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Quick Take: NSF INCLUDES Symposium for Advancing Latinas in STEM Academic Careers

Quick Take: NSF INCLUDES Symposium for Advancing Latinas in STEM Academic Careers


(typewriter clack) (swoosh) Today’s symposium is the NSF INCLUDES Symposium for Advancing Latinas in Academic STEM Careers. It’s the first of its kind. The purpose of the symposium is to bring Latinas who are in STEM fields together all underneath one roof from around the country to be able to talk about some of their experiences, to share what has helped them advance over the years And we also hope that they’ll be able to develop new collaborations as well as networks moving forward. It’s really hard to find a network of just Latina researchers to be a part of. I feel more supported I think by Latinas because there’s not very many of us in science,
I feel more supported I think by Latinas because there’s not very many of us in science, and so it’s always nice to meet other researchers and talk to them about their work and their focus, and how they kind of overcome the obstacles that I’m currently going through as a grad student. This symposium is funded by a program by the National Science Foundation called NSF INCLUDES. It’s a program to broaden the participation of minorities and women and other underrepresented groups. When we announced this symposium among the National Science Foundation Advance community, there was a lot of excitement, enthusiasm, because this is a conversation people have been wanting a conference like this, a dedicated symposium to this topic. So it’s nice that here everybody is just very open and honest and communicative. And so it’s a very supportive space. It’s very inspiring to have all these people come together and being enthusiastic about the event. So when we bring all these Latinas together, and they start working on common goals and common projects, and that will build the networks and the collaborations for them to be successful. We think it’s very important that such a symposium is hosted at UTRGV. We are one of the largest Hispanic-serving institutions in the country. And if you consider that the majority of our students are women and again we have about 90 percent of our student population, that is Hispanic, we think it’s particularly important that UTRGV is the institution that is hosting this particular symposium. So I’m really excited that we are bringing this opportunity to the Rio Grande Valley and to our students. We hope that if you’re an administrator in a position of leadership power at this symposium that you’ll walk away knowing the stories of Latinas in STEM, so you can support them effectively on your campus. If you’re a faculty member, if you’re a Latina yourself, we’re hoping that the participants will walk away with networks you know, partnerships that they can build with faculty across campus to really build community, to build the mobilization of efforts and you know future grant funding for future symposiums of this kind and future initiatives like this. (swoosh) (swoosh)

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