City College to host dialogue on women in the sciences

Will Mullen

A group of City College instructors will hold a dialogue on Women in the Sciences to address issues of gender diversity in the sciences.

The free event, which will be held at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in Administration Building Room 211, is being coordinated by the office of Superintendent-President Dr. Andreea Serban, the biology department, and Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement.

City College has previously held diversity dialogues on topics such as immigration, women in sports, students with disabilities and non-heterosexual culture.

Director of Dr. Diane Rodriguez-Kiino said she was inspired to coordinate the event after reading an article in her USC alumni magazine on women in the sciences. While science fields have historically been dominated by men, it’s starting to change.

She hopes the panel will help “inspire college students, especially women, to enter the sciences, to demystify the process, and to provide access to professional female role models.”

Dr. Judy Meyer teaches a medical microbiology course to an almost exclusively female group of students. The heavy female bias in the lab is due somewhat to the fact that it is part of the nursing program, she said, but also reflects a change in gender roles and opening up of fields that were once the exclusive domain of one gender.

Meyer said that passionate teachers inspire students into fields they may otherwise not have had much interest in.

“Love of science is contagious,” said Meyer.

One of the topics to be covered is establishing and maintaining an effective balance between work and personal lives, a task that Meyer said can be challenging.

“Our specific women’s lens is to show female students that if you would like to pursue a career in the sciences and have a family/personal life, it can be done,” Rodriguez-Kiino said. “Oftentimes, students don’t fully recognize that faculty live very full and rewarding lives that extend beyond their careers, and this is to spotlight these multiple life dimensions.”

One of the dialogue’s goals is to “support women and historically underrepresented” groups, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Rodriguez-Kiino.

The scheduled speakers include Meyer, biology instructors Jennifer Maupin, Paige Miller, Michelle Paddack, physics professor Jodi Simpson, physics and engineering instructor Lynne Stark and systems test engineer Sylvia R. Salinas.