Belmont Hosts 4th Annual ‘Celebrating the Women of Physical Science’ Outreach Event

Belmont University’s Department of Chemistry and Physics hosted the 4th annual Celebrating the Women of Physical Science outreach event on Monday, November 2. More than 40 high school students and teachers from high schools in Nashville, TN, Knoxville, TN and Murray, KY signed-up for the event.  

This year, the event was virtual via Zoom and started with a virtual lab tour lead by Dr. Rachel Rigsby, chemistry professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics, showcasing some of the undergraduate programs in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Dr. Krista McBride, associate professor of physics, and Dr. Danielle Garrett, associate professor of chemistry education, also had the opportunity to highlight undergraduate research opportunities at Belmont University. 

The featured event was Dr. Julia Stoyanovich’s keynote address Responsible Data Science. Dr. Stoyanovich is an assistant professor of computer science and engineering and of data science at New York University, where her research focuses on responsible data management and analysis: on operationalizing fairness, diversity, transparency and data protection in all stages of the data science lifecycle. She is the founding director of the Center for Responsible AI at NYU, a comprehensive laboratory that is building a future in which responsible AI will be the only kind accepted by society.

Previously, Stoyanovich established the Data, Responsibly consortium and served on the New York City Automated Decision Systems Task Force. She is developing and teaching courses on Responsible AI at NYU and is the co-creator of an award-winning comic on this topic. 

Stoyanovich holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Columbia University and a B.S. in Computer Science and in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her work has been funded by the NSF, BSF and by industry, and she is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award and of an NSF/CRA CI Fellowship.

Virtual Event held by Department of Chemistry and Physics

At the end of the talk, McBride moderated a question and answer session, where visiting high school students, teachers and Belmont undergraduate students and faculty had the opportunity to ask Dr. Stoyanovich questions via chat. 

This event was organized by the Department of Chemistry and Physics STEM Outreach Committee (Rigsby and McBride) and Committee Chair (Garrett) and was promoted on-campus by the Women in Science student organization (faculty advisor, McBride, and student president, Sanyourah El-Hulu).

Garrett was extremely pleased with the success of the event this year with the new virtual format. She said, “We were very excited to have Dr. Stoyanovich join us this year as the keynote speaker. Dr. Stoyanovich started her talk by sharing her personal story as a woman in a STEM field. Her message resonated with the audience, letting them see that challenges are not the end of a journey but the beginning. Her talk was extremely accessible to the audience and emphasized the difficult questions and real-world relevance of responsible data science in today’s world.”