity play an increasing role in women’s reproductive function. Clancy’s research program seeks to expand the model of human female biological variation in modern environments through fieldwork in the US and Poland, and novel laboratory methods to improve noninvasive biomarker detection.

 


Shelly Lundberg

clancy k 72x96Professor of Economics
University of California-Santa Barbara
Dr. Shelly Lundberg is the Leonard Broom Endowed Chair in Demography at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Bergen, Norway. She is a Fellow and past President of the Society of Labor Economists and a Research Fellow at IZA. She is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Population Economics and the Journal of Demographic Economics and a member of the editorial boards of the American Economic Review and the Review of Economics of the Household. Lundberg’s research is focused in labor economics and the economics of the family, including issues such as discrimination, inequality, family decision-making and the intra-household allocation of resources. Her current research examines the sources of educational inequality and of gender gaps in education.

(Nominating Department: Economics)

09-21-15

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12:30 PM
Allen
Room 3125
(Gender Equity Talk)

Women in Economics

Economics is a persistently male-dominated field in the academy, from undergraduate majors through graduate programs to tenured faculty. Dr. Lundberg, incoming chair of the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP), will provide informal remarks on efforts at two ends of this academic spectrum—attracting women into undergraduate Economics programs and enhancing the success of women facing the well-known “leaky pipeline” into tenured university positions. The Sloan Foundation is funding an Undergraduate Women in Economics Challenge, in which 50 universities are exploring a variety of interventions intended to increase the participation of women in undergraduate majors. Also, studies have shown that economics is an outlier in the extent to which female faculty disappear between Assistant and tenured Associate positions. Several years of CSWEP-sponsored mentoring programs have been evaluated through randomized treatments and found to be successful in improving the career paths of female academics

Luncheon at 11:45 (RSVP to chelsi@tamu.edu).


09-21-15

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3:00 PM
Allen
Room 1002
(Gender Equity Talk)

Family Background, Non-Cognitive Skills, and Gender Gap in Education

Around the world, with the exception of parts of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, the educational attainment of young women now exceeds that of young men. The fraction of women who have attained tertiary education is substantially higher than that of men in almost all OECD countries, and women now account for about 60% of four-year college graduates in the United States. A number of economists, including Autor and Wasserman (2014) and Bertrand and Pan (2013) have suggested that the increase in single-parent households may be contributing to the growing gender gap in education, as boys are likely to be more vulnerable to the negative effects of father absence than girls, either because the influence of a same-sex parent is crucial or because boys are more susceptible to environmental adversity. Using data on young cohorts of men and women from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997, Dr. Lundberg investigates the association between college graduation and father (and step-father) presence earlier in life, as well as mother-fixed-effect models with opposite-sex siblings to control for unobserved parental and household characteristics. She also uses the rich Add Health data to investigate some mechanisms that may link family structure with gender differences in educational attainment—school problems, non-cognitive skill development, and educational aspirations.

 


Christine E. Bose

bose c 72x96Professor of Sociology, Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies
University at Albany, SUNY
Dr. Christine E. Bose, Professor of Sociology at the University at Albany, SUNY, with joint appointments in the Departments of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies. She has been President of the Eastern Sociological Society (2011) and of Sociologists for Women in Society (2006), as well as the Editor of the journal Gender & Society (2000-03). She is the SWS 2014 Distinguished Feminist Lecturer. Her interest areas are U.S. and global gender inequalities, stratification and labor market issues, international development and migration, and race/ethnicity differences among women. She has published in the areas of occupational prestige and status attainment, women’s employment and poverty as it varies by ethnicity, the social impact of household technology, women’s work at the turn of the century (1900), gender and development in Latin America, women’s global care work and migration, and global gender research (2009). Seven of her eight books focus on issues related to gender and work.
(Nominating Department: Sociology)

04-14-15

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4:00 PM
Rudder Tower Room 301
(Gender Equity Talk)

Comparative Faculty Diversity in the SUNY System: Focus on Latino/a Faculty

This talk assesses the extent to which the institutional recruitment efforts by the multi-campus State University of New York (SUNY) system have translated into hiring and diversifying the full-time tenure-track faculty, and how that progress, as well as the retention of Latinos(as) and other underrepresented minority faculty is monitored. Full-time SUNY faculty are not as predominantly white as they were in the 1990s, but increased faculty diversity tends to be lopsided on most campuses—focusing on hiring one group, at the apparent expense of others. Latinos(as) and African Americans remain underrepresented, especially when one considers the demographic profiles of SUNY students, New York State, or of the nation. Hiring of women faculty members has progressed more than for any other group of SUNY faculty, increasing to 43% of all full-time faculty, and women now are 50% and 44% of African American and Latino faculty, respectively, but they only are 33% of Asian faculty. The talk details some of the reasons for low increments in faculty and local variations in outcomes.

Reception to follow


04-15-15

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10:15 AM
Academic Building Room 326
(Technical Talk)

Patterns of Global Gender Inequality

The first goal of this presentation is to move beyond the concepts of the Global North and Global South, since empirical studies on many gender inequalities do not differentiate themselves globally exactly in this manner, and because theoretical developments over the last several decades have shown that, although quite useful, such geographic dichotomies tend to homogenize real condition.
The second goal is to expose the variety of “gender regimes” around the globe, which link gendered social institutions (e.g. laws on violence/physical integrity, family codes, etc.) to gender inequitable outcomes (e.g. female-to-male ratios in education, work, politics, health, etc.). Using data retrieved from various sources (on 190 developed and developing nations) Bose shows that similar constellations of gendered societal structures do not always create the same gendered inequity outcomes across or within every global region.

 


Claudia Benitez-Nelson

benitez-nelson c 72x96College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor, Marine Science Program and Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences
University of South Carolina  
Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson is a College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor in the Marine Science Program and Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus and carbon and how these elements are influenced by both natural and anthropogenic processes. She is a diverse scientist, with expertise ranging from radiochemistry to harmful algal bloom toxins. In 2013, Dr. Benitez-Nelson was named the University of South Carolina’s Distinguished Professor of the Year and in 2014 received the Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring from the Biogeosciences Section of the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Benitez-Nelson earned a B.S. in chemistry and oceanography from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program in 1999.
(Nominating Department: Oceanography)

12-08-14

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11:30 AM 
O&M Building Room 1209
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Navigating Your Way Through a Broken Pipeline

Yes academia is difficult. The same goes for any career one is passionate about. Can you have it all: A rewarding job, a happy family, and a good night’s sleep? Of course – but it does involve compromise and support. In this seminar, I’ll discuss some rules to live by that were passed down to me by a highly regarded scientist as well as my own rocky road to success in the research and leadership arena. Be prepared for an interactive discussion of the life and times of a mid-career scientist.

