The IF/THEN Summit will come to Dallas Oct. 21-23, bringing 125 female “STEM Rock Stars” from the across the nation—10 of them from Dallas-Fort Worth—who have been selected as American Association of Science IF/THEN Ambassadors.
The ambassadors will share their stories and be high-profile role models for girls. Events will be held at the Perot Museum of Science and History and at The Slate in Dallas.
Through Dallas-based Lyda Hill Philanthropies, IF/THEN focuses on supporting women in STEM fields by empowering current and future generations, according to a statement. Currently, only 24 percent of STEM jobs are held by women.
Founded in 1848, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics.
Lyda Hill Philanthropies said that IF/THEN is part of its commitment to fund game-changing advancements in science and nature and seeks to further advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers.
“We firmly believe that IF we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world,” Hilll, founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, previously said in a statement. “The goal of IF/THEN is to shift the way our country—and the world—think about women in STEM and this requires changing the narratives about women STEM professionals and improving their visibility.”
The summit will include “An Evening of Science and Storytelling,” with Hill, Academy Award-winning actress Geena Davis, pioneering oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer in Residence Sylvia Earle, as well as others.
The IF/THEN ambassadors are chosen based on being role models representing diverse STEM-related professions from entertainment, fashion, sports, business, and academia.
The ambassadors will undergo a rigorous three-day “boot camps,” where they will undergo training in communication fundamentals, media and public relations, social media, storytelling, and other subjects. They also will be trained in techniques in how to engage with middle-school age girls.
The ambassadors also will have press kits developed, as well as professional head and “power” shots taken of them.
The North Texas women participating as ambassadors are:
- Minerva Cordero, associate dean of science and professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Arlington
- Jennifer Makins, director of STEM education at the Parish Episcopal School in Dallas
- Dr. Julie Mirpuri, assistant professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas
- Becca Peixotto, director at the Center for the Exploration of the Human Journey at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas
- Myria Perez, a paleontologist and fossil preparator at the Perot Museum
- Dr. Danielle Robertson, associate professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Dr. Nina Niu Sanford, assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Nicole Sereika, aviation maintenance technician at Southwest Airlines
- Jennifer Stimpson, educator, innovator, and scientist at The Hockaday School’s middle school in Dallas
- Kirsten Tulchin-Francis, division director of Movement Science at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital
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