May 6, 2018 HOLD THOSE HORSES! We’re at the Kentucky Derby with the Univ. of Louisville Chemistry Graduate Students!
What a great time I’ve had the last few days with the students from the Chemistry Graduate Student Association (CGSA) at the University of Louisville! I am so honored and delighted to have been chosen by the CGSA students to be their 2018 Derby Lecturer – which includes giving a couple of seminars, a wonderful banquet, a COACh workshop on negotiation and a memorable trip to the Kentucky Derby with my husband Steve, CGSA graduate students Anthony, Austin, Nina and Raj and with additional help from Amir.
This has been so much fun! Even getting soaked with the nearly continuous rain couldn’t dampen our spirits at the Derby. See all the pictures and the video of the CGSA students that attended the COACh workshop.
A huge thanks to all of the fantastic graduate students that I have met in the department and all the work that they have put into this amazing visit – especially Austin who is president of CGSA. They are the best. I suggest hiring them all if you get a chance. 😊
March 17, 2018 Greetings from the ACS Spring Meeting in New Orleans What a great way to spend St. Patrick’s Day, meeting reconnecting, and working with women scientists at our COACh workshops here in New Orleans. Jane Tucker and I gave workshops today on mentoring, leadership and networking to a really wonderful group. Especially gratifying were the participants who had previously attended other COACh workshops and shared their success stories with us. Thanks everyone for being part of our COACh program.
March 8, 2018 Happy International Women’s Day from Delhi Greetings and warm wishes to all as we all celebrate the wonderful women and girls in our lives. I am spending these two days at a wonderful celebration and update of the status of women in STEM in India. It has provided me a unique opportunity to get the national perspective on the importance of women in STEM and the efforts being expended to increase their numbers. I am honored to have given an address at the conference and to meet so many highly committed people attending the meeting. The meeting was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in India. Big thanks to the organizer: Dr.(Mrs.) Manju Sharma, Former Secretary to the Govt. of India, Department of Biotechnology, Principal Advisor to the Dept. Science and Technology, Gujarat, Distinguished Women Scientist Chair, NASI, Allahabad
February 26-28, 2018 Back to Tunis, Tunisia for another wonderful visit! Thanks to the Elsevier Foundation we are back in Tunisia to coach PhD students at INSAT ( University of Carthage) on career building skills in STEM. Thanks to all the wonderful participant at our workshops and my wonderful partner, Professor Rim Cherif. Be sure to check out the video too!
During our workshops the participating graduate students gave 2 minute talks and Flash talks on their research. THEY WERE SUPERB!! Great projects and great communication skills. We presented several of them with awards for their talks. Take a look at all the great pictures on the COACh Facebook page.
February 15, 2018 Science at St. Olaf! The warmth of my reception at the Chemistry department at St. Olaf College made up for the cold weather and snow! I had a great time visiting with faculty and students here and am very honored to have been selected by the student to be the St. Olaf College Distinguished Lecturer. I gave a scientific lecture on our research and an evening presentation on my global science activities. While there I also had the pleasure of reconnecting with wonderful friends from my high school, Jane and Kirk Lewis. thanks everyone for the wonderful visit!
February 13, 2018 Visit to the University of Syracuse Today I had the honor of being the Prins Lecturer in the chemistry department of Syracuse University. I got to meet with many faculty and students who are very excited about their research – and for good reason. I also had the pleasure of having lunch women faculty in the WiSE program at the university – which was an added treat. Big thanks to all those involved in my visit. It was indeed enjoyable!
February 5-7, 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystems Science Conference 2018, New Orleans Since its inception in 2013, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES) has sought to link fundamental research on the Gulf ecosystem to practical application. The 2018 theme, “Response, Restoration, and Resiliency in the Gulf,” continued this trend, exploring how fundamental science can help restore and maintain Gulf ecosystem integrity, inform response strategies, and strengthen resilience. I was truly honored to be chosen to be one of the plenary speakers at the conference to talk about our studies of surfactants and dispersants at oil-water interfaces. I was so incredibly impressed with all the research conducted across many disciplines to understand how to better manage and remediate oil spills. It is amazing! I thank the organizers for inviting me to be part of this very important meeting. I do look forward to working with others to see how our research might help the effort.
January 24, 2018 Back in Bangkok at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) We had a wonderful meeting today with many students, researchers and faculty in science and engineering at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Bangkok. Supapan Seraphin, Lerwen Liu and I talked with with them our experiences and tips on how to have success in science and tips on writing proposals. Big thanks to everyone that came! Best wishes for successful careers!
January 12, 2018 APS CUWiP at the University of Oregon What a treat it was for me to be the kick-off speaker for the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) held at the University of Oregon last weekend. Over 200 female undergraduates from Northern California and the Northwest came to hear scientific talks, attend career building workshops, have a Physics Slam and poster sessions. These Many CUWiP simultaneously occurred across the US.
It was a huge success with a turnout much larger than the organizers expected. Huge thanks to all the sponsors and local organizers including the amazing Prof. Stephanie Majewski, Kara Zappitelli and Amanda Steinhebel. (Link to the We Love Physics video)
January 10, 2018 Aloha and Happy New Year! What a great way to start the new year – in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). It was a fun day and half giving COACh workshops to graduate students, postodoctoral associates and faculty on “Mentoring for Success” and “Launching a Career in Science”
Big thanks to Dr. Barb Bruno and her staff for hosting me and organizing the event. Best wishes for future success to all the participants. (more pics)
January 5, 2018 Back to High School – Manhattan, Kansas There are some things that come from completely out of the blue – and this was one of them! My high school has put me on their “Wall of Fame” thanks to the nomination by a former high school buddy Nancy Kruh. I went back to Manhattan High for the ceremony which took place between the girls’ and the boys’ Friday night basketball games, fitting given that the last time I was on that basketball court was when I was cheerleader. Although in those Pre-Title IX days, we didn’t have girls basketball.
It was really fun! I got to see many former high school friends and also my first research director in chemistry at KSU, Dr. Clif Meloan. I am so honored and so thrilled to be with my friends from so many years ago. A big thanks to everyone for coming and to my former high school for honoring me.
December 20, 2017 Happy Holidays! We continue our holiday tradition of a holiday party, gifts to families in the community and a celebratory lunch. Wishing you all the best for the holidays and the coming new year.
December 17, 2017 COACh Going Nuclear at SNMICON 2017 in Delhi, India I met some truly amazing women scientists and doctors at the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Imaging Conference at the end of this week in Delhi. The focus of the conference is to promote pragmatic approaches for advancement in precision nuclear medicine for the visualization and treatment of clinical pathologies.
Yesterday afternoon I had a chance to be part of a special session on Women Scientists in Nuclear Medicine and gave a COACh Negotiation workshop to a wonderful group of women prior to the session. I always enjoy learning about women scientists in India at these events.
Huge thanks to Cathy Cutler of Brookhaven National Laboratory for inviting me to be part of the SNMICON 2017 meeting and arranging the special afternoon for women scientists. And also to Anil Kumar Mishra and Puja Hazari for all their welcoming and generous hosting of our event.
December 14, 2017 COACh in Botswana for the Africa MRS Conference What a treat it has been to be here in Gaborone at the African Materials Research Society Conference! There are over 500 participants from all over Africa- students, researchers and faculty with lots of great science to report. And a good number also from the U.S. I am inspired by all the enthusiasm and excitement of the young scientists here. Wonderful science indeed!Yesterday I had the opportunity to give three COACh workshops on Publishing, Proposal Writing and Scientific Presentations a very interactive and engaged group of researchers. Was really fun! In the evening we had a conference celebration at a nearby restaurant where we were entertained by this amazing group of Botswana dancers and drummers that performed some amazing traditional dances.
December 10, 2017 Greetings from Beautiful Oman! It’s always such a treat to return to Oman in an advisory capacity to help them develop their research enterprise through The Research Council. Sunday I attended a wonderful ceremony that honored and celebrated Omani researchers. What a treat it was to see the women researchers win the highest awards. Kudos to you and all the other wonderful winners!
A wonderful time indeed to be in Oman. The weather, mountains and coastline could not be more beautiful this time of year.
October 30, 2017 HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM THE RICHMOND GROUP!
October 28, 2017 Greetings from Dehradun in Northern India
It’s been a fantastic visit to the Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology (UCOST)in Dehradun, India where Pushpa Murthy and I gave a full-day workshop on “Leadership and Career Development for Women in STEM Fields.” We were given such a warm welcome from the leadership of UCOST, their staff and women from a variety of different institutions in the region. We continue to be impressed with the many amazing women scientists and engineers that we work with in India! Thank you all for hosting us! We look forward to staying in touch.
The workshop was the brainchild of Dr. Punam Singh, Regional Directorof IGNOU Regional Centre in Shimla, India. Dr. Singh had attended our COACh workshop in Pune India a couple of years ago and urged us to come back. While visiting with her in Dehradun she reported that our visit to Pune had resulted in the formation of a Women in Science group among the Pune participants and lots of continued interactions. We look forward to hearing from all that attended our workshop here in Dehradun and also from the former India workshop participants. We are at your service to help Indian scientists in any way that we can.
A HUGE thanks to Dr. Kirti Joshi Bhatt, Scientific Officer of UCOST for the amazing effort that she put into organizing this workshop on quite short notice. And her wonderful staff who who were invaluable. It could not have happened without Dr. Bhatt and Dr. Singh.
And also a big thanks to the very inspirational Dr. Savita, Director of the Forest Research Institute of Dehradun. She is the first female director of this amazing Institute.
October 26, 2017 COAChing from Nepal: Hidden No More: Empowering Women and Girls in STEM Fields
While working in Nepal this week I had the wonderful opportunity to speak through a video conference with the most amazing group of 48 women scientists from all over the world that have spent the past three weeks in the U.S. to explore ways to increase the participation of women and girls in STEM fields. The visitation with the label “#HiddenNoMore: Empowering Women Leaders in STEM” and was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) . It followed in the wake of the successful screenings of the film “Hidden Figures” about a black female mathematician working at NASA during the Space race.
I caught up with them in LA near the end of their three week visitation. What a treat it was to speak with them, to tell them about the COACh program and AAAS. It’s an amazing group! There was much interest expressed in our COACh international programs! I do indeed hope that we can come and help those interested in bringing our career development workshops to your countries.
SO a very big salute to these amazing women, their accomplishments and their aspirations.
A special thanks to Kimberly Jenkins from the U.S. State Department for her leadership on the project and the invitation to be a virtual part of the meeting. And also to Welela Makonnen from 21st Century Fox in LA for helping with the events in southern California.
October 19, 2017 MPOWIR-Mentoring Physical Oceanography Women to Increase Retention Had a wonderful time with the women in physical oceanography at the Pattullo Conference for female early career women scientists in Virginia in early October. I provided a COACh workshop with elements of negotiation, mentoring and networking to a very welcoming group of women. I learned as much from them as they did from me. The field of physical oceanography is a challenging field for women, in part because of the field work that can extend for long periods of time and additional gender related issues. But what great and important science they are doing!
A huge thanks goes to Sara Clem, Sonya Legg and Colleen Mouw for leading the MPOWIR effort, organizing the workshop and inviting COACh to come. And a big thanks to NSF, DOE, ONR, NASA and NOAA for sponsoring the Pattullo Conference and MPOWIR.
Wishing you all great success!
September 26, 2017 A Warm Welcome in Australia It’s been a great visit here in Brisbane where I have had a chance to be part of the 2017 International Conference on BioNano Innovation here at the University of Queensland (UQ), giving a scientific talk as well as participating in several COACh related activities.
Last evening was a wonderful event to celebrate Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, the first female Nobel Laureate from Australia and current director of the Salk Institute. I had a great time this afternoon giving a COACh workshop at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnologyon “The Art of Effective Negotiation” to a really engaging and fun group of postdocs and graduate students from the UQ (see the video!) – and an evening presentation on the “Importance of Inclusive Leadership in Science and Innovation”. The University of Queensland is working very hard to level the playing field for women scientists here and with an impressive commitment. It’s been a super visit!
HUGE thanks to Professor Debra Bernhardt and her colleagues including Professor Andrew Whittaker at the University of Queensland for organizing the workshop as part of the BioNano conference.
September 11, 2017 Catching Up It’s been a busy past few weeks! As our summer comes to a close and fall approaches I would be remiss in not highlighting some of our COACh activities during this time.
We had a great turn-out at our COACh Career Building workshops in Washington DC in August prior to the American Chemical Society meeting. We had a wonderful group of new and returning participants in our Powerful Postdocs, COACh-the-COAChes and Leadership and Negotiation workshops! Thanks to all who joined us and best wishes for the future.
At the very end of August I spent the morning at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 2017 Bioscience Retreat to provide the COACh “Mentoring for Success in Science and Innovation” workshop as part of their launch of a new mentoring program in the Bioscience division. It was really fun! Lots of good dialogue and role-playing, followed by a luncheon presentation to the division on “The Importance of Strong and Inclusive Leadership and Networking”. A big thanks goes to Mary Maxon (Division Director) and Helen Cademartori for the invitation and to all those who participated.
The Elsevier Foundation in Amsterdam was the next stop and another welcome experience. The Elsevier Foundation has been a strong supporter of COACh’s efforts in Tunisia, with Prof. Rim Cherif in Tunis as the driver of that program. The Elsevier Foundation, under the Directorship of the amazing Dr. Ylaan Schemm funds important international programs around the globe on such issues as education, health and women in science. Their co-sponsorship of the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Women Scientists in the Developing World has honored some of the most amazing women young scientists. I’m happy and honored to be on their Board.
