SC CTSI Co-Director Urges Young Women To Study STEM Subjects

Michele Kipke, PhD, SC CTSI co-director, speaks at "Women in STEM: Designing, Discovering and Delivering Change.

May 13, 2013

The message to the dozens of school-aged girls was simple — with hard work and diligence, they can achieve meaningful and successful careers in science, technology, engineering and math — the so-called STEM subjects.

And to prove the point, the message was delivered by some of the top female professionals in those fields during a symposium at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Among the presenters were several representatives from the Keck School of Medicine of USC who perform research at the institute.

“Women in STEM: Designing, Discovering and Delivering Change,” held on April 24, was in part a response to first lady Michelle Obama’s call last year to encourage more girls and women to study STEM subjects.

The statistics show why it is so important — while women make up 48 percent of the workforce, they hold only 24 percent of STEM jobs. And there is a growing need for skilled workers in STEM fields.

“I took on problems bigger than I was,” she said. “What I learned served me well as a scientist. I can’t give up. That’s not an option.”

Michele Kipke, PhD, SC CTSI co-director; USC professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine; vice chair of research, Department of Pediatrics, CHLA

Speakers at the symposium included Michele Kipke, professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at the Keck School; Roberta Diaz Brinton, USC School of Pharmacy professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical engineering and neurology; Heather Volk, associate professor of research in the Division of Environmental Health in the Department of Preventive Medicine and the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute; and Maja Matarić, professor of computer science and vice dean for research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.


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