Reception to follow


12-08-14

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4:00 PM 
O&M Building Room 112 
(Technical Talk)

Phosphorus Biogeochemistry and Elemental Stoichiometry in Sinking and Suspended Particulate Matter in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela

Elemental stoichiometry has been used to understand processes ranging from nutrient limitation to ancient ocean redox state. The variety of mechanisms proposed to explain the observed variability in particulate C:N:P ratios throughout the ocean has led to the general conclusion that there is no single optimal N:P ratio of marine phytoplankton. Rather, phytoplankton C:N:P ratios are both higher and lower than the canonical Redfield (106:16:1) depending on species specific nutrient stress and overall growth conditions. What is missing from this general view of particulate C:N:P ratios is how these ratios change as a function of time and with increasing depth at specific locations, as even seemingly small changes in nutrient ratios can influence the amount of total carbon ultimately sequestered in the deep ocean. The goal of this seminar is to explore phosphorus biogeochemistry and temporal (16 year) and depth-dependent (0-1400 m) changes in the elemental ratios (C:N:P) of sinking and suspended organic matter collected from the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, a continental margin characterized by significant seasonal and interannual changes in nutrient availability, primary production, and plankton composition. Results demonstrate that large scale shifts in plankton biogeochemistry have driven intriguing changes in element stoichiometry, food web structure, and the composition of suspended and sinking material in a coastal margin setting that is a combination of trends observed in open ocean settings.

 


Nancy Reid

reid n 72x96Professor and Canada Research Chair, Statistical Methodology
University of Toronto

Dr. Nancy Reid is a University Professor and Canada Research Chair in Statistical Methodology at the University of Toronto. Her research interests are in statistical theory, likelihood inference, and design of studies. Along with her colleagues she has developed higher order asymptotic methods both for use in applications, and as a means to study theoretical aspects of the foundations of inference, including the interface between Bayesian and frequentist methods. Professor Reid received her PhD from Stanford University, under the supervision of Rupert Miller. She taught at the University of British Columbia before moving to the University of Toronto, and has held visiting positions at the Harvard School of Public Health, University of Texas at Austin, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, and University College London. In 2009 she received the Emanuel and Carol Parzen Prize for statistical innovation, and the Gold Medal of the Statistical Society of Canada. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association.

(Nominating Department: Statistics)

11-17-14

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4:00 PM
Rudder Room 301
(Technical Talk)

Approximate Likelihoods

In complex models likelihood functions may be difficult to compute, or depend on assumptions about high order dependencies that may be difficult to verify. A number of methods have been devised to compute inference functions either meant to approximate the true likelihood function, or to provide inferential summaries that balance statistical efficiency with ease of computation. Examples include variational approximations, composite likelihood, quasi-likelihood, indirect inference, and Laplace-type approximations. This talk will survey various approximations to likelihood and likelihood inference, with a view to identifying common themes and outstanding problems.

Reception to follow


11-18-14

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4:00 PM
Rudder Room 302
(Gender-Equity Talk)

“The whole women thing”

Although I’ve mainly tried to ignore gender issues throughout my career, they do pop up to haunt one from time to time. I will discuss some aspects of my career in statistics, through a gender-biased lens, touching on issues around hiring, negotiation, career progression, honours, and family life, and look forward to an exchange of ideas with the audience.

 


Lynne Talley

talley lDistinguished Professor, Physical Oceanography in the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences
University of California, San Diego

Dr. Lynne Talley is a Distinguished Professor of Physical Oceanography in the Climate, Atmospheric Sciences, and Physical Oceanography division at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. Talley’s research focuses on the general circulation of the ocean and the role of various oceanic and atmospheric conditions that affect ocean currents and property distributions, including salinity. Her work involves analysis of data from most of the world’s oceans, depicting the movement of heat, salinity, and water masses, and the formation of water masses, particularly in subpolar regions. She received a BA in physics and a BM in piano performance in 1976 from Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH. She received a PhD in physical oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1982. Dr. Talley is one of the “founders” of M POWIR (Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention). M POWIR is a community-based program that provides mentoring to physical oceanographers from late graduate school through their early careers. The overall goal of MPOWIR is to make mentoring opportunities for junior physical oceanographers universally available and of higher quality by expanding the reach of mentoring opportunities beyond individual home institutions. The aim is to reduce the barriers to career development for all junior scientists in the field, with a particular focus on improving the retention of junior women.

(Nominating Department: Oceanography)

09-22-14

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4:00 PM
Oceanography & Meteorology Bldg Room 112
(Technical Talk)

Closure of the Global Overturning Circulation through the Southern, Indian and Pacific Oceans

Global ocean overturning pathways are presented to clarify their basic elements, focused on the partitioning of deep upwelling between the Southern, Indian, and Pacific Oceans and the circuitous pathway connecting North Atlantic Deep Water back to the warm water moving northward in the Atlantic.  The global salinity distribution and hence freshwater transport, which is set by the atmosphere’s water vapor transport, is one of the central controls on the grossest aspects of this global overturn.  The presence of Drake Passage creates the enormously different nature of northern and southern hemisphere overturns. The global circulation is down-gradient in terms of the largest spatial scales of steric height distributions, at all depths from the surface to the bottom, based on observational syntheses.

Reception to follow


09-23-14
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Oceanography & Meteorology Bldg Observatory (15th Floor)
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Observational Oceanography: from Individualistic to Team Science

Dr. Talley, a sea-going mother of 3, will discuss her journey through  the shift in observational oceanography from individualized, sea-going projects prevalent in the 1980s to the much more team-based, collaborative projects of today.  She will invite discussion of activities and possibilities for the AGU Ocean Sciences section, of which she is president-elect.

