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Breaking Barriers: Celebrating Women in STEM

On March 2nd, TLU will host its first-ever Women in STEM Conference. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields are all about innovation and critical thinking—and they are vital for keeping the economy humming and the nation globally competitive. Within these fields, however, women are underrepresented in the leadership roles and only make up about 34 percent of the workforce—but that’s changing year by year, and TLU is proud to help drive the shift.

"During the summer of 2023, the president and vice-president of the TLU Math Club were inspired to create a one-day conference celebrating achievements of notable women in various STEM fields,” says Math Professor Betseygail Rand. ”From this, Jade Trevino and Chris Deets have brought to life Breaking Barriers: Celebrating Women in STEM.”

“STEM has always been super daunting to me and I never in a million years thought I would be a math major, doing math research and setting myself up in a career in STEM!” says Trevino, president of the TLU Math Club. “TLU has definitely nurtured my path in STEM through my professors, my peers, research, and giving me the opportunity to do my best. This inspired me to want to give that love and experience to someone else, and that's where Breaking Barriers: Celebrating Women in STEM conference was born. Chris and I have a passion and love for this work and want to inspire others to explore it. We also want to break the ‘stereotypical’ image of a STEM major because we do not look like a math and computer science majors if you saw us! We want to be able to provide the example for young people, especially young ladies, to pursue a career within the STEM fields. If we can be that example for a handful of people, to try the unknown, the be less intimidated, to find a new passion, to think outside the box, to be comfortable being uncomfortable while learning, then we have accomplished what we set out to do.”

TLU Math Club Vice President Chris Deets agrees. “I’m excited for this event because I believe it can encourage some of the young women in our community to pursue a career in the STEM fields. Women are definitely an under-represented demographic and we are hoping that hearing the success stories or our speakers will help to alleviate the stigma that STEM-related fields are too hard to get into. This is a first of its kind event for TLU and I am glad to be a part of it.”

The conference will take place on March 2nd, and will feature two keynote speakers and a panel discussion. Breakfast will be served during registration at 7:30 a.m., and lunch will be enjoyed as attendees walk through a poster session featuring biographies of women within the STEM fields as well as undergraduate student research.

“We are hoping to draw attendance from SISD and Navarro schools, San Antonio area universities, and the Seguin community,” says Rand. The event is free and open to the public.