July 24, 2017 BACK to Indonesia for the PEER Indonesia Forum in Jakarta It’s been fun to be a part of this USAID Forum for some of the best Indonesian scientists in the country. With the theme of “Apply the Science”, the focus of the Forum is to share ideas and enhance science communication skills of those funded by the PEER program.
Huge thanks to the USAID PEER team and the NAS folks for organizing such a great event! Best wishes to everyone for great success!
July 17, 2017 Warm greetings from the Spice Islands of Indonesia Today was spent with many fantastic young scientists here in Ambon, Indonesia as part of the 7th Indonesian-American Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium for U.S., Indonesian and Australian scientists. The Indonesian participants at our COACh workshops today came from several different islands in Indonesia and were so wonderful to meet and work with. We presented four COACh workshops during the day on proposal writing, publishing their scientific results, launching an international career in science and effective negotiation and communication.
We could not have asked for more fun, engaging and motivated group of participants! You all rock! We wish you all the best for your careers. Please keep in touch!
July 13, 2017 2017 Cottrell Scholars Conference in Tuscan One of my very first research grants in my career came from Research Corporation, guided by the wise advice of Dr. Scott Pyron. Today I had a chance to partially pay back that huge benefit to my career by speaking at the 2017 Cottrell Research Scholars Conference in Tuscan Arizona. The group attended included recent and past Cottrell Research Scholars and folks like me who were invited to share our insights. I gave really fun presentation on “The Importance of Inclusive Leadership and Mentoring” which included some really enjoyable audience participation activities related to effective mentoring. What a great group!! Huge thanks to Research Corporation for the invitation and to all that attended. Best wishes for continued success!
May 23, 2017 Greetings from Sri Lanka Beautiful country, wonderful people, amazing women scientists!
Today I had the privilege of meeting and COAChing a wonderful group of women scientists from all parts of Sri Lanka. The event held in Colombo was entitled the “COACh Training Workshop on Leadership and Career Development for Women in Science, Technology and Research”. Participants included graduate students, researchers, faculty and administrators who were very interactive and are very motivated to contribute to the science and technology efforts of their country. I gave presentations on Persuasive Communication, Effective Negotiation and Leadership and Networking Building Techniques.
It was great fun!! My best wishes to all of you – including the Sri Lanka graduate students I meet a few days ago at KSU who gave me a wonderful introduction to Sri Lanka before my departure. Enjoy the great video on the COACh Facebook post.
The workshop was organized jointly by the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka (NASSL), the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka(NSF), in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Academy of Young Scientists (SLAYS).
Thanks so much to all the organizers and sponsors for this wonderful opportunity.A special thanks to Professor Nadira Karunaweera, General Secretary, NASSL for inviting me to come. Tomorrow I will speak about “S&T Innovation Strategies in the United States” at the 38thAnnual General Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka before heading back to Oregon.
May 13, 2017 Illinois Institute of Technology Commencement, Chicago, Illinois What an honor it has been to be the Commencement Speaker and to receive an honorary PhD degree from this wonderful University. It’s an amazing school that has been producing great scientists and engineers for decades. I am inspired by the many graduates that have worked so hard for their degrees, many first generation graduates. Thank you for this great honor and best wishes to all the graduates on a wonderful career!
May 12, 2017. Kansas State University Graduate School Commencement, Manhattan, Kansas Came back “home” today to Manhattan to receive an honorary degree and be the commencement speaker at the Kansas State University Graduate School graduation ceremony. As a KSU undergraduate alum, it was so much fun and a chance to thank those in the Chemistry department who launched me in my career. I also had a chance to be with some wonderful high school friends that I haven’t seen in years and my dear friend Paula in Lindsborg. Congratulations to all the graduates and best wishes for future success.
April 24-26, 2017 Frontiers of Science Educator Conference for Educators in the Lower Mekong River Countries Thanks to the support of the US Embassy in Bangkok and Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs, COACh is having the wonderful opportunity this week in Bangkok to bring together STEM educators from the U.S. and those from the five Lower Mekong River countries of Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
It’s an amazing group who are passionate about their teaching, their students and their role in advancing their countries through STEM education. We’ve had lots of time for networking, sharing stories, comparing challenges and opportunities and developing collaborative projects. How privileged we are to be able to host such a unique adventure!
Huge thanks to all the wonderful attendees. Enjoy the video on the COACh Facebook page and all the pictures in the post there and above! We look forward to keeping in touch as we move forward.
April 13,14, 2017 National Institute of Standards and Technology I’ve had a great couple of days visiting with some fantastic scientists and engineers at NIST in Gaithersburg Maryland. Yesterday I gave a COACh Negotiation and Communication workshop to a large group of researchers there and learned alot about this very unique and important National Laboratory. Then today I gave the Director’s Colloqium, with stories of the many women and men that COACh has worked in so many countries in SE Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America. It was a wonderful reception both days!
Huge thanks to Drs. Lisa Fredin, Tamae Maeda Wong and Heather Evans for organizing my trip and NIST for sponsoring it.
April 10-11, 2017 Jean Dreyfus Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions at Iona College It’s been a very interesting and enjoyable days spent at Iona College, visiting with students, faculty and new friends. My visit and presentations coincided with the Iona Scholars Day which allows students from all parts of campus to show off their research and creative work conducted over the past academic year. My host, Professor Sunghee Lee of the chemistry department is doing some amazing research on oil-water interfaces with over a dozen undergraduate research students – EACH YEAR. Big thanks to Prof. Lee, her colleagues, students and the Dreyfus Foundation for support.
April 1, 2017 WOHOO! COACh 20-Year Reunion in San Francisco! What a great time we had at our celebration workshops in San Francisco today! It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since the small group of women chemists started COACh, having no idea that in 20 years we would have worked with over 20,000 scientists and engineers around the globe on career building workshops and projects.
At our COACh “Upping Your Game” workshop we a reunion workshop that included many women that had attended our workshops in the late 90s and early 2000s. What a treat it was to hear their accomplishments and continued efforts to succeed under often difficult situations. And their efforts to share what they learned many years ago at the COACh workshops with their students and colleagues. Jane Tucker and Barb Butterfield, our founding facilitators were there to lead and share stories and experiences. Was a love fest indeed.
Our second workshop brought together several dozen new COACh workshop attendees in a workshop on communication and negotiation led by our other founding facilitators Lee Warren and Nancy Houfek. Tis the next generation indeed and another amazing group!
The day of workshops ended with a special session that brought together the junior and the senior group to network and ask questions of each other. The first question from one of the junior members created quite a flurry of very insightful responses and advice: “What do you wish you had known at our career level”. And then the senior women turned back to the junior women to learn what they felt that they needed in their careers. It was amazing!
And of course in the COACh tradition, a great reception ended the day on the 30th floor of the Marriott hotel, with a grand view of San Francisco. The pictures capture a bit of the festive reception.
