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The University of Alabama

UA Holds Development Symposium for Women in STEM Areas

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — — The University of Alabama’s Women in STEM initiative will host Building an Impact, its fourth annual symposium, on Friday, Jan. 22 and Saturday, Jan. 23, on campus.

Building an Impact is designed to provide an opportunity for researchers, academics and industry members from the Southeast to learn and share how to build leadership and career development skills for college women in STEM and to discuss ways to further increase the number of women in STEM initiatives.

Keynote speaker for the symposium will be Dr. Nan Boden, director of engineering at Google, who helped to develop Google’s data centers.  She will join several presenters from UA who will cover topics on career, education and lifestyle issues for women in STEM fields and careers.

A reception to welcome attendees will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, in Shelby Hall. It will include activities, networking and refreshments as well as entertainment by the UA Acabellas.

Saturday’s symposium will begin with registration and a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m.  in the Bryant Conference Center lobby.  The day’s events will include speakers, working sessions, a poster presentation,competition for cash awards and door prizes.

Participants may also win prizes by taking part in a geocache tour of the UA science and engineering facilities, including the Mass Spectrometry Facility, Volcanic Ash Lab and the Finnel-Bryan Wind Tunnel Lab. That event will be held before Friday evening’s reception, with check-in beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Shelby Hall.

The WISE symposium is free and open to all area women working or studying in a STEM discipline as well as men who support women in STEM. Space is limited to 300 participants. The deadline to register and submit poster presentation abstracts for approval is Wednesday, Jan. 6.

To register for the event and see a complete listing of speakers, activities and information, go to Free childcare will be available to all symposium attendees throughout the weekend’s events, courtesy of the UA Sitters for Service program. Care is available for children ages six months to 12 years. A request form for childcare is included in with the symposium registration form.

WISE arose from UA’s Graduate School Tide Together initiative, which seeks to support women in STEM through mentorship and networking in hopes of narrowing the gender gap in STEM studies and careers. WISE has become a stand-alone initiative with the support of multiple departments on campus. Through WISE and Tide Together, women studying science and math- related fields are placed with both a graduate student and faculty mentor to help them develop skills in professionalism and in their field of study.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Kristi Payne or Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782
  • SOURCE: Dr. Cori Perdue, UA Graduate School, 205/348-2118,