On April 4th, Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff, molecular biologist and Chief Scientific Officer for Cytonome/ST in Boston, Massachusetts, delivered a vibrant yet candid STEM Diversity Institute-Five Colleges Distinguished Lecture. She captivated her audience with stories of her life in science and how she met the dual challenges of being female and Mexican-American undertaking a career in science.
The SDI Diversity Day Distinguished Lecture capped the end of a day-long program of events designed to heighten awareness of the challenges facing the graduate students and faculty from underrepresented groups at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A data-driven brainstorming session led by Provost James Staros and Sandra Petersen, Professor and Executive Director of the STEM Diversity Institute engaged graduate program directors from nearly every STEM doctoral program in a discussion of minority participation in STEM doctoral programs at UMass. The discussion was facilitated by Professor Derrick Swinton, Lincoln University, Dr. Robert Lichter, Merrimack Consultants, and Dr. Patricia Campbell, Campbell-Kibler Associates, consultants who have expertise in overcoming obstacles to diversity in STEM.