FEMALES IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) LECTURE GIVEN AT COLUMBIA STATE

Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, Director of the Women in STEM Center and Professor of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University Gives Update to Faculty, Administrators and Staff

Glenn Hudson (right), Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Columbia State with guest lecturer Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross (left), Director of the Women in STEM Center and Professor of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University.
   
(Columbia, Tenn. – February 15, 2011) - - - Columbia State Community College’s Science, Technology and Mathematics Division sponsored a lecture “Females in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Programs,” presented by Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, Director of the Women in STEM Center and Professor of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) on February 11 at the Columbia campus. 

Dr. Iriarte-Gross, a trained Ph.D. chemist, is a nationally respected professor who has been working for more than 15 years in promoting the advancement of young females in STEM programs. For the last 10 years she has conducted an annual workshop for young female students around middle Tennessee entitled, Expanding Your Horizons.  Participation in that workshop and other endeavors to promote awareness of females in STEM has been quite successful and has resulted in several young women pursuing academic training and careers in STEM.

“Young women are quite capable of studying and working in STEM fields, and as they make up fifty percent of the population should be having many more opportunities to do so," said Dr. Iriarte-Gross, Director of the Women in STEM Center and Professor of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University. “Regrettably many young females do not enter these fields for a variety of reasons, and it is disturbing that the national trend has also shown that males are also declining in such fields. For our country to remain competitive and able to lead the world in science, technology, engineering and mathematics like we have done for most of the 20th century; schools, higher education institutions, and families must work harder to change this trend.”

“Dr. Iriarte-Gross provided an interesting and informative discussion on STEM projects and activities that have been utilized at MTSU and will be under consideration for implementation by educators at Columbia State," said Dearl Lampley, Dean of Science, Technology and Mathematics at Columbia State. "Each institution of higher learning has an important role in encouraging females to enter STEM disciplines. The attendance of faculty, administrators and staff at this lecture is indicative of the fact that employees at Columbia State are taking this issue seriously and attempting to improve the current and future situations.”

Information about the MTSU STEM Center can be found at www.mtsu.edu/wistem.

For more information about this lecture or Columbia State STEM degree programs, contact the Science, Technology and Math Division at (931) 540-2710 or visit www.columbiastate.edu/stm.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation.  For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.

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