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Statewide Event: Picture a Mississippi Scientist Focuses on Diversity in STEM

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 10:18am | By: Van Arnold

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) – in collaboration with the Mississippi University for Women, Delta State University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Mississippi – is hosting a film screening and panel discussion to enhance awareness of gender bias and continued lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. 

There will be three parallel “watch parties” Tuesday October 26th from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. for USM faculty, staff, and students to view “Picture a Scientist.” The sites include:

  • Hattiesburg campus, Polymer Science Auditorium
  • Gulf Park campus, Long Beach, West Academic Building 200
  • Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, Caylor Auditorium

On Thursday Oct. 28, also from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m., there will be a live virtual event and panel discussion featuring scientists from across the state.

A keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Loretta Moore from the National Science Foundation followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr. Sabine Heinhorst, Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Dean of the Honors College at The University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Glake Hill, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Physics & Atmospheric Sciences at Jackson State University, Dr. Colleen Scott, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Mississippi State University, and Dr. Davita Watkins, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Mississippi.

Videos from our institutional leaders and professors will also be peppered through the event, all hosted by the fun and engaging Maranda Joiner an author, speaker, and former DJ.

Picture a Scientist” is a feature-length documentary film chronicling a groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. Biologist Nancy Hopkins, chemist Raychelle Burks and geologist Jane Willenbring lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences as scientists, overcoming brutal harassment, institutional discrimination and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science. The film also highlights new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable and welcoming to all. 

“This is a statewide wide event to highlight the critical messaging in the film focused on understanding and supporting women in STEM. But also to begin the discussion about ways we can acknowledge, adjust, and make ways and policies to support more diversity in our STEM disciplines,” said Dr. Gordon Cannon, Vice President for Research at USM.

This two-day event will highlight the stories of those captured in the film and then bring it closer to home with the experiences and careers of under-represented minorities in STEM here in Mississippi.

For more information:

To register for the event: