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2010 Conference

International Women’s Day 2010 Women in the Sciences: Making a Difference

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Distinguished women scientists and science professionals will gather at Bard Collge at Simon’s Rock on Saturday, March 6 for the Ninth Annual International Women’s Day Conference, Women in the Sciences: Making a Difference. The conference will take place at the Daniel Arts Center from 1 to 5 p.m.

The day will be dedicated to celebrating the important contributions of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as to exploring why and how girls and women have historically been discouraged from achieving in the STEM fields.

Opening the event will be Berkshire County native Adelene Perkins, CEO of a multi-million dollar Boston-based biotechnology firm specializing in developing oncology medications. Perkins, who combined her B.S. in chemical engineering with a Harvard MBA in business, will use her own story, beginning with her early math and science education at Taconic High School in Pittsfield, to underline the importance of STEM education in propelling women into fields where they really can make a difference.

The keynote will be followed by two roundtable discussions:

  • We Can! Educating Girls in STEM, with Dr. Yvonne Spicer, Vice President of Advocacy and Educational Partnership at the National Center for Technological Literacy at the Museum of Science Boston; and Ann Pollina, Head of Westover School, founder of the Westover/RPI WISE Program and founding board member of a new Rwandan STEM school for girls. Jane Burke, founding director of the Flying Cloud Institute and the Young Women in Science Program at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, will moderate.
  • We Do! Women’s Impact on the STEM Fields, with Smith College Professor of Biology Virginia Hayssen, author of a major study of Smith College women science faculty; and Dr. Demet Gural, Vice President for Programs at Pathfinder International, an international organization dedicated to improving reproductive and health services for women in developing countries. Joy Lapseritis, professor of marine biology at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, will moderate.

The afternoon will conclude with an illustrated lecture by Dr. Zafra Lerman, distinguished professor of science and public policy and director of the Institute for Science Education and Science Communications (ISESC) at Columbia College in Chicago. Dr. Lerman, a chemist, is also a dedicated human rights activist. She has chaired the American Chemical Society Subcommittee on Scientific Freedom and Human Rights since 1986, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of the human rights of scientists in the former Soviet Union, Cuba, and the Middle East. The recipient of numerous awards for her work in science education and human rights, Dr. Lerman has focused her efforts more recently on bringing together the science community of twelve Middle Eastern nations for annual conferences aimed at enabling scientists to work together to identify collaborative solutions to critical regional problems, ultimately working towards world peace.

An Interactive Lab Workshop aimed specifically at local middle school and high school girls will be held on Friday, March 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Fisher Science Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Simon’s Rock women math and science faculty will give workshops and lab demos in biology, chemistry, computer science, and math, and a pizza reception will provide opportunities for networking and conversation.

IWD LogoThe annual International Women’s Day conferences are co-sponsored by Berkshire Women for Women Worldwide and Bard College at Simon’s Rock, with the collaboration this year of the Flying Cloud Institute Young Women in Science Program, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, The Women’s Times and the MCLA Berkshire STEM Pipeline. This year’s conference organizing committee includes: Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez (chair), Jane Burke, Susan Cooper Myers, Zoe Dalheim, Patty Dooley, Vera Kalm, Joy Lapseritis, Sharon Meyer, Judy Nardacci, and Jan Rizzuti.

For more information, email iwd@simons-rock.edu or call 413-528-7394.