Huge thanks to NSF, DOE and NIH for their continued support of COACh, to Priscilla who always makes things happen, to the COACh Advisory Board and workshop facilitators, to all the wonderful attendees at this workshop and all the amazing women and men that we have had the privilege of working with around the globe over these 20 years! Onward!
March 27, 2017 Greetings from Sultanate of Oman It has been a wonderful return to Oman for meetings in my role as a member of the International Advisory Board for The Research Council of Oman, the major funding agency for research in this Middle East country. For those of you not familiar with Oman, it is the second largest country on the Arabian Peninsula. “Boasting a unique culture and stunning landscapes it has a vast array of natural attractions ranges from rugged mountains to ochre deserts. With the advent of 1970 came the dawn of a modern renaissance in the Sultanate, with the beginning of the prosperous era of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Divers, hikers and history buffs all relish the pristine local waters, untouched coastline and labyrinthine souks. The country’s Oman’s greatest attraction is its diverse landscape. The country’s abundant cultural and archaeological heritage reflects hundreds of years of foreign influence and international trade. Oman is home to more than 500 forts, as well as castles, watchtowers and a wealth of ancient cave paintings, not to mention four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Through deliberate and sustainable development, the country remains firmly rooted in its traditions. A trip to Oman affords the chance to experience the timeless Arabian way of life.”
March 8, 2017 Happy International Women’s Day from Tunisia!
“Here’s to strong women! May we KNOW them. May we BE them. May we RAISE them.”
Wishing you all a wonderful day as we celebrate the women and girls all over the world!
This week Prof. Rim Cherif and I are running COACh career building workshops for graduate students and researchers here in Tunis. What a fantastic and bright group of participants! Thanks to the Elsevier Foundation for support of the workshops.
February 9, 2017 Fantastic Day with the Women in Chemical Sciences (WCS) at the University of Washington
WCS is the Women in Chemical Sciences group at the University of Washington and what a super group it is! I love spending the day with smart, energetic and highly motivated graduate students and postdocs that will be our next leaders in our scientific enterprise. The day provided me with lots of opportunities to talk with the WCS members including women graduate students from physics and male graduate students also. It was a lot of fun for me to give the COACh Negotiations workshop and also to have an open forum of questions and discussions about all the different kinds of career options as scientists and engineers.
HUGE thanks to Katie Corp and Beth Mundy (WICS president) for helping to organize my visit. I am deeply honored to have been chosen to be your 2017 WCS Lecturer.
And the additional treat was to have time with buddies and COACh alums – Profs Anne McCoy and Karen Goldberg – and Chem department chair – Prof. Mike Heinekey. Too much fun!
All the best to everyone and best wishes for great success ahead!
January 23, 2017 Greetings from Beautiful Thailand! This week I am in Bangkok to give a series of our COACh workshops (8 in total) at the Thailand Science Park for a large group of wonderful researchers, students and faculty from KMUTT, MTEC, NANOTECH and local tech companies. It’s been a great first day and with more to come in the next two days. I am joined by Prof. Supapan Seraphin, originally from Thailand and back now in Bangkok after many years at the University of Arizona.
The workshops are sponsored by the National Science and Technology Development Agency of Thailand. A huge thanks to Patcharaporn Tippayatus of the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) for helping to organize this wonderful event. Lots of good memories in the pictures!
January 10, 2017 Happy New Year! COACh and BWIS (Brookhaven National Laboratory Women in Science)
I’ve had a great experience this past couple of days to meet and work with women scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Long Island, New York. I gave our COACh negotiation workshop and was involved in many discussions about the current status of women at the laboratory, the need for improvements in the workplace to assure that all employed at the laboratory achieve the career goals to which they aspire, and ways that BWIS can play a key role in driving those improvements.
You are an amazing group of women and I am privileged to have had the chance to work with you! Best wishes as you move forward in this important venture.
A big shout-out and thanks to Anna Goldberg, current coordinator of BWIS, for making this happen. You ROCK!
And thanks also to Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs for his support and Lisa Durham and Lydia Finney from Argonne for assisting in the workshop.
December 5,6, 2016 Fiarahabana avy any Madagasikara! (Greetings from Madagascar!)
What a treat it has been these last two days to meet and work with so many fantastic STEM graduate students, researchers, teachers and faculty members who attended our series of COACh workshops ohere in Antananarivo, Madagascar. I couldn’t have imagined a more receptive, open, smart and motivated group of attendees! What a privilege it is for me to be here to learn from you about life, work and science here in this wonderful island country. You all are amazing and have such a good command of English – given that it is your THIRD language after Malagasy and French. Thank you so much for coming!
I am here at the invitation of Dr. Niri Ramamonjisoa and Dr. Onja Razafindratsima, both born in Madagascar who attended our COACh workshops in the U.S. as postdocs at Sloan Kettering and Rice University respectively. They and their friends Dr. Nanou Rabetokotany did all the arrangements for the COACh workshops including organizing the event, translating all our COACh workshops into French and signing up over 140 attendees.
Madagascar is indeed an unique and amazing island. It has been an isolated island for around 70 million years, breaking away first Africa around 165 million years ago and then from India nearly 100 million years later. This isolation led to the development of a unique flora and fauna, with 90 percent of its wildlife found only in Madagascar. I had a chance to go into the Andasibe National Park over the weekend to see the amazing Indri lemurs in the wild. A sight and experience that is unforgettable! Big thanks again to Niri , Onja and Nanou for all your efforts to help scientists in your country and all the amazing Malagasy scientists for giving me the chance to meet you.
December 4, 2016 Greetings from the beautiful island of Mauritius! It’s been a great few days talking with many wonderful STEM researchers, teachers, students, and community members on this absolutely spectacular island in the Indian Ocean. It is summer here with palm trees swaying in the ocean breezes. The country is working hard to increase its excellence in science, led by their amazing president, Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib, who has her PhD in organic chemistry.
The US Embassy hosted me at their “Let’s Talk about Science” event which included the Mauritius Research Council and Planet Earth. Many great questions! I also had a chance to give a talk hosted by the Ministry of Education to science educators and administrators. As with many countries they are struggling with revamping their STEM curriculum. My third presentation was at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Center where we talked about the need for scientists and researchers to help solve many global environmental challenges. The Science Center is an amazing asset to the island. My final presentation was at Café Scientifique and hosted by an NGO on the island helping to advance science literacy. It was also a lot of fun with many great questions. It was held at the Flying Dodo Brewing Company and restaurant.
Merci beaucoup to Jennifer Barr and Matt Gerdin for hosting my visit and others from the US Embassy who helped coordinate all of the logistics of my meetings. You Rock!
