Nancy Targett (pictured), dean of UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, and Cathy Wu, Edward G. Jefferson Chair and director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, will be panelists at the Inspiring Women in STEM conference on Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Inspiring Women in STEM

UD's Targett, Wu to present at Inspiring Women in STEM conference


9:04 a.m., Oct. 21, 2014--Two prominent women leaders from the University of Delaware will serve as invited panelists at the 2014 Inspiring Women in STEM Conference, on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware.

Designed to develop and advance women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, the conference features presentations, workshops, panel discussions and audience exercises on a variety of issues facing women in the workplace. 

People Stories

'Resilience Engineering'

The University of Delaware's Nii Attoh-Okine recently published a new book with Cambridge University Press, "Resilience Engineering: Models and Analysis."

Reviresco June run

UD ROTC cadets will run from New York City to Miami this month to raise awareness about veterans' affairs.

Topics to be covered include coping with change, communicating to be heard, career planning, strategic networking and improving effectiveness.

Nancy Targett, dean of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, will discuss the importance of developing strong communications skills in a plenary session titled “Communicating to be Heard: Mind the Message.” 

Cathy Wu, Edward G. Jefferson Chair and director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology in the College of Engineering, will participate in a panel discussion titled “GPS Your Career: Tools and Tips To Get You Where You Want To Go.”

According to Targett, the opportunity to speak at the conference is perfectly timed, as it coincides with the 100th anniversary of UD’s Women’s College, and comes on the heels of UD’s selection for a $3.3 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) grant to develop programming that will serve as a national model for diversifying and strengthening the academic workforce.

UD is one of only four universities in 2014 selected for the prestigious NSF ADVANCE grant. Research driven, the five-year program aims to support University administrators as change agents, to improve transparency in policies and procedures, and to mentor women faculty to advance through the ranks and into senior leadership positions.

“I knew when I was a little kid that I wanted to be a marine scientist,” said Targett, who grew up in Pittsburgh, watching marine biologist Jacques Cousteau on TV.

Seeing oceanographer Sylvia Earle on the cover of Parade magazine further fueled her desire for a science career, prompting Targett to write a letter to Earle detailing her hopes. Amazingly, Earle wrote back.

“She told me to ‘stay the course, to keep your dreams,’” said Targett, who was a high school sophomore at the time. She still has the letter. “We need to share this same message with the next generation of scientists and leaders. We have a duty to inspire them and to provide opportunities for women to picture themselves in these much needed roles.”

Other prominent women leaders participating in the event include:

  • Amy Ericson, U.S. country president of Alstom Inc.;
  • Carol Ammon, founder and retired chairman and CEO of Endo Pharmaceuticals; 
  • Darlene Solomon, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Agilent Technologies; 
  • Rosa Colon-Kolacko, chief diversity officer of the Christiana Care Health System; and
  • Aprille Ericsson, deputy to the chief technologist of applied engineering and technology directorate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Jennifer Biddle, CEOE assistant professor of marine science and policy and a member of the event planning committee, will discuss how to leverage social media during an interactive breakout session on strategic networking.

More than 250 women scientists, engineers, educators and STEM professionals participated in the inaugural conference in 2013, representing over 70 pharmaceutical, chemistry, medical device, biotechnology and IT companies, and universities and research institutions.

“The feedback from this forum series has been tremendously positive,” said Jennifer Stewart, CEOE scientist and a member of the event planning committee.

CEOE graduate students Julia Hagemeyer and Annamarie Pasqualone will have the opportunity to attend the event through generous support from the School of Marine Science and Policy. Anna Schutschkow, another CEOE graduate student, also plans to attend.

Event sponsors include DuPont, Agilent Technologies, Ashland, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Air Liquide, Delaware INBRE, Solenis, W.L. Gore & Associates and University of Delaware, among others.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

News Media Contact

University of Delaware
Communications and Public Affairs

UDaily is produced by
Communications and Public Affairs

The Academy Building
105 East Main Street
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716 | USA
Phone: (302) 831-2792