Reception to follow


Marlene Belfort

belfort m 72x96Professor, Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences
University of Albany
Dr. Marlene Belfort is a distinguished professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences, University of Albany, SUNY. She also holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Belfort is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. She served on the board of directors of the RNA Society, on the Board of Advisors of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Evolutionary Biology Program and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center Research Center, and on the Council of Councils of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Belfort has served on the editorial board of Gene, Methods in Molecular and Cellular Biology, RNA, Nucleic Acids Research, Journal of Molecular Biology, Journal of Bacteriology and Mobile DNA. Dr. Belfort’s research interests are in splicing, mobility and evolution of self-splicing introns and inteins, and their application to biotechnology.
(Nominating Department: Chemical Engineering)

06-02-14

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11:00 AM
Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Bldg.
Auditorium

(Technical Talk )

Protein Splicing in Evolution, Medicine and Biotechnology

Protein splicing is a natural phenomenon catalyzed by inteins. Inteins are enzymes that excise themselves from a non-functional precursor protein and ligate the flanking protein segments, called exteins, with a peptide bond, resulting in a functional protein. Inteins have an enigmatic distribution throughout the three domains of life, resulting from their interesting evolutionary history as mobile genetic elements, and from their possible function as biological switches. Additionally, inteins occur in microbial pathogens, including mycobacteria that cause tuberculosis, making inteins potential targets for antibiotic development. Divalent metal ions including platinum can inhibit certain inteins and we have shown that the anticancer drug cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloro-platinum) is a strong inhibitor of protein splicing both in vitro and in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Cisplatin inhibits intein activity by modifying at least one conserved cysteine residue that is required for splicing. Finally, the ability of inteins to perform cleavage and formation of peptide bonds has made inteins attractive for many biotechnological applications. Control of protein splicing is one of the challenges for intein applications. We have met this challenge by engineering inteins to respond to pH and exteins to respond to redox and used these modified constructs for protein purification, intracellular redox sensing and protein labeling.

Reception to follow

 


06-03-14

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10:00 AM
Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Bldg.
Auditorium

(Gender-Equity Talk)

The Work-Life Balancing Act

 An outstanding scientist, wife and a mother of three, Dr. Belfort will share her experiences as she progressed from graduate school to postdoc, from an assistant professor to a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Distinguished professor. She will discuss her personal tips on how to build and maintain a successful research group, handle challenges faced by female scientists and give advice to young scientists, men and women, thinking of embarking on a research career.

Reception to follow


Patricia Babbitt

babbitt pProfessor, Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Patricia Babbitt is a Professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. She is at the forefront of genomic enzymology, which integrates computational and experimental methods to predict new enzyme activities.  Her early pioneering studies determined structural and mechanistic relationships between remotely related enzymes. Capitalizing on fundamental concepts from these studies, Dr. Babbitt develops and uses the tools of bioinformatics and computational structural biology to predict protein functions from genome sequencing projects and to address serious problems with misannotation in public sequence databases. She is one of the principle investigators in the Enzyme Function Initiative, a large consortium that aims to develop robust sequence/structure based strategies for facilitating discovery of in vitro enzymatic and in vivo physiological functions of unknown enzymes discovered in genome projects, a crucial limitation in genomic biology.

(Nominating Department: Biochemistry and Biophysics)

04-10-14

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4:00 PM
BioBio 108
(Technical Talk )

A Global Context for Prediction of Functional Trends in Enzyme Superfamilies

The natural catalytic repertoire includes nearly hundreds of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each comprised of thousands of sequences and many different chemical reactions. Studies of some of these superfamilies suggest that they have evolved using “privileged” scaffolds, structural templates whose active site architectures facilitate catalysis of common partial reactions or other chemical capabilities. Building on these themes, evolutionary divergence of the ancestral forms of these scaffolds are then thought to lead to the variations in topology, active site architecture, and specificity determinants that are seen in contemporary superfamily members. Protein similarity networks offer a global view of structure-function relationships in these types of superfamilies. Since the networks can be viewed and manipulated interactively, “painting” clusters of related network sequences with available functional information provides valuable clues for identification and prediction of function for proteins of unknown or misannotated function. Further, similarity networks offer a powerful way to suggest targets for which experimental characterization may be effectively leveraged to predict functional properties of the many uncharacterized unknowns that continue to be discovered in genome projects. We describe what we have learned from studying these superfamilies on a large scale and how the network views can aid in guiding experiments and analyses in new ways.


04-11-14

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10:00 AM
BioBio 106A
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Many roads to success: One story of a circuitous journey up the academic ladder

Funding pressures and competition for academic positions and advancement sometimes make it seem as though only those with the right pedigree and trajectory have a chance at academic success. Combined with cultural proclivities among women especially to sell themselves short in the competitive science arena, giving up can look like the better part of valor — at least it certainly seemed that way to me once upon a time! I’m going to talk a little about my own circuitous journey through doubt, hard times, and success and what I learned along the way. I’m looking forward to a good discussion, so bring your comments and questions.

Reception to follow


Catherine Kling

kling87x116Professor, Economics Director, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Iowa State University
Dr. Catherine Kling is Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University. She is a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and past President of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Dr. Kling leads an interdisciplinary research group focusing on water quality and agricultural practices, has published over 60 journal articles and refereed book chapters, has received seven awards from professional associations for her research, has been PI (or co-PI) on over $7 million of grants (including NSF, EPA, USDA, and state agencies) and holds (or has held) editorial positions at seven economics journals. Kling’s engagement in the policy process includes over ten years of service as a member EPA’s Science Advisory Board and member of five National Academy of Science panels. Fifteen of her former Ph.D. and post-doctoral students now hold academic positions.

(Nominating Department: Agricultural Economics)

04-10-14

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11:00 AM
Room 129
Agricultural and
Life Sciences Building

(Technical Talk )

Agricultural Conservation Practices and Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia: Linking Externalities from the Land to their Consequences in the Sea

A large and persistent hypoxic zone in the Northern Gulf of Mexico has been well documented since 1985. A significant source of the nutrients contributing to this condition comes from the intensively managed agricultural land in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio-Tennessee River Basins. Policy interventions designed to change management of this land to reduce nutrient loading in rivers and streams is likely to impose additional costs of production. Policy makers designing conservation programs, regulatory actions, or other interventions to address the environmental externalities in this region would benefit from understanding the magnitude of the tradeoffs between costs of conservation and environmental improvement. In this paper, we apply an evolutionary algorithm to an integrated land use, water quality, and hypoxic zone model to generate a simple, yet powerful modeling system that identifies tradeoffs in land use decisions with respect to costs and water quality. We integrate the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) national SWAT modeling project results with a model of the hypoxic zone in the Northern Gulf of Mexico econometrically estimated by Rabotyagov to create the underlying modeling system. Using an evolutionary algorithm, we develop empirical frontiers that identify cost-effective placement of conservation practices. We demonstrate the value of this system by assessing the set of conservation actions evaluated by the USDA in the National CEAP Assessment to construct the tradeoffs between the cost of conservation actions and the resulting size and variability of the hypoxic zone.


04-10-14

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3:00 PM
Room 129
Agricultural and
Life Sciences Building

(Gender-Equity Talk)

Work-life Balance: Thoughts from an Economist

A regular topic of discussion in the media is the degree to which young professionals (men and women) can “have it all” as they pursue rewarding and well-paid career tracks, strong family relationships, and adequate time to enjoy personal pursuits (e.g., sleep!).  Academic career paths provide both challenges and valuable flexibility for individuals and families. In this talk, I will share some of my personal experiences as I have moved through the academic system and describe some of the strategies that have been useful to me in my quest to have it all.

Reception to follow


Wendy Graham

graham wProfessor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Director, University of Florida Water Institute

University of Florida
 
Professor Wendy Graham is the Carl S. Swisher Eminent Scholar in Water Resources in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida and Director of the University of Florida Water Institute. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Her PhD is in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She conducts research in the areas of coupled hydrologic-water quality-ecosystem modeling; groundwater resources evaluation and remediation; evaluation of impacts of agricultural production on surface and groundwater quality; evaluation of impacts of climate variability and climate change on water resources; stochastic modeling and data assimilation. She has served as PI or co-PI on over $13 million in grants and contracts, has supervised 30 doctoral and master’s thesis committees and has served on more than 50 additional graduate student committees. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee that reviewed EPA’s Economic Analysis of Final Water Quality Standards for Nutrients for Lakes and Flowing Waters in Florida, and the National Academy of Sciences Committee that conducts an Independent Scientific Review of Everglades Restoration Progress.

(Nominating Department: Biological & Agricultural Engineering)

03-18-14

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10:00 AM
114 Wehner Bldg. (WCBA)
(Technical Talk )

Geologic, Vegetative and Climatic Controls on Stream-flow Generation processes in the Santa Fe River Basin:  Lessons Learned From an Integrated Hydrologic

Predicting watershed behavior requires understanding sources, travel paths, travel times and mixing dynamics among water sources that variably comprise river flows.   This study combined high temporal resolution measurements of geogenic and anthropogenic solutes with integrated hydrologic modeling and global sensitivity analysis to yield new insights into the interacting geologic, climatic and vegetative controls on streamflow generation processes in a large, complex eogenetic karst basin in North Central Florida. The baseline ParFlow.CLM model (Maxwell and Miller, 2005), developed using literature parameter values, accurately simulated the basin water balance as well as the timing and magnitude of groundwater fluctuations and streamflow responses to storm events throughout the region. However the baseline model consistently over-predicted the rate of streamflow recession after wet antecedent conditions in the lower reaches of the basin. Comparison of model predictions of surface-groundwater contributions to streamflow to estimates from binary end-member mixing models, developed using high resolution specific conductivity measurements, indicated that the missing contribution to the recession limb of the streamflow hydrographs in the lower reaches was from older groundwater rather than younger event water. Particle tracking experiments (de Rooij et al, 2013) revealed a wide-range of streamflow sources and travel times with two distinct components: a “young” event-water component that varied with spatiotemporal rainfall characteristics in the upper reaches of the basin and a time-invariant “old” groundwater component that showed fractal behavior.
Global sensitivity analysis of the model showed that streamflow in the upper reaches of the watershed was most sensitive to parameters controlling evapotranspiration and relatively insensitive to surficial aquifer properties. In contrast streamflow in the lower reaches of the watershed was most sensitive to parameters controlling the flux of groundwater to the river. Surface-groundwater interactions, and the rate of streamflow recession, were highly sensitive to assumptions regarding the roughness of the river channels, and the hydraulic conductivities of the underlying aquifers.   Results of this study underscore the usefulness of combining end member mixing model results with integrated hydrologic models to improve quantitative, predictive understanding of surface water -groundwater flow dynamics within large complex watersheds, and to design field campaigns and data assimilation experiments to improve numerical model predictions.

 


03-18-14

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2:00 PM
109 Heldenfels Hall (HELD)
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Careers, Connections, Contributions, Conundrums

Students, Staff and Faculty join Dr. Graham for an informal and interactive discussion on the joys and challenges of an academic journey.

Reception to follow

 


Bonnie Dunbar

dunbar87x116Professor, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
Director, Aerospace Graduate Program

University of Houston
 
Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar is the M. D. Anderson Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston. She also serves as the Director of the University’s “STEM Center” and Director of the Cullen College of Engineering Aerospace Graduate Program. Dr. Dunbar has worked for Rockwell International Space Division, building Space Shuttle Columbia, worked for NASA for 27 years, both as a flight controller and as a Mission Specialist Astronaut, where she flew 5 Space Shuttle flights logging more than 50 days in space. In addition to her flight career, she was a member of the Senior Executive Service. Her service included Assistant JSC Director, University Research; Deputy Director, Flight Crew Operations; and NASA Headquarters Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications (OLMSA). After retiring from NASA, she became President and CEO of The Seattle Museum of Flight. Afterwards, Dr. Dunbar consulted in aerospace and STEM education as the President of Dunbar International LLC, and is an internationally known public speaker. Dunbar holds BS and MS degrees in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Washington, and a PhD in Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering from the University of Houston. She is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She has been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal five times, the NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. Dr. Dunbar was inducted into the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and in 2002 was elected to the US National Academy.
(Nominating Department: Mechanical Engineering)

02-26-14

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10:30 AM
Room 202 Cain
Mechanical Engineering Building

Teaching Wing
(Gender-Equity Talk )

Personal Observations: The Journey of a Cowgirl to Space and BackDr. Dunbar grew up on a cattle ranch homesteaded by her parents in 1948 in eastern Washington State’s Yakima Valley. She was the first in her family to attend College. She will share some of the lessons she has learned in her journey from the ranch into an engineering career, as a NASA astronaut, and now a faculty member at the University of Houston.

 

Reception to follow


02-26-2014

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4:10 PM
Room 202 Cain
Mechanical Engineering Building

Teaching Wing
(Technical Talk)

Exploration of Space: The Rewards and the Technical Challenges

Dr. Dunbar will share her history as an engineer working on the Space ShuttleColumbia in California’s Edwards AFB during the 1970’s, her flight career as a NASA Astronaut flying on five Space Shuttle flights, and her observations of the future of Space Exploration in the 21st Century: both global and in the US. A few of the most significant technological challenges for a human mission to Mars, as documented by NAE reports, will discussed, as well as the US preparedness to solve them.


Wendy Crone

crone87x116Professor, Engineering Physics
Associate Dean, Graduate Education

University of Wisconsin – Madison
 

Dr. Wendy C. Crone is the Associate Dean for Graduate Education in the Graduate School and a Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. As Associate Dean she serves as a leader in all areas of graduate education on a campus with over 9,000 enrolled students spread across more than 150 post-baccalaureate programs. She is responsible for Graduate School offices which manage admissions, academic services, academic analysis, funding, professional development, and diversity of graduate students. Prof. Crone’s engineering research is in the area of solid mechanics, and she has applied her technical expertise to improving mechanical response of materials, enhancing material behavior through surface modification and nanostructuring, exploring the interplay between cells and the mechanics of their surroundings, and developing new material applications and medical devices. She has published more than 50 peer reviewed journal articles, holds patents on medical devices and biomaterials, authored “Survive and Thrive: A Guide for Untenured Faculty,” and garnered awards for research and mentoring. Prof. Crone earned her PhD in Engineering Mechanics at the University of Minnesota and has been a member of the faculty at University of Wisconsin – Madison since 1998.


(Nominating Department: Mechanical Engineering)

02-21-14

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10:00 AM
301 Mechanical Engineering
Office Building (MEOB)

(Technical Talk )

Human Cardiomyocyte Response to Micropatterned Feature Widths

Recent developments in stem cell differentiation methods have enabled the derivation of human heart muscle cells, or cardiomyocytes, from stem cell sources at exceedingly high efficiencies. The resulting cells demonstrate many of the properties of immature human cardiomyocytes, but they do not spontaneously align and form mature, highly-structured myofibrils that are typically observed in vivo. In our studies, we’ve developed a platform that utilizes soft lithography and micropatterning techniques to control cell geometries in a highly specific manner. The patterned geometries consisted of rectangular features of varying sizes and aspect ratios to investigate how cardiomyocyte aggregates responded to the geometric constraint. Pure populations of immature, human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes were seeded onto these fibronectin/matrigel geometries. Myofibril assembly and alignment of the cells was assessed. Results showed that the human cardiomyocytes aligned much more strongly, and formed much more robust sarcomere structures, on geometries with widths ranging from 20µm to 80µm. The cells cultured on optimal geometries demonstrate a much more physiologically-representative size, as well as a mature-like myofibril expression.


02-21-2014

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3:30 PM
301 Mechanical Engineering
Office Building (MEOB)

(Gender-Equity Talk)

Survive and Thrive: Guidance for Untenured Faculty

The experience of an untenured faculty member is highly dependent on the quality of the mentoring they receive. Mentoring relationships come is various forms and have different levels of formality and expectations. The term “mentor” also means different things to different people. To some, it connotes teacher, advisor, and counselor, while to others, there is a either a deep friendship implied or a substantial power relationship at play. In more contemporary terms, mentoring occurs on multiple levels with multiple individuals and incorporates peers, professional networks, and colleagues as well as the classic mentors. The academic profession is a “colleague system” in which relationships influence an individual’s place within their department, institution, and field of research. Mentors can provide invaluable guidance in navigating the establishment and development of these relationships. Strategies will be discussed for developing and maintaining mentoring relationships, creating peer mentoring.

 

Reception to follow



Jacqueline Barton

barton72x96Hanish Memorial Professor, Chemistry
Chair, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
California Institute of Technology
 Jacqueline K. Barton is the Arthur and Marian Hanisch Memorial Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She is a native New Yorker. Barton was awarded the A.B. summa cum laude at Barnard College in 1974 and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at Columbia University in 1978 in the laboratory of S. J. Lippard. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Bell Laboratories and Yale University with R. G. Shulman, she became an assistant professor at Hunter College, City University of New York. In 1983, she returned to Columbia University, becoming an associate professor of chemistry and biological sciences in 1985 and professor in 1986. In the fall of 1989, she joined the faculty at Caltech. In 2009, she began her term as Chair of the Division.  Professor Barton has pioneered the application of transition metal complexes to probe recognition and reactions of double helical DNA. She has received numerous awards, including the 2010 National Medal of Science from President Obama.

(Nominating Department: Chemistry)

10-29-13

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4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Hawking Auditorium in the Mitchell Institute
(Technical Talk )

Signaling through DNA

We think of the DNA double helix as the library of the cell, encoding all that we are.  But the DNA helix can also serve as a conduit for the flow of electrons, a medium for signaling. Like a stack of copper pennies, the stack of DNA base pairs can be conductive. Many experiments have now shown that double helical DNA can serve as a conduit for the transport of electrons over long molecular distances. Importantly, since DNA conductivity depends upon base pair stacking, we can utilize this chemistry in designing sensitive DNA-based diagnostic sensors. But, within the cell, do electrons and holes migrate along the DNA helix? We are also finding that this chemistry is used by Nature in finding where DNA is damaged and in need of repair, an important mechanism in maintaining our genetic library against the onslaught of damage associated with aging, cancer and oxidative stress.


10-30-2013

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3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Hawking Auditorium in the Mitchell Institute
(Technical Talk)

Targeting DNA Mismatches with Metalloinserters

Deficiencies in the repair of DNA mismatches are associated with several different cancers, as well as the resistance of cancers to commonly used chemotherapeutics. Our laboratory has developed bulky rhodium complexes that target DNA mismatches through metalloinsertion. These octahedral complexes include an expansive tetracyclic aromatic ligand that can only be accommodated by DNA at a thermodynamically destabilized mismatch site. The first generation compound, Rh(bpy)2chrysi3+ (chrysi = 5,6-chrysenequinone diimine), binds 80% of all possible DNA mismatches and with remarkable specificity for the mismatched site. High resolution crystal structures of metal complexes bound to single base mismatches within a DNA oligonucleotide duplex reveal the distinctive binding mode of metalloinsertion at the mismatched site, where the mismatched bases are ejected, replaced by the metallonsertor. The family of metalloinsertors shows both selective inhibition of cellular proliferation and selective cytotoxicity of cells deficient in mismatch repair. Targeting of genomic DNA mismatches provides a unique cell-selective strategy in the design of novel chemotherapeutics.


10-30-2013

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12:30PM-2:00PM
CHEM 109
(Administator Talk)

Reflections of a CalTech Administrator

Dr. Barton will engage in a Q&A session about her life as an administrator at Caltech.


Myrtle Bell

bell72x96Professor, ManagementUniversity of Texas at Arlington

Myrtle P. Bell is Professor of Management at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she earned her PhD. She was the first African American and the first woman promoted to Professor in Management. She received her undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and an MBA from Louisiana State University. Her research, focusing on diversity, social issues, and human resources appears in outlets such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Human Resource Management. Her book, Diversity in Organizations (2012, 2nd edition), is a research-based book for teaching and learning about diversity. Dr. Bell has led the Academy of Management’s Gender and Diversity in Organizations division (2002-2007) and served as a representative on the Academy of Management Board of Governors (2009 – 2012). She was selected as one of 100 distinguished global diversity thought leaders by the Society for Human Resource Management and has received multiple diversity and mentoring awards.