Warm regards from the southern hemisphere,
November 17, 2016: VIVA L’ALGERIE! COACH in Algiers We’ve had the most amazing three days here in Algiers giving over a dozen COACh workshops at the Center of Development of Advanced Technologies (CDTA) and the University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene in the Maison de la Science (USTHD). We met so many wonderful students, faculty and researchers who were very active participants in our workshops. Conversations, laughter and stories shared in English, Arabic and French made this such an enjoyable experience for Nora Berrah (Univ. of Connecticut) and I as we gave the workshops to many Algerians – men and women. Nora is a native of Algeria and fabulous role model for the attendees.
The education and science that the students receive – from elementary school through university – is very impressive as well as their English skills – usually their third language. Everyone was so kind, warm and welcoming. And the amazing Algerian press coverage made us all TV, radio and newspaper stars!
HUGE thanks to Professors Leila Adnane and Yasmina Ziari for organizing and hosting our workshops at USTHD and Dr. Nadia Soule for our workshops at CDTA. And Leila’s graduate student Raouf Souker for driving us all over Algiers in rush hour traffic – and his pal Hammache. You Rock!
And a big thanks also for our travel support from the OES Division of the U.S. State Department as part our US-Africa Women in Science program. Enjoy the pictures and keep in touch.
Salom aleikoum!T res bonne continuation! Best wishes for great success!
October 31, 2016: Happy Halloween! It has been a tradition in my research group to dress up for Halloween. It goes back over 20 years with many great costumes. In recent years the group has chosen a theme for the costumes with this year’s theme being the very scarey “anything having to do with tea”. And in case you can’t guess what we all are, Brandon has helped with labels.
October 20, 2016: COACh in Bangkok: The International Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Conference (ISMTEC). It has been my pleasure to be part of the ISMTEC meeting in Bangkok this past week for a discussion of how to prepare Thailand’s STEM students for the workforce. It was a very well attended conference by teachers and students and sponsored by the Thai government. Thailand, like many countries in the region are struggling to upgrade their STEM educational curriculum and teaching methods to make their courses more relevant to the job market of today and in the future.
As a final note, I also wish to extend to those in Thailand my sympathies for the loss of your beloved King, King Bhumibol the Great. To be in Thailand during this time of mourning gave me a sense of how important this amazing man has been to all of your lives and your country.
October 18,19, 2016: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: It’s been another wonderful albeit short return to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam where I had a chance to meet with some fantastic young women scientists at the American Center.
I also had a chance to visit the FabLab Saigon that was founded by Ms. Phan Hoàng Anh and her colleagues. Every time I return to this country I rediscover all the wonderful young people that are the future of science and technology in this country. It is indeed a bright future ahead. It was great to meet and learn about all of you.
Special thanks to Anne Eisenhower Turnbull, the Economic Officer of the U.S. Consulate Ho Chi Minh City who helped arrange and host my visit.
October 14-17, 2016: Yangon and Naypyidaw, Myanmar: My return to Myanmar has enhanced my knowledge about this wonderful country that is in a huge and complex transition with the election of Aung San Suu Kyi as the first and incumbent State Counsellor and Leader of the National League for Democracy. This visit was focussed on our new COACh effort to build the Southeast Asian Nutritional Neuroscience Network to help educate nutritionists, doctors, policy makers and young mothers about how chronic malnutrition affects brain development from conception through the first two years of life, and research and interventions that are necessary to reduce the neurocognitive impact.
It was a particular pleasure of mine to reconnect with two of our workshop participants from Myanmar that attended our workshop on this topic in Luang Prabang, Laos last March – two amazing women – Dr. May Khin Than, Director of the Nutrition Center and Dr. Lwin Mar Hlaing, Assistant Director of the Nutrition Research Section of the National Nutrition Centre (NNC), both of the Department of Public Health Ministry of Health and Sports in Naypyidaw, Myanmar. We have developed some exciting and important plans forward that we hope to implement in the coming months and years if funding can be secured. In the picture of us in front of the Public Health Ministry of Health and Sport, Dr. May Khin Than is on my right and Dr. Lwin Mar Hlaing on my left. Thank you so much for your time to meet with me. It was great!
And big thanks to Kira Mitre and Dr. Ma Myo Aye from the US Embassy who helped facilitate my visit to Yangon and Naypyidaw. You are great too!
October 4,5, 2016: Muscat Oman; It’s was great to be back in Oman last week for the 10th International Advisory Board meeting for The Research Council (TRC). As I have written before, Oman is working hard to build up it’s research enterprise and is doing it very strategically. Unfortunately the low price of oil, a primary source of income in the country, is slowing the progress. There are wonderful scientists in Oman and many are looking for collaborations with those in developed countries that are working in the areas of agriculture, water, energy and food security. It is such a gentle and peaceful country in this very volatile part of the world. A true oasis.
In addition to meeting many amazing scientists on this trip, I had the opportunity to go to the Agriculture Research at Rumais. There I learned about the challenges and opportunities in agriculture in the area and in Oman. And met some amazing women working in their laboratories. Was AWESOME! You come see several of them in the selfie below along with Dame Allison Richard who is also on the Advisory Board. The other picture is of our visit to Fanja with Dame Richard and His Excellency, Dr. Hilal Al Hinai, Secretary General of TRC.
September 26, 2016: It’s the start of a new academic year at the University of Oregon: I’ve been on the faculty here at Oregon for 31 years (hard to believe!) and I still get excited when the new students arrive on campus each fall. Welcome to all of you including our new group of graduate students.
I’m also very excited about our new group of undergraduates that are in our Presidential Undergraduate Scholars Program! It will be great working with you this year and watching you progress in your new research experiences.
August 25-31, 2016: MYANMAR: In the midst of exciting changes: It’s been an amazing visit to Myanmar this week. Having visited the neighboring countries of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand over the past 18 months in my role as Science Envoy, I have awaiting my chance to visit the 5th of my Envoy. The wait was worth it! I met so many wonderful people in Yangon and learned a lot about this wonderful country as it moves towards democracy and the leadership of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.
First, a big thanks to Ambassador Scot Marciel for hosting a wonderful reception for me at his residence in Yangon. Attending the reception were community members working in science and engineering fields. It was superb.
A big shout out to the Geek Girls who told me about the new companies that they have started and their aspirations for success. They have formed a network of other tech oriented young women that are using their technical skills to start companies and contribute to the new opportunities that are coming with the political changes in the country. You Rock!!
I also met with a group of more senior women that are leading a network of Women Entrepreneurs comprised of over 2000 members in Myanmar. It is clear in meeting with both groups that women are going to be major players in building the new economy in the country. Women comprise over 80% of the scientists in Myanmar! It is absolutely amazing.
Thanks also to the Yangon University for giving me the opportunity to speak to a large group of their faculty and students about being a scientist in the US. They have a wonderful group of faculty in the chemistry department that I also got to meet.
I also had a chance to visit with many people working to reduce the childhood stunting epidemic in Myanmar through intervention methods and also so great social media and app tools being developed to reach that critical first 1000 days of life of the baby and pregnancy of the mother. You are all inspiring! As I have written about earlier in Laos and Cambodia, childhood stunting affects over 30% of the children in the country.
