CCSI Staff Member Participates in First UT Women in STEM Research Symposium

May 01, 2015
Colleen Iversen

The Climate Change Science Institute’s (CCSI’s) Colleen Iversen was invited to participate in the First Annual University of Tennessee Women in STEM Research Symposium, April 18, 2015. Researchers from the University of Tennessee (UT) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), as well as local industry professionals working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, came together for the symposium highlighting the STEM research being conducted by UT women students. Developed by the UT Commission for Women and organized entirely by students—graduate and undergraduate, male and female—the symposium featured two juried poster sessions, with oral presentations by the STEM students; a keynote address by former ORNL researcher Claudia Rawn (Materials Science and Technology Division); a panel discussion on the status and representation of women in STEM fields; exhibits; and an awards ceremony.

Iversen participated in the panel discussion, which also included UT leadership, faculty, and staff, as well as women in STEM fields from local industry. The questions, which were developed by the student participants, ranged from questions on the path forward to increased representation of women in STEM to questions on how to find good mentors, how to respond and recover from bias and discrimination, and what work-life balance may mean for a new generation of women scientists. Iversen indicated that students and STEM professionals alike learned from their participation in the panel and in the symposium and that programs like this “foster the mutually supportive communities needed by women in STEM, decrease a sense of isolation, and contribute to greater confidence for the next generation of excellent women STEM researchers.”

To learn more about the UT Commission for Women and similar programs, go to http://cfw.utk.edu/.

To learn more about Iversen and her research, go to http://www.esd.ornl.gov/ecosystem_science/people/c_iversen.shtml.