(Nominating Department: Psychology)

10-30-13

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2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Rudder 301
(Technical & Gender-Equity Talk)

Seeing the World Through Diversity Lenses

“I was born to do diversity work and have always seen the world through diversity lenses. Growing up in the Deep South, attending virtually all black, then all white university laboratory schools, and then Notre Dame (as a Black, female, Protestant), I have been a diversity participant and observer throughout my life, formulating research questions and ideas along the way.”  Dr. Bell will discuss the journey to where she is today as a diversity researcher and teacher, why she is so passionate about her work, and why she remains convinced about the value and importance of diversity and inclusion to our future.

 

 

Reception at the University Club to follow


Rita Bowser

Bowser72x96Vice President
Westinghouse Electric Company
 
Rita Bowser is a Vice President for Westinghouse Electric Company. She is supporting the Americas Region responding to nuclear utility needs in a post-Fukushima environment. She is leading the core team to improve the global nuclear safety culture within Westinghouse. She recently led the development of a post-Fukushima Westinghouse strategy for a key segment of the nuclear fuel cycle. She brings her experiences from the Three Mile Island recovery and Chernobyl accident, as well as over 30 years of nuclear experience to this role.   She comes to the Americas role after serving as the Regional Vice President – South Africa for Westinghouse Electric Company.  Her responsibilities included managing Westinghouse’s business in South Africa, by integrating Westinghouse’s global nuclear network through a local delivery model.  Dr. Bowser served on the Boards of Westinghouse Electric South Africa (WE-SA), and the Board of American Chamber of Commerce.  She was a founding member and served on the Board of the Nuclear Institute of South Africa (NIASA).  Dr. Bowser is a founder and Executive Sponsor of Women in Nuclear-WE-SA. She also served on the Westinghouse European & South African Leadership Council.   Prior to her assignment in South Africa, Dr. Bowser served as the Vice President for Strategy for Westinghouse’s European Fuel Business and was also the Head of the AGR & VVER Fuel Business in the UK. She previously served as President and CEO of BNFL Fuel Solutions (a Westinghouse/BNFL subsidiary) – a dry cask storage business for used nuclear fuel and nuclear plant decommissioning.  Prior to working for Westinghouse, Dr. Bowser worked on commercial nuclear and spent fuel and decommissioning programs across the globe. She also worked for more than a decade at the Rancho Seco Nuclear Plant in radiation protection and radiochemistry.  Dr. Bowser received her DBA from the American University of London, an MSME in Heath Physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a BS in Mathematics from Clarion University.   She currently serves on the board of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Nuclear Society, and the Executive board of the Moraine Trails Boy Scout Council. She is a Registered Radiation Protection Technologist, a Certified Industrial Safety Instructor, a Patron of the American Nuclear Society, a member of Women in Nuclear, is a past Secretary of the NC Health Physics Society.

(Nominating Department: Nuclear Engineering)

10-29-13

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3:55 PM – 5:10 PM
Zachary 3rd Floor
 (Technical Talk )

Nuclear Power:  A Journey of Continuous Improvement

The commercialization of nuclear power in the United States began with the Shippingport Reactor, an easy drive from Westinghouse headquarters. These early Generation 1 plants gave way to today’s Generation II plants, which deliver almost 20% of US energy needs. A process of continuous improvement has made these plants safer through the application of lessons learned to improve safety and design concepts, leading to more efficient operations. We are building new Generation III+ reactors that go beyond these improvements making them almost “walk-away” safe. Advancing both the fundamental design and modular construction technique in a smaller sized power plant, we are progressing with the innovative development of the Westinghouse Small Modular Reactor. This presentation discusses the relevance of the historical learning in this safety, design, and construction evolution.


Reception prior to talk at 3:30PM


10-30-2013

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10:00AM-11:00AM
Zachary 301
(Gender-Equity Talk)

It’s OK to Wear Earrings to a Board Meeting (and Other Myths Exposed)
Throughout her career Dr. Boswer has been given advice – all of it well intentioned, some of it helpful, and some of it just plain out-of-touch. The most important advice that she has been given is to be true to herself.  Dr. Bowser will expose the truth behind the myth that one shouldn’t wear visible earrings to a board meeting, and other myths you may encounter.

Reception to follow


Laurie McNeil

mcneil lProfessor, Physics and of Applied Sciences and Engineering
University of North Carolina at Chaple Hill (UNC)
 Laurie McNeil, is a Professor of Physics and of Applied Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). She received her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has spent fellowship or sabbatical research visits at MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, DuPont Central Research and Development Laboratory, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. In her work she applies optical spectroscopies to understand structure-property relationships in semiconductors, including organic crystalline materials. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and her efforts on behalf of women in science have been honored in numerous ways. These include being the inaugural holder of the Kathryn McCarthy Lectureship (Tufts University) and the Dorothy Daspit Lectureship (Sophie Newcomb College, Tulane University), as well as receiving the Mary Turner Lane Award and the University Award for Advancement of Women (both from UNC). The UNC College of Arts & Sciences also honored her with the William Little Award for her contributions to the educational mission of the College as well as her work on behalf of women in science. She was the first female faculty member in the Physics & Astronomy Department at UNC when she came to the campus in 1982, and served as its first female Chair in 2004-09. She has held numerous leadership positions within UNC as well as in the American Physical Society, most recently serving as Chair of the Southeastern Section of the APS.
(Nominating Department: Physics and Astronomy)

01-30-13

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4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Hawking Auditorium in the Mitchell Institute
(Gender-Equity Talk )

Lights, Music, and Speedbumps

Although there are very few formal barriers for women in science today, there remain many speedbumps that can slow our advancement.  In my career I have encountered some of them, and have learned about many of their origins, how to get over them, and how to help others to do so.  I will discuss my own career in physics as an example, and what I have learned about what slows women down and what we and others can do to women move forward.

Reception to follow


01-31-2013

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4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Hawking Auditorium in the Mitchell Institute
(Technical Talk)

Organic Semiconductors:  Bright Future for Old Materials

Crystalline semiconductors formed from organic molecules have a long history, but they have more recently been recognized as exciting materials for applications in electronics, display technology, and solar energy.  I will discuss what we understand about the relationship between the structure of these materials and the useful properties they display, and the prospects for affordable, flexible electronic devices based on them.

