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____ Thursday November 5, 2015 ____

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Women in Science

Scientista Symposium for young women in STEM disciplines held in NYC

New York City – Last weekend the Scientista Foundation held its second annual Scientista Symposium, in Times Square. The Scientista Foundation is a national organization founded by two Harvard sisters that empowers young women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math/medicine). The organization’s symposium is the only international symposium exclusively designed for college and graduate women in STEM fields.

The three-day conference included a recruiting fair from 20 companies and graduate schools such as BD, Microsoft, Buzzfeed, Princeton University, athenahealth, and the American Museum of Natural History. The theme, “The Importance of Tech Across STEM Fields,” brought in 40 inspirational speakers from a wide variety of institutions and companies including Columbia University Medical Center, NASA, Microsoft, and athenahealth. The diverