Inaugural STEM Networking Breakfast Held at LSU

05/06/2014 10:07 AM

BATON ROUGE – Wednesday, April 9, marked LSU’s inaugural STEM Networking Breakfast hosted by the LSU Women’s Center, the University Council on Gender Equity – formerly the University Council on Women – and the Office of Academic Affairs.  This event was planned with the goal of bringing together women, and those who support women, in the STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, fields for a chance to meet other professionals and potentially collaborate.  
 

“We all know that STEM fields are critical, but unfortunately, women aren’t always well-represented in those fields,” LSU Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost Stuart Bell said. “LSU is fortunate to have a significant number of women teaching and mentoring students in the STEM fields, and that – along with this event – gives me great hope. Last year, LSU graduated 1,819 students in STEM fields, but only 662 of those were women. We are committed to seeing those numbers increase, so that we don’t lose the talents of such a large portion of the population when it comes to addressing some of the most important issues we face as a society.”
 

Participants included students, faculty and staff, both men and women, who are interested in the retention and recruitment of women in the STEM fields. Many participants in attendance expressed interest in collaborating on an ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation to – increase the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers. These large, multi-discipline grants provide funds for salary and equipment costs to increase the number of female faculty and postdoctoral scholars at the host institution.  This event served to bring interested people together from different departments and begin the networking process that is so critical in undertaking large endeavors like this.
 

Improving diversity, particularly gender diversity, in the STEM fields is part of LSU’s Flagship Agenda. An important step towards this goal is to increase campus-wide support for existing female students and faculty in the STEM fields and to increase women’s representation in the STEM fields at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. With these goals in mind, the University Council on Gender Equity and the Women’s Center plan on hosting more events to continue this important work.  

 

To find out about future events, please contact Summer Steib at summers@lsu.edu or Emily Smith at esmi122@lsu.edu.

Ernie  Ballard 
LSU Media Relations
225-578-5685
eballa1@lsu.edu

Posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2014