Annette von Jouanne

von jouanne aProfessor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Oregon State University
 Annette von Jouanne, Ph.D., P.E., IEEE Fellow, has been a professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University since 1995. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University where she also worked with Toshiba International Industrial Division. Professor von Jouanne specializes in Energy Systems, including power electronics and power systems. With a passion for renewables, she initiated the Wave Energy program at OSU in 1998, developing it into a National multidisciplinary program, where she continues to be in leadership along with several excellent colleagues. She is also Co-Directing the Wallace Energy Systems & Renewables Facility (WESRF), the highest power university-based Energy Systems Lab in the nation. Dr. von Jouanne has received national recognition for her research and teaching, and she is a Registered Professional Engineer as well as a National Academy of Engineering “Celebrated Woman Engineer.”
(Nominating Department: Electrical and Computer Engineering)

01-28-13

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2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Meet and Greet Reception

 

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Talk

 

 Emerging Technologies  Building, Rm 3002
(Technical Talk)


Riding the Waves:  Harnessing Ocean Wave Energy Through Research, Development and Testing

An extremely abundant and promising source of energy exists in the world’s oceans. Ocean energy exists in the forms of wave, tidal, marine currents, thermal (temperature gradient) and salinity. Among these forms, significant opportunities and benefits have been identified in the area of ocean wave energy extraction, i.e., harnessing the motion of the ocean waves, and converting that motion into electrical energy. Ocean wave power offers several attractive qualities including high power density, low variability and excellent forecastability. This presentation discusses the opportunities for ocean wave power to become a new, reliable and clean source of renewable energy and provides a summary of the wave energy research and developments at Oregon State University (OSU). Also presented will be the activities of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC), a Department of Energy sponsored partnership between OSU, the University of Washington (UW), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). NNMREC performs fundamental technological, social, and environmental research, in addition to providing unique testing facilities including a wave energy test bed, 2D and 3D wave tanks, and an Ocean Sentinel mobile ocean test berth instrumentation buoy to facilitate ocean testing.


01-28-2013

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3:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Emerging Technologies  Building, Rm 3002
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Riding the Waves: a Professor of Electrical Engineering Mom;

With a busy academic career and 3 children (who are all traveling with her to A&M!), Dr. von Jouanne will discuss the challenge of work/life balance.


Susan Fiske

fiske sEugene Higgins Professor, Department of Psychology

Princeton University
Susan T. Fiske is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Princeton University (Ph.D., Harvard University; honorary doctorates, Universite Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands). She investigates social cognition, especially cognitive stereotypes and emotional prejudices, at cultural, interpersonal, and neuroscientific levels. Author of over 250 publications and winner of numerous scientific awards, she has edited most recently, Beyond Common Sense: Psychological Science in the Courtroom (2008) and the Handbook of Social Psychology (2010, 5/e). Currently an editor of Annual Review of Psychology, Science, and Psychological Review, she wrote another text, Social Beings: Core Motives in Social Psychology (2010, 2/e). Sponsored by a Guggenheim, her 2011 Russell-Sage-Foundation book is Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us. Her graduate students arranged her winning the University’s Mentoring Award.

(Nominating Department: Psychology)

10-11-2012

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4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Rudder Tower 601
(Technical Talk)

Why Competence AND Warmth Determine Your Career: Evidence from Social Neuroscience, Social Cognition, and Cultural Comparisons

People make sense of each other in the workplace and in other daily-life encounters. Like all perception, social perception reflects evolutionary pressures. In encounters with conspecifics, social animals must determine, immediately, whether the “other” is friend or foe (i.e. intends good or ill) and, then, whether the “other” has the ability to enact those intentions. Data confirm these two universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence. Promoting survival, these dimensions provide fundamental social structural answers about competition and status. People perceived as warm and competent elicit uniformly positive emotions and behavior, whereas those perceived as lacking warmth and competence elicit uniform negativity. People classified as high on one dimension and low on the other elicit predictable, ambivalent affective and behavioral reactions. These universal dimensions explain both interpersonal and intergroup social cognition, as well as explaining why both competence and warmth matter in scientific careers.


Maria Flytazni-Stephanopoulos

Portrait of Maria Flytazni-StephanopoulosProfessor, Department of Chemical Engineering
Tufts University
Dr. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos is currently the Robert and Marcy Haber Endowed Professor in Energy Sustainability at Tufts University. She earned her BS degree from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece; her MS from the University of Florida; and her PhD from the University of Minnesota, all in Chemical Engineering. Prior to joining the department of Chemical Engineering at Tufts as the Raytheon Professor of Pollution Prevention in 1994, she had conducted research in the energy field and in environmental catalysis at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, CA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, MA. At Tufts, Prof. Stephanopoulos directs the Nano Catalysis and Energy Laboratory researching advanced fuel conversion processes and catalysts for clean energy technologies, especially hydrogen production for fuel cells and other applications. Her recent awards and distinctions include the Distinguished Scholar Award of Tufts University, and the 2008 Henry J. Albert Award of the International Precious Metals Institute. She is a Fellow of the AAAS and the AIChE. She has published more than 130 technical papers, and holds eight US patents. Since 2002, Prof. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos has served as Editor of Applied Catalysis B: Environmental.
(Nominating Department: Chemical Engineering)

04-20-2012

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Jack E. Brown Building, Rm 256
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Two academics and three kids in the family: learning to change many hats a day!

Juggling an academic career and family can be done — with a lot of help and understanding from all the parties involved. Dr. Flytzani-Stephanopoulos will discuss her journey through schools and places, where family, friends, mentors, and colleagues all have played an important role.


04-20-2012

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3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Jack E. Brown Building, Rm 106
(Technical Talk)

Designing catalysts for sustainable energy production: if metal atoms do the job, why use nanoparticles?

The water-gas shift (WGS) reaction is an integral part of fuel gas processing and hydrogen production. For the emerging application to fuel cells, a new generation of active, robust, and economical shift catalysts is needed. If noble metals are to be used, can they be present in trace amounts? Are atomically dispersed metals in oxides viable catalysts for practical development? In our work, we investigate Au and Pt atomically dispersed on various oxides for the WGS reaction. We have recently demonstrated an indirect shape effect of the oxide support, whereby different single crystal surfaces of nanoscale ceria retain different amounts of atomically dispersed gold and can thus be rank ordered in terms of their WGS reaction activity. The distinguishing factor appears to be the number of oxygen defects on each surface. Interestingly, we find the same ranking hold true for the steam reforming of methanol (SRM). These findings make a compelling case for the same M-O active sites on all these surfaces and call for novel synthesis methods to prepare stable atomic distributions of metals on oxide surfaces as practical WGS and SRM catalysts.


Laura Greene

Portrait of Laura GreeneProfessor, Department of Physics
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne

 

Dr. Laura Greene is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received her BS and MS degrees from The Ohio State University and in 1984, received a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University, investigating the linear and non-linear far-infrared properties of materials. She joined Bell Laboratories and then Bellcore, where she researched thin-film growth and tunneling of metallic multilayers, heavy-Fermions, superconductor-semiconductor hybrid structures and high-temperature superconductors. In 1992, she joined the senior physics faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Greene’s research is centered on understanding the physics of highly correlated electron materials focusing on superconductors.

