EFSC Stem Faculty and Staff Partake in Diversity Training

September 1, 2015 - Women are still breaking glass ceilings in traditionally male fields, including academia.

Because female inclusion in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related fields is so important, the Air Force Technical Application Center holds an annual symposium with this topic as its centerpiece.

This year’s Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Symposium, held Aug. 20-21 at Patrick Air Force Base, was attended by both women and men from local industries, academia, and government-based organizations with the goal of increasing the number of women entering technical fields.

More than a dozen presenters headed up talks and panel discussions that ranged in scope from recruiting and retention to preparing the next generation of WISE candidates.

Representing Eastern Florida State College were Dr. Ashley Spring, Assistant Professor of Biology on the Melbourne campus; Dr. Susan Styron, Associate Professor of Chemistry on the Melbourne campus; and Kim Koplar, Coordinator of Veteran Resources and Student Support Advising.

Speakers during the two-day symposium were leaders in government, industry, and academia including Dr. Jarris Taylor, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Diversity Integration, several faculty from UCF, and keynote speaker Carol Craig, CEO of Craig Technologies, who presented her own journey towards becoming a CEO.

"Bringing attention to women in STEM fields will positively contribute to the future of STEM and our local economy in three ways,” said Dr. Spring, who spoke at the WISE Symposium last year as a featured speaker. “First by sharing information about the lack of women in STEM and how to destroy the barriers which decrease the success of women in STEM. Secondly, by supporting existing women in STEM to further their careers. Thirdly, by educating the next generation on the possibilities of STEM careers."