Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky
Patron Member since 2008
“Mentorship plays a pivotal role in the AWIS community, especially when facing the all-too-common isolation that women in STEM can encounter.”
What do you think is the most important attribute that enables a woman to successfully lead a community that supports
women in STEM?
Mentorship plays a pivotal role in what makes a community, especially when facing the all-too-common isolation that women in STEM can encounter. A community that mentors each other believes in horizontal mentorship, not vertical, as it offers the guidance to construct community vision and facilitate creative consensus. Mentoring cultivates connections and is tied to advocacy. Every time a woman in STEM goes to a K–12 school, and tells the girls about her journey and what she loves about her career, she is mentoring the girls.
What do you aspire to accomplish in your career and why?
Women’s issues and issues of women in STEM disciplines have been at the heart of my career for many years. I am passionate about strengthening efforts to recruit and retain women in STEM, particularly in engineering. I completely reject the notion that gender issues in STEM are a thing of the past.
How has AWIS helped you professionally and/or personally?
I feel lucky in my career. I was fortunate to have a strong advocate, who has always freely told others about how impressive and interesting my work is. His advice and advocacy often prevented me from quitting my career when the horizon looked especially bleak.