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A major topic in the scientific community is how to improve the number, the role, and the experience of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.

While the conversation has been ongoing, ideas have outpaced action.

Enter the Women in STEM Research Symposium at UT.

UT’s Commission for Women and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity are sponsoring a conference April 18 in the Carolyn P. Brown University Center.

“We want to reach out to students and let them see what’s out there, what kind of research is going on, and what they can do with a STEM degree,” said Mallory Ladd, a graduate research fellow and doctoral student in UT’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.

“This is an opportunity to bring all of the various disciplines together, highlight the phenomenal research that’s being done here at UT, and build a sense of community, of networking, and of purpose.”

Claudia Rawn, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, will deliver the keynote address.

Having spent years as a joint UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory professor before moving exclusively to UT, Rawn has expertise in the classroom as well as the lab. She was named an ASM Fellow in 2014, one of the highest honors in her field.

“This is a good chance to show women all of the possibilities that exist for them in the various STEM fields,” said Rawn. “Providing this opportunity can help keep the dialogue going, can highlight some of the important work already being done, and can serve as another chance to help build the community here at UT.”

Additionally, the symposium will feature a question and answer session with a panel of experts and a poster and presentation competition.

The event is free, with lunch provided to presenters and refreshments available for attendees.


David Goddard (865-974-0683,