Warm regards and thanks to all, especially Joseph Povolini from the US Embassy who organized my visit.
August 20, 2016: Fun in Philly! We had a great turn-out of fantastic women graduate students, postdoctoral associates, faculty and researchers from the DOE National Laboratories and NIST at our COACh workshops in Philadelphia prior to the ACS meeting. Prof. Pushpa Murthy and I gave workshops to women postdoctoral associates on “Career Launch and Acceleration” and “Effective Negotiation Techniques”.
The workshop also helped us launch another group of COAChes that will give our workshops to undergraduates and graduate students at their institutions and organizations, our COACh-the-COAChes program.
In a parallel session Profs. Mary Wirth and Rebecca White gave another very informative workshop on Entrepreneurship to a very engaged group of women scientists and engineers. We had fantastic participation in all the workshops.
Thanks and best wishes to all – enjoy the pictures, share with others and keep in touch.
July 30-31, 2016: Greetings from Surabaya Indonesia: What a great day it has been! Indonesia is such a wonderful country to be visiting as part of the 2016 Indonesian-American Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium. Today I had the pleasure of giving four COACh workshops on Negotiation, Publishing, Proposal Writing and Career Building to a large group of Indonesian and Australian scientists and engineers. It was a so much fun as the group was very engaged, asking lots of questions and sharing many fun moments!
I wish you all much success in your careers and hope that our paths cross again in the future. It has been a privilege for me to work with all of you.
June 25-28, 2016: Back in Bangkok: I had a very enjoyable and educational visit this week at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Bangkok. Professor Supapan Seraphin and I reviewed their scientific and engineering programs and met with many students and faculty. They have some really great programs at KMUTT and we were happy to play a part in helping them move ahead in science and engineering. Best wishes to all and thanks for the great visit!
June 13, 2016: Rwanda! Women in Water in Africa
What an amazing experience it has been to be in Kigali Rwanda these past few days for our COACh POWWER (Partnerships on Women in Water Engineering and Research) workshop. With the mantra of “WATER FIRST” the fantastic women scientists and policymakers from 11 different African countries are all passionate about the need in Africa and around the world to put access to clean water as a top priority and to mobilize women to lead the effort. Countries represented include Sudan, Burundi, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa Uganda and Tanzania. More details can be found on the Water First! website.
Water First Workshop Summary In many parts of this African continent women and girls lives are centered around securing clean water each day for their families with young girls needing to drop out of school early because of the need to travel on foot may kilometers each day to carry water collect and carry water back to their homes. In nearly all countries there are a plethora of government policies about access to clean water but few are actually implemented. Women, who tend to be more action oriented than their male colleagues, rarely reach or are appointed to leadership positions in the water resource area, exacerbating the disconnect between policy and what is happening on the ground.
The workshop was an amazing experience as the group rapidly centered our attention on how we as women (and our supportive male colleagues) can truly make a difference. Our efforts beyond this workshop will be focussing in three areas:
1. Educate – the public and policy makers on the need to put WATER FIRST and make sure that our young girls acquire the education necessary for them to be leaders in Africa in this area.
3. Emulate – the best practices and role-models as a way forward on this incredibly important issue.
Join us! In the coming weeks we will be developing a website that summarizes our workshop outcomes and plans forward. We need everyone!
A HUGE THANKS goes to the U.S. State Department and the OES division for sponsoring this workshop. This follows on the first two POWWER African conferences held in Casablanca (2014) and Namibia (2015). And also the assistance from the US Embassy and USAID mission staff in Rwanda.
And how fantastic it is to hold this workshop in a country where women hold over 60% of the positions in parliament and the education and empowerment of women and girls is a very high priority. Kigali, the site of our workshop and capital of the country is a beautiful city to behold.
Thanks all of you that were part of this and others interested in joining our efforts to make sure that we put WATER FIRST!
June 1, 2016: The Investiture of President Schill as President of the University of Oregon. What an honor for me to be in the precession. GO DUCKS!
May 20, 2016: This message is to all of the wonderful, amazing and hardworking undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral associates that I have had the privilege of working with in my research over the course of my career. It is also to all those friends and colleagues – especially my family – who have supported me through the tough times and been there for the fun times.
Yesterday I received the National Medal of Science from President Obama.
This Medal is for you! Words cannot express how grateful I am to all of you and how honored I am to be the representative of all of our efforts.
May 10, 2016: The Field Museum in Chicago is an amazing place! Today I had the pleasure of speaking at an annual celebration hosted by the Field Museum Women’s Board. The event helps to raise funds to support graduate fellowships for young women in STEM that are in the final stages of their Ph.D. dissertations, and for paid internships for Chicago high school and undergraduate female students. It was an amazing turnout of several hundred women professionals in the Chicago area and also a group of female STEM students from Solorio Academy High School. It was super to meet all the students (GO GIRLS!) and to also meet and see so many Chicago women that are committed to this issue and the Field Museum. Let me express my huge thanks to Dr. Richard Lariviere, President and CEO of the museum (and his wife Jan) for extending to me this wonderful invitation and opportunity and a personal tour of their latest exhibit – The Terracotta Warriors.
May 3, 2016: Great day at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo Michigan! I spent the day meeting with chemistry department faculty and dozens of chemistry majors. Kalamazoo has more chemistry majors than I have seen in any college of its size – 50-60 each year! I gave talks including a presentation on our research as well as talks on international engagement, career opportunities for the future and one of my favorite talks on “Quilting together a career in science”. It was a busy and very very enjoyable day. Thanks so much to all the faculty and students that made the visit so much fun. And thank you for the honor of selecting me as the 2016 Tourtellotte Lecturer.
April 28, 2016: “Implicit Bias in Peer Review: Publications and Grants” was the topic of a unique and amazing symposium held today at AAAS in Washington DC. The workshop was designed to examine the data and best practices on ensuring that the integrity of peer review process in picking the best science is not being reduced by reviewers implicit biases by gender, race and ethnicity, institution or country of origin. Much data was shared on the topic and many interesting discussions. It was great to see how seriously different journal editors (including from Nature and Science)are taking this issue seriously, especially to understand if the review process could be improved by such practices as double blind reviews. Also very interesting was to see the divergence in opinions of the importance of funding agencies in collecting demographic data on proposal submissions and funding and institute bias training activities. NSF is clearly the leader in this area with NIH and DOE currently improving their data collection. Representatives from the DOD agencies like ONR and DARPA reported little or no interest on the topic of collecting demographics or any programs on implicit bias. AAAS plans to post a summary of the symposium in coming weeks. A big thanks to all at AAAS that worked so hard to host this important event.
April 14, 2016: – Great day spent at the SUNY Buffalo! I spent the day giving a talk and meeting with many wonderful faculty member in the Chemistry department here. The family of Howard Tieckelman created the lectureship that I was honored to give in memory of his wonderful scientific accomplishments and contributions. Thanks to all the great faculty and students – especially Prof. Joe Gardella who hosted my visit.
April 3-4, 2016:– Oman is such an amazing country! Over the past year I have had the pleasure of working with The Research Council (TRC) of Oman to help build and strengthen the research capacity in their country as they try to diversify their economy from oil. These past two days have been spent in Muscat at the Grand Hyatt reviewing many of their programs and plans for the future. TRC is looking for opportunities for it’s faculty to develop international collaborations. Check out the TRC website to learn more.
March 13-14, 2016: Luang Prabang, Laos – In my travels throughout SE Asia, one topic that has tugged on my heartstrings has been the very high prevalence of childhood stunting by the age of 2 that can be as high as 50% of the children in many countries of this region.
During these past two days I have been involved in organizing and running a workshop in Luang Prabang that has brought together researchers and clinicians from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar that work in the area of childhood nutrition. It was an amazing collection of professionals at the workshop with many collaborations developed in education and research. Jeff Measelle and Dare Baldwin, neuroscientists from the University of Oregon are partners in the efforts. One outcome of this workshop has been for formation of a network of professionals in the region committed to this issue: the Southeast Asian Nutrition and Neuroscience Network (SEAN3).
The overall goals of this effort are to (a) galvanize awareness among local scientists and decision-makers to major scientific advances in the are of chronic malnutrition and brain development, b) identify the most effective and promising intervention strategies, and c) create a growing network of in-country professionals that to lead the implementation of a coordinated science-to-action plan within the region with the aims of reducing the prevalence of chronic malnutrition while increasing the protection of the development of the human brain by 2020.uman brain by 2020.
Although much is understood about how chronic malnutrition results in physical stunting in the first 1000 days of human life, there is increasing evidence that this is accompanied by impaired neurological development that has life-long consequences. Because the brain is critical to all facets of health and wellbeing, interventions that support and protect the brain’s development when it is most vulnerable (conception through approximately age 2) are critical to any society’s vitality. Nutritional interventions that take a life-cycle approach, that seek to mitigate the ravages of chronic malnutrition (stunting) at critical periods during development, and which target both the physical and neurobiological aspects of malnutrition appear to have the strongest and longest-lasting effect. At present, these scientific realities have not adequately informed efforts in low- and middle-income countries, especially Southeast Asia where rates of childhood stunting are the highest in the world.
This first workshop was sponsored by the U.S. Science Envoy Program. The plan is for subsequent workshops to be conducted in these and other nearby countries where chronic malnutrition is pervasive.
March 12-13, 2016: Amman Jordan. Lots of great experiences!
This meeting brings together principal investigators from the US and around the Middle East to present their research data funded by USAID PEER and to develop regional collaborations with other scientists. It was a super meeting! I was invited to give a presentation entitled “International Science Collaborations: Ingredients for Success” and another talk on “The Art of Effective Negotiation”. It was super fun with lots of great participation from the over 100 participants from the Middle East. Big thanks to the PEER program for letting me be a part of the event and meet so many interesting scientists.
I also had the amazing opportunity to have dinner with a group of women professionals in Amman, friends and colleagues of Dr. Rana Dajani at Hashemite University. It was a wonderful dinner with conversations about our careers, the veil, children, life in Jordan today and career aspirations and accomplishments. I just was so privileged to meet these women (Zeena Tabas, Abeer Al-Bawwab, Nancy Hakooz, Nasreen Barakat, Lion Otaya and Rana Dajani. and I thank them for hosting me for dinner.
And a visit to Amman wouldn’t be complete without visiting Petra. It is certainly a “bucket-list” must! I was blown away by the beauty and the amazing way that Jordan has preserved this precious precious site. Petra is a historical and archaeological city in the southern Jordan government that is famous for its rock cut architecture and water conduit system. From Wikipedia: Established possibly as early as 312 BC as the capital city of the Arab Nabataeans, it is a symbol of Jordan, as well as Jordan’s most-visited tourist attraction.It lies on the slope of Jebel al-Madhbah (identified by some as the biblical Mount Hor) in abasin among the mountains which form the eastern flank of Arabah (Wadi Araba), the large valley running from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba. Petra has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985.
March 11, 2016
Visit to the Phenomenal Science and Engineering Festival in Cambodia! Amazing!
Cambodia this week celebrated Science and Engineering with their 2nd Annual STEM Festival in Phnom Penh.
Thousands of aspiring young students from all over Cambodia are coming this week to hear talks, attend a Hackathan, be part of a mini Maker Faire and so much more. What a treat it was for me to speak to several hundred students at the Faire about “Why I love being a Scientist” as part of my US Science Envoy travels. It was so wonderful to meet all of these aspiring scientists and engineers from a country that is emerging as an important SE Asia country. My warm regards to all. (More pictures on the COACh Facebook page.
March 8, 2016
Happy International Women’s Day!
Our wonderful COACh Cameroon leader, Dr. Barbara Tiedeu represented COACh at the NEF Global Gathering in Senegal and participated in the Women in STEM in Africa sessions organized by AIMS in partnership with Portia Ltd. What a great opportunity has been these past few days to both celebrate International Women’s Day and also to reflect on the progress made to date on promoting African Women in STEM, to highlight innovative initiatives and to explore what the future holds for promoting African Women in STEM.
Big thanks to Karen Craggs-Milne, Director of Gender Equality and Inclusion, AIMS Global Secretariat for including COACh in the activities.
March 7-8, 2016 Greetings from Bangkok Thailand where I am attending the Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology between the US and Thailand. Many great ideas for scientific collaborations in areas of health, education, water and the environment were discussed and plans made for future collaborative activities.
February 12-15, 2016 The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is this week and it’s been alot of fun! Scientists from all over the world have joined us here in Washington DC for the annual event that highlights the best science in the world. The most exciting new announcement was on the detection of gravitational waves the day that the meeting began. As President of AAAS, I was able to choose the theme of the annual meeting – and I chose it to be “Global Scientific Engagement”. It was exciting to see all the new discoveries and to also meet old friends and new ones. You can find the grand opening of the meeting here which includes my opening presentation on the importance of Global scientific engagement (starting at about 20 minutes into the video clip). It’s been a huge honor for me to be President of AAAS this year! At the end of the meeting I turned over my reign to Prof. Barbara Schaal of the Washington University and I take on the responsibility of Chair of the Board of AAAS. Thanks everyone!
January 12, 2016: A Celebration of Women In Technology in the Lower Mekong Countries of Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia
There are some amazing young women in Tech in the Lower Mekong Region! This week brought about 30 college-level women from the countries of Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam together at a fantastic event hosted by the Intel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The 2-day workshop was a unique opportunity for the participants to meet each other, to share their career aspirations, to compare the challenges and
opportunities for women in science and technology in each of their countries and to learn some COACh skills. This is the first time that such an event has been held in the Lower Mekong Region so it was very exciting and very informative. Take a look at all the great pictures. Big thanks to all of the wonderful and bright participants. You rock!!
We owe a huge thanks to Intel for hosting the workshop and especially Sherry Boger, the General Manager of Intel Products Vietnam for her support and taking the time out of her very busy schedule to be part of the event. We also thank the amazing team of the USAID COMET program for organizing and providing travel and lodging support for the participants, the Science Envoy Program and the U.S. Embassy folks including Nate Rettenmayer and U.S. Consulate General Rena Bitter for their support.
I wish all you wonderful ladies great career success!
January 8, 2016: Happy 2016 from Cambodia!
What a great group of fantastic students I spoke with to day at the American Corner in Phnom Penh! It was very interesting and fun talking with them about their studies, their career aspirations, and the challenges of getting a employable education in a developing country such as Cambodia. It was an absolutely impressive group with very good english skills and high motivation to be successful. I wish I could bring them all back to the US with me!
December 2-10, 2015: Every time I come to Vietnam I become more impressed with the scientists, teachers and students that I meet. It’s been a great two weeks here, bouncing between events and meetings in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Danang, Hue City and Hanoi. I’ve summarized the highlights of my visits below.
December 2-4, 2015: Back to one of my very favorite cities – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in my role as US Science Envoy to Vietnam. I have been participating in several events, the first being the 9th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between the U.S. and Vietnam. I have been working to assist in the development of S&T collaborations between scientists and researchers in our two countries. The JCM has focussed on 5 areas of collaboration: Health and Medical Science, Biotechnology and Agriculture, STEM Education and Research Exchange, Conservation and Environmental Science and Climate Change, Hydrology and Metrology. The U.S. delegation was led by Dr. Jonathan Margolis, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Space, and Health, Department of State and the Vietnamese delegation was led by Dr. Tran Quoc Khanh, Vice Minister, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
The Opening Ceremony included participation of H.E. Nguyen Quan – Vietnam Minister for Science and Technology, the phenomenal H.E. Ted Osius – U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam and representatives of Governmental Organization, Institutes, Universities and Companies from both sides was held on the 2nd of December 2015. If even a fraction of the ideas proposed are come to fruition, the effort can be considered a success. Huge Thanks to Dr. Christin Kjelland for organizing this amazing JCM.
December 2, 2015: ROBOTICS RULE: While in HCMC I also met with some really bright Vietnam students at the American Center that have been involved in a Robotics Club. It was great to see their inventions and to also talk to them about their career aspirations with Dr. Jonathan Margolis from the U.S. State Department.
On the following day I gave a presentation on careers in science at the American Center to a large group of students and community members interested science and a science career. Lots of great questions from the students!
December 7, 2015: On to Danang in central Vietnam for the next few days where I gave a COACh workshops on Effective Communication to a full room of students at the Danang University of Technology and another presentation on science careers at the University of Education. Many students have very impressive English skills! I wish my Vietnamese was so good! Lots of great pictures to so take a look at them.
The Danang FabLab was my next stop where we did experiments with middle school students to demonstrate principles in energy, heat, crystallization and chemical change. Many students in Vietnam do not have any much science education in their schools and no possibility of doing simple experiments. The FabLab is a small space put together by Mr. Hoi Nguyen and his wife to give them such experience. https://www.facebook.com/fablabdanang They are science heros indeed! It was great (as you can see from the pictures) and makes me want to come back and so some more in other regions of Vietnam.
The last Danang event was amazing in a different way – the Autumn Meeting to showcase Vietnamese independent movies and help train new directors, actors and producers for this growing industry in Vietnam.https://www.facebook.com/autumnmeeting The U.S. government is helping provide advice to movie directors, producers and actors on intellectual property issues that can help them protect their artistic works. I got to attend the evening Gala celebrating their most famous directors, producers and actors in Vietnam. Awesome! http://vietnamnews.vn/…/da-nang-hosts-event-for-independent…
December 8, 2015: Then on to Hue City where I had the opportunity to meet with students and faculty from the Hue University of Science and the Hue Learning Resource Center. Hue is an amazing city and cultural center for Vietnam. Again, great interactions and pictures. Thank you Lan for interpreting and your support of our COACh efforts!
December 9, 2015: My final visits were in Hanoi in northern Vietnam. In the first event I was able to be part of the signing of Joint Statement of Intent between NSA and the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST). The Statement of Intent is an acknowledgement of strong bilateral interest in cooperation on space-based research, including Earth science, weather research, remote sensing, and educational activities. It was a wonderful ceremony involving our Ambassador Ted Osius and VAST Chairman Chau Van Minh. Lots of great science and technology will result from this.
The last event was to speak at the Professional Workshop on Environmental Assessment and Climate Change sponsored by the U.S. State Department. This workshop is to help scientists from the Lower Mekong Countries discuss how they can help their governments be more informed on environmentally important issues and how current natural resources will be affected by climate change. Climate change is evident everywhere in SE Asia so efforts like these are very important.I’m now back in Ho Chi Minh City getting ready to depart for the US.
It’s been a great trip! Thanks so much to all who helped with my visit and all the wonderful Vietnamese people I met! And thanks to the US Science Envoy Program for letting me be part of all of these events.
November 16, 2015: THAILAND NATIONAL SCIENCE FESTIVAL: Great Students, Teachers and Fun!
What a treat it has been to be part of this amazing Science Festival that is held every year in Thailand and this year in Bangkok! Students, teachers and families come from all over this beautiful country to attend this very unique event that runs for two weeks.
How fortunate I was to be able to attend and speak with many students and their teachers at this festival yesterday.
Derived from the first “Thai National Science Day” in 1982, the festival now hosts over 1 MILLION visitors each year with exhibits from over 50 national and international institutions from governmental, educational and commercial sectors.
It was a pleasure to meet all of you and to get a chance to see what’s happening in science and technology in Thailand.
Cheers to all and keep up your interest in science. Our world needs you!
November 12,13, 2015: TUNISIA: Seeking International Collaborations in Science and Engineering
Thanks to funding from the Elsevier Foundation, we brought the full set of COACh career building workshops to Tunis and Sup’Com at the University of Carthage. We are spending four days this week working with many fantastic engineering students and faculty in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Internet Security areas. Many are very interested in research and educational collaborations with scientists and engineers in the US and other countries. Let us know if you are interested in partnering with them!
It is indeed a remarkable country and each time we visit we are even more impressed. From the 1980s until today women’s rights advocates have contributed to the making of gender legislation either by direct involvement in committees preparing the law or by indirectly putting pressure on power holders. Many in the country, including the women we have met this week and those attending our 2013 workshops, are very proud of Tunisia’s unique history in giving women many freedoms that have not been available in many other MENA countries. We are honored to be able to play a small role in assisting in this advancement.