WOC in STEM

The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska and the Black Student Union will be co-hosting a discussion panel featuring women of color working in and studying the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

The panel discussion will be held virtually on Nov. 12, from 6-7:30 p.m. Anyone interested in attending the panel must register online to receive more information.

Aiah Nour, chief of staff for ASUN and the vice president of outreach for the Black Student Union, along with Saisha Adhikari, ASUN external vice president, worked to put together the panel. 

“The events during the summer have encouraged BSU and ASUN to come together to host a series of events that bring to light a lot of the racial disparities, and a lot of the conversations that need to be had about racial discrimination and racial bias here on campus,” Nour said. 

The panel includes graduate students Alicia Johnson, Kaitlyn Tademy and Kleidy Camela, along with Kilan Bishop, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Miami and Korie Grayson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan.

“There is not enough awareness on the reasons why women of color are not going into STEM fields, so having this panel where these women are currently in the fields is really important,” Adhikari said. 

The panel members will discuss their experiences while being both women and people of color in a predominantly white and male-held field, according to Adhikari. 

“It is super important to bring to light people of color and specifically women who have that added barrier in STEM,” Nour said. 

According to Nour, even though there is Zoom fatigue among students and the university community, she thinks the event will draw some attention. The type of panel featuring specifically women in STEM has not been done before at UNL, so Nour thinks the turnout of the event will be good. 

“It hasn’t been done before, and a lot of conversations surrounding social justice and racial bias happen in the realms of other fields like social bias and the art community,” Nour said.

In addition to the panel, BSU will host an interactive booth in the Nebraska Union representing women in STEM on Nov. 16. The booth will go along with the series of events highlighting women hosted by BSU, according to Adhikari. 

“I think it will be a nice refresher for those who overlook the racial biases,” Nour said. “It will be important for people on campus to recognize these conversations need to happen everywhere and not just areas where we expect them to.”

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