(Nominating Department: Physics and Astronomy )


03-20-2012

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium, Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy
(Technical Talk)

High-Temperature Superconductivity: Taming Serendipity

At this centenary of the discovery of superconductivity, the design of new and more useful superconductors remains as enigmatic as ever. As high-density current carriers with little or no power loss, high-temperature superconductors offer unique solutions to fundamental grid challenges of the 21st century and hold great promise in addressing our global energy challenge in energy production, storage, and distribution. The recent discovery of a new class of high-temperature superconductors has made the community more enthusiastic than ever about finding new superconductors. Historically, these discoveries were almost completely guided by serendipity, and now, researchers in the field have grown into an enthusiastic global network to find a way, together, to predictively design new superconductors. Dr. Greene will share general guidelines and convey the renewed passion shared in this international pursuit. She will also discuss some of the advances in understanding the still-unknown mechanisms of high-temperature superconductivity by probing strong electronic correlations with quasiparticle scattering spectroscopy.


03-19-2012

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium, Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy
(Gender-Equity Talk)

I am a Materials Girl, and this is a Materials World (apologies to Madonna)

“Being a physicist is not my job nor is it my career; it is an integral part of who I am. I was either born hard-wired for it, or was bitten by the science bug at a very young age when I would stare into the night sky for hours and to try to get a glimpse of Sputnik. As time went on, I found my passion for science and eventually physics. I call it seductive and consuming and feel extremely honored to be a part of it. There was no right or wrong choice on my part to become a scientist – there was no value judgment. It was simply what I was” Dr. Greene will discuss how she got to where she is today, including the trials and joys. She will also impart some of the passion she has for the work she does, why she has been in the field of superconductivity for so long, and how she sees the beauty of materials and their promise for renewable energies.


Joan Bennett

Portrait of Joan BennettProfessor, Department of Plant Biology & Pathology
ADVANCE PI, Rutgers University

Dr. Joan Bennett, a member of the National Academy of Science, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Fellow of the American Association for Microbiology, is a professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at Rutgers University. Her expertise is in the areas of fungal physiology, genetics, genomics, mycotoxins and volatile organic compounds (VOC Her research focuses on molds, in particular the genetics of mycotoxin production in the genus Aspergill. In collaboration with scientists at the US Department of Agriculture, Dr. Bennett’s laboratory pioneered research on the genetics and biosynthesis of aflatoxin. Dr. Bennett has also been involved in genome projects for Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus and A. oryzae, and she initiated studies on potential health problems associated with “indoor” molds related to Hurricane Katrina. In addition to running a laboratory, Dr. Bennett is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Principal Investigator for Rutgers’ ADVANCE initiative. In these roles, she promotes the success of women in STEM.

(Nominating Department: Biology)

02-15-2012

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, Room 1105
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Girl geeks: pathways, pitfalls and promises

Women have made greater strides in law and health care professions than in the natural sciences. “Girl geeks” encounter many stereotypes and must navigate conflicting expectations both by society and within themselves.


02-14-2012

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, Room 1105
(Technical Talk)

More than just a funky smell: fungal volatile organic compounds

Filamentous fungi produce a large number of volatile organic compounds as mixtures of alcohols, ketones, esters, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, thioesters and their derivatives. Research in chemical ecology has demonstrated that many of these compounds are important semiochemicals To determine if VOCs might be associated with the ill-defined “sick building syndrome” we have tested controlled concentrations of selected VOC standards in genetic model systems. Eight carbon compounds such as 1-octen-3-ol (“mushroom alcohol”) are toxic in Arabidopsis, Drosophila and Saccharomyces. Other fungal VOCs show growth promoting effects in Arabidopsis. Many of the genes associated with resistance to 1-octen-3-ol are found to be involved endosome transport The signaling functions of fungal gas phase molecules deserve greater scrutiny.


Marilyn Warburton

Portrait of Marilyn WarburtonResearch Geneticist
Agricultural Research Service, USDA

Dr. Marilyn Warburton is a Research Geneticist with the USDA-ARS in Starkville, MS and an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Plant and Soil Science and Biochemistry at Mississippi State University. Her current research focuses on the identification of genes responsible for resistance in corn to the fungus Aspergillus flavus, which produces aflatoxin, a metabolite which is highly toxic to humans and other animals.

(Nominating Department: Soil and Crop Sciences)

11-08-2011

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Agriculture & Life Sciences Building 129
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Outstanding in her field smelling the roses: how women can advance in the agriculture sciences at a sustainable pace

Dr. Warburton will address impediments to success for women in science, particularly the agricultural sciences. She suggests that the “glass ceiling” no longer exist as such for women in science, but that it has been replaced with “glass tiles.” An impenetrable ceiling does not have to limit how far women in science can ascend, but there are still many obstacles, both perceived and real, which must be worked around. In addition, women must find a sustainable pace in career advancement and life balance. She will also discuss the need for new scientists in plant breeding and in international agricultural research, and will touch on how (and why) to get involved in professional societies.


Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Portrait of Anita Mahadevan-JansenOrrin H. Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Neurological Surgery
Vanderbilt University

Dr. Mahadevan-Jansen is the Orrin H. Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University. Her expertise is in the area of optical detection of clinical physiology and pathology. She has been working in the area of optical spectroscopy and imaging and specifically on the application of fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy for the diagnosis of cancers and precancers. Dr. Mahadevan-Jansen’s research focuses on optical guidance of therapy, optical diagnosis of disease, and optical techniques for stimulating and imaging electrical activity in neural tissues.

(Nominating Department: Biomedical Engineering)

10-20-2011

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

9:35 AM – 10:35 AM
Emerging Technologies Building 1034
(Technical Talk)

Guiding surgery with light

Diagnosis of disease is the most challenging clinical problem as it is important to not only recognize the presence of non-normal conditions but to also differentially diagnose what benign or malignant condition it might be. Guiding therapy in general and surgery in particular is a relatively easier problem. The techniques used need only be able to differentiate between the target tissue (that needs to be removed) and all other tissues. Many different optical methods can be used to detect disease in patients in vivo, in real-time. Examples of applying optical techniques for surgical guidance will be presented including the identification of the parathyroid gland, breast tumor margin assessment and brain tumor demarcation.


10-19-2011

ADV 4color nonAM HIGH copya

 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Emerging Technologies Building 5039
(Gender-Equity Talk)

Balancing career and family – a juggling act?

An academic career gives one the flexibility to excel professionally and personally. But to excel, one must be flexible, set priorities and integrate professional and personal lives such that life becomes an adventure to be enjoyed to its fullest. Dr. Mahadevan-Jansen will present her perspectives on achieving success in career and family.