#IAmAWomanInSTEM to Host Week of Celebration

By Kaitlyn Summe

The University of Kentucky's #IAmAWomanInSTEM project will host a week of activities featuring speakers and panels to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and careers. This celebration week — #IAmAWomanInSTEMWeek — was created to encourage, empower and motivate women in STEM by sharing their stories and helping them network with other students and professionals.

The week of events was organized by Kayla Kuhfeldt, a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, studying biology and health, society and populations in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

“Being a woman pursuing a career in a STEM field can feel daunting, however there are plenty of women who have done it before and been extremely successful,” Kuhfeldt said. “Hear stories about their paths to success, adversities they have had to overcome, and how it is possible to have both a rewarding career and a life just as rewarding outside. If you have caught yourself questioning ‘how can I do this?’ about pursuing a career in STEM, these events will be perfect for you.”

The #IAmAWomanInSTEMWeek will include four events April 17-20:

"Sharing Stories of Women in STEM"

6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the Kincaid Auditorium in the Gatton College of Business and Economics

Hannah Thompson, founder of Stories of STEM, will host "Sharing Stories of Women in STEM" by discussing the importance of storytelling with other STEM students. Attendees will have the option to tell their own stories and be featured in a photo on the Stories of STEM website.

Storytelling By Women In STEM led by Kailee Barnes

6 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, at William T. Young Library's UK Athletics Auditorium

At this program, students will have the opportunity to hear the successful journeys of women in STEM-related careers. The event will showcase various women's stories of success, adversities and how to juggle both a working life with a recreational life. Storytelling by women in STEM is meant to inspire, encourage and answer questions many young women have but do not get to ask.

Let the Scholars Speak

7 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at Young Library's UK Athletics Auditorium 

STEM Group Leader Heather Campbell will lead a panel where students will have the opportunity to hear and talk with student scholars on their current semester’s work. The panel will include #IAmAWomanInSTEM (#IAAWIS) Vice President Mollye Malone, Taylor Ford and Caitlin Strong. 

Networking event

5:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, at the Kincaid Auditorium in the Gatton College building

A networking event will be held for students to make connections with professionals in the STEM fields. Leslie Culver, of California Western School of Law, will present her research on "Gender Sidelining and the Imposter Syndrome." Emily Camp, a thermal engineer at Lexmark and #IAAWIS mentor will also be present at the interactive activity.

All students and the general public are invited to learn more about STEM and the #IAAWIS project at these events.

The #IAAWIS project is a student organization that encourages female undergraduate students to pursue and persist in STEM majors, provides members with paired peer mentors and professionals for career advice, creates discussion of issues related to the STEM field, and allows students to become involved with and further develop the #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue