Grants Fund 10 Projects to Advance Girls and Women in STEM Across the U.S.
Now in its second year, the CTFS program supports former L’Oréal USA For Women in Science (FWIS) fellows in their efforts to inspire the next generation of girls in STEM. Members of the L’Oréal USA FWIS alumni network were invited to apply for $2,500 grants to help fund new or existing mentoring projects in their communities. The awards will be administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), L’Oréal USA’s official FWIS partner.
“Inspiring the next generation of women in STEM is a key component of the For Women in Science program,” said Lauren Paige, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at L’Oréal USA. “We are proud to build on this commitment through our Changing the Face of STEM grant program and support our fellows in their efforts to promote STEM education in communities across the country.”
“As a two-time Changing the Face of STEM grantee, this program has enabled me to create and now expand the reach of my Miami Dade College Microbiology Girls Club,” said Dr. M. Nia Madison, Assistant Professor at Miami Dade College and 2010 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow. “Bringing minority high school girls to a college campus and exposing them to careers in biomedical sciences is crucial to increasing the representation of women in STEM.”
This 2017 CTFS grants will support the following fellows and projects throughout the country:
Dr. Arpita Bose, Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and 2013 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Bose used the CTFS grant to share her passion for microbiology through the “Gateway Science Summer Program,” a partnership with Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis. This summer the program paired three minority high school students with Dr. Bose and two colleagues at Washington University, Dr. Josh Blodgett and Dr. Hani Zaher. The students conducted biology research earning valuable lab experience and exposure to what it means to have a career in STEM. To conclude the summer program, each of the participating students presented their science research at the Washington University Undergraduate Symposium.
Dr. Livia S. Eberlin, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and 2014 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Eberlin is using the CTFS grant to create and lead the “My Science <-> My Life” program which will launch in spring 2018. The program will provide a unique mentorship opportunity for women undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin that are interested in pursuing a STEM career. The distinctiveness of this program is that the mentorship will involve all aspects of professional careers and daily lives through a personal and social network experience. Through her own experiences as a successful researcher and mother of young children, Dr. Eberlin has seen how young women are often interested in entering the academic or private sector STEM workforce, but are fearful of how their careers may impact their personal lives. By providing these students role models to give encouragement or an example of successful work-life balance, Dr. Eberlin aims to keep women in ambitious STEM jobs and help them with striking an equilibrium (in Chemistry, symbolized by “<->”) between science and life.
Dr. Gigi Galiana, Assistant Professor at Yale University and 2010 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Galiana has been awarded the CTFS grant to pursue a year-long partnership with the Alphabet Academy in Hamden, Connecticut. Together, Dr. Galiana and Alphabet Academy will develop curriculum to train preschool educators about preventing and countering unconscious bias in girls’ science education and engagement. Dr. Galiana will work with teachers to develop open-ended activities for engagement and scientific connections. After the preschoolers have developed familiarity with the concepts, Dr. Galiana and other female colleagues will lead a more traditional science class involving activities and demonstrations. Following this pilot year, Alphabet Academy plans to expand the program into other classes on a rotating basis and engage Hamden area preschools to develop similar curriculum.
Dr. Joanna Kelley, Assistant Professor at Washington State University and 2012 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Kelley is using the grant to share her passion for genetics through a partnership with Abra Pitters, a science teacher at Montgomery Middle School in San Diego, California. The project seeks to expose students to ongoing research projects and provide career exploration resources throughout the 2017-18 school year. The curriculum will include laboratory experiments that are aligned to Dr. Kelley’s Antarctic research and the study of evolution of antifreeze proteins in Antarctic fish. This curriculum will also be disseminated throughout the Sweetwater Union High School District, the second largest district in California serving over 45,000 students.
Dr. Laura Lapham, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and 2008 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Lapham has been awarded the CTFS grant to support the Tiny Bubbles Mentoring Project, a hands-on research experience for STEM students she created at the College of Southern Maryland. The Tiny Bubbles Mentoring Project is working to change the face of science by advancing interest in first year students at the local community college. Using a three-tiered approach, in spring 2018 Dr. Lapham will give a lecture on methane biogeochemistry to a biology class of 30 students. Next, she will bring 10 of the same students on the Tiny Bubbles Research cruise, giving them each a hands-on experience as a marine scientist. Lastly, Dr. Lapham will choose one female student to conduct a summer internship in her lab to analyze the samples collected on the Tiny Bubbles cruise and report their findings.
Dr. M. Nia Madison, Assistant Professor at Miami Dade College and 2010 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Madison is using the CTFS grant to support the Miami Dade College Microbiology Girls Club, which exposes local minority high school girls to careers in biomedical sciences. Following up on her successful CTFS-funded two-day workshop with the Microbiology Girls Club this summer, Dr. Madison will extend her program to a two-week workshop in summer 2018 including a series of exciting lectures, lab tours and experimental projects at the Miami Dade College Homestead campus. Dr. Madison’s workshop series will give the participants an opportunity to conduct experiments, learn techniques, experience life as a collegiate scientist and spark further interest and awareness of successful scientists that come from similarly diverse backgrounds.
Dr. Nozomi Nishimura, Assistant Professor at Cornell University and 2009 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Nishimura and Scientista Foundation’s Cornell University chapter will use the CTFS grant to fund an interactive Girls in STEM workshop series called, “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” The series, which runs from September 2017-May 2018, will promote STEM education among middle school girls and provide them with the resources and tools necessary to become future leaders in STEM. Currently, no local, comprehensive female STEM mentorship system exists for middle school girls in the Ithaca, New York area. The series will seek to address and dispel the lingering perception that women do not belong in STEM. Dr. Nishimura and the undergraduate students she advises will lead discussions about gender stereotyping and self-perception; workshops will also include hands-on math and science activities, in-person lab tours at Cornell and faculty guest speakers.
Dr. Pardis Sabeti, Professor at Harvard University and the Broad Institute and 2004 FWIS Fellow
Dr. Sabeti is using the grant to help fund the integration of STEM technology into Sarasota Military Prep Academy’s ‘Outbreak’ simulation, which takes a potential real-world outbreak scenario and guides several hundred students on how to respond through coordination and community, teaching them science and public health in the process. The scenario, which takes place on March 23, 2018, will mimic the historical and contemporary spread of an infectious disease in which the various groups will have to work together against the clock to stop the contagion. As an advisor to the program and expert in the field, Dr. Sabeti will invite four outstanding middle school students who participated in the simulation to visit her Harvard lab next spring.
Dr. Sridevi Sarma, Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University and 2008 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Sarma is using the grant to support a physics project with the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland. Dr. Sarma has developed a fun and competitive STEM activity that will bring together five Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6-8) troops at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in spring 2018. The Girl Scout Roller Coaster Contest will challenge the girls’ engineering skills as they compete to build roller coasters out of household materials. Led by Dr. Sarma and four other female PhD candidates in her lab, each troop will learn about the physics of roller coasters to help them better design their model for a chance to win tickets to Six Flags America.
Dr. Luisa Whittaker-Brooks, Assistant Professor at the University of Utah and 2013 L’Oréal USA FWIS Fellow
Dr. Whittaker-Brooks has been awarded the grant to support Young & WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), an outreach program for young female students at Kearns High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Whittaker research group recently started the program to mentor economically disadvantaged students and provide them with research activities for further engagement into science. This grant will sponsor 50 girls for a one-day visit on March 9, 2018 to the Utah Nanofab research facilities where participants will have the opportunity to “play” and utilize several of the instruments to perform research activities. Through the funding of the CTFS grant, American Chemical Society Project SEED scholarship will match funds to host a high school female in Dr. Whittaker-Brooks’ lab in the summer of 2018.