Chemists

Lecture Series Underscores Women’s Role in Science, Math

Women are still underrepresented in science and mathematics both as faculty members on campuses across the United States and in the science and engineering workforce. Women in Science and Mathematics is an ad hoc campus committee that seeks to address this problem by providing a forum for female scientists in the natural sciences and mathematics to address the campus community.

“It’s important for students to see women scientists,” said Karen O’Quin, associate dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences. “We try to bring in women from different disciplines who have different styles and backgrounds so that they can serve as role models for our students.”

The Women in Science and Mathematics 2007–2008 speaker series is the fourth series presented at Buffalo State, thanks to grants from the Auxiliary Services Grant Allocation Committee and the Equity and Campus Diversity Minigrant Program.

The first speaker, presented in association with the Chemistry Department, is Penny Brothers, associate professor of chemistry from the University of Auckland (New Zealand). She will speak at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, in Science Building 272. Her lecture is titled “Diboron Porphyrins and Corroles: Unexpected Chemistry for Both Boron and the Ligands.”

The second speaker, presented in association with the Biology Department and the Great Lakes Center, is Marianne V. Moore, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College. She will speak on Tuesday, November 6, at 12:15 p.m. in Bulger Communication Center East 2. Her presentation is titled “Sixty Years of Environmental Change at Lake Baikal: Tarnishing the Pearl of Siberia?” Lake Baikal, in southern Siberia, is home to a number of species that are found nowhere else, but the lake has suffered significant environmental damage.

The last three speakers will visit campus in spring 2008; the dates, times, and places will be announced next semester. The speakers are Michelle Millar, associate professor in the Chemistry Department at Stony Brook University; Jennifer C. Smith, assistant professor of science and mathematics education in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Texas at Austin; and Diane Ramos, assistant professor of natural sciences at Daemen College.

Millar’s current research is directed toward the design, synthesis, and study of new transition metal complexes. Smith’s research interests involve undergraduate mathematics education and problem-based mathematics teaching. Ramos studies genes and cloning in butterflies.

“Some of these women are superwomen,” said O’Quin. “They are scientists, mothers, marathon runners, and mountain climbers. What they all share is a passion for science.”

The Women in Science lecture series is free and open to the campus community and the general public.