Celebrating women in S.T.E.M.

Building a Better World: Celebrating Women in S.T.E.M.

UNT women faculty and students are making impacts every day in classrooms, laboratories and beyond. A recent March 1 event — "Building a Better World: Celebrating Women in S.T.E.M." — held in advance of U.N.'s International Women's Day was hosted by UNT's College of Science and College of Engineering and brought together organizations from across campus to discuss the successes and challenges of equity in scientific and mathematical disciplines. Thanks to the caring and dedicated mentorship from faculty such as Pamela Padilla, interim associate vice president for research and innovation, and Xuexia Wang, associate professor of mathematics, UNT women students are encouraged to take part in hands-on learning and are finding successes in and out of the classroom. Business senior Anna McKee won big in IBM's coding contest for the second year in a row, and electrical engineering junior Morgan Novak is completing her fourth NASA internship. Esteemed UNT women researchers continue to share their knowledge on campus and beyond. Join UNT's College of Science next S.M.A.R.T. Talk (Science and Mathematics Advancing Research and Technology) April 23 when Rebecca Dickstein, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and member of UNT's BioDiscovery Institute, will share her influential research with the lecture "Over-Fertilized? Tools for Sustainable Agriculture: The Legume Connection."

Collaboration Spotlight
Cultivating women in computer science and engineeringCultivating women in computer science and engineering

Students and faculty at UNT are working to expose younger diverse generations to fields they might not otherwise consider. UNT's College of Engineering recently received funding from the Texas Women's Foundation for outreach efforts aimed at increasing the number of women in computer science and engineering. The grant will help fund multiple initiatives this spring and summer including UNT STEM@the Park, DEE-UNTApp Camp, a train-the-trainer online program, and Latina STEM teacher-led after school programs. Nandika D'Souza, associate dean for undergraduate studies, and Stephanie Ludi, professor of computer science and engineering, are leading the efforts.

Research News
Morgan Novak
Aiming for the stars

For Morgan Novak, a UNT electrical engineering junior working on her fourth internship with NASA, the sky really is the limit as she sets her sights on a future in the space program. This year, she is spending the spring and summer semesters learning more about engineering at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston as a member of the agency's co-op program.

Anna McKee
Mastering the mainframe

Information technology and decision sciences senior Anna McKee was the first woman to win IBM's collegiate coding contest, Master the Mainframe, last year — and now, she's done it again! The win marks the third consecutive time a UNT student has won the competition. McKee is one of two winners, the only woman to win this year for the North American region, and was ranked in the top three competitors globally — the only woman in the winning group.

Julia Christina Ayalde Camacho and Xuexia Wang
Fighting cancer with mathematics

Julia Christina Ayalde Camacho, a 16-year-old student in UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, and Xuexia Wang, an associate professor and researcher of statistics, are making great strides exploring together new ways to apply computational biology and statistics to cancer research. For her exceptional work as a student mentor, Wang was recently selected for the Westheimer Science Research Fellows program, which will enable more students to work directly with her on her pediatric oncology research. And, Camacho's research project — a computer program that predicts the occurrence of secondary central nervous system cancer through ensemble machine learning methods — took first place in the 2019 Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair Computer Science Division, third place in the entire science fair and won three special awards.

Pamela Padilla
Encouraging the next generation of scholars

Pamela Padilla, interim associate vice president for research and innovation, was recently highlighted by the Society for Advancing Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, the largest STEM diversity organization in the country. Padilla's work as a scientist, professor of biological sciences and university leader was highlighted as part of the SACNAS Biography Project. She is a recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award and continually receives research support from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. UNT scholars like Padilla are a key reason UNT is leading the nation and innovating change as a Tier One research university.

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© 2019 UNT Research and Innovation is a publication of the University of North Texas Office of Research and Innovation and the Division of University Relations, Communications and Marketing. Email us at untresearch@unt.edu.