The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will host the NSF INCLUDES Symposium for ADVANCING Latinas in STEM Academic Careers on May 16-17 at The Pearl South Padre Resort. The event will address best practices and lessons to enhance successful STEM careers,
This is the first part of a two-part series on Latinas in STEM academic careers. The series addresses how work-life issues, policies/practices, mentoring and climate affect their pathways/pipelines, recruitment, retention and advancement/leadership.
Marci McMahon, NSF INCLUDES administrative fellow and UTRGV associate professor, says the symposium is important. She states UTRGV maintains the mission in becoming a bicultural and biliterate university on the border.
“This is the first symposium of its kind focused specifically on this topic,” McMahon says. “There have been conferences in STEM where there has maybe been a panel about how to include Latina faculty on campus in STEM careers. There hasn’t actually been an entire symposium on this topic.”
Marie Mora is the co-principle investigator of UTRGV’s National Science Foundation INCLUDES grant and professor of Economics at UTRGV. She says the symposium is important to the area’s population demographics. It is finding ways to enhance the success of traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM. This includes Hispanics and women.
“This symposium is of particular interest to UTRGV and our region. Hispanics represent 89 percent of our study body, the majority of whom (approximately 57 percent) are women,” Mora says. “What we learn through the symposium can be adopted and implemented on our own campus to increase the inclusion and success of our students interested in STEM. Moreover, bringing together successful Latinas in STEM careers will provide our students with additional examples of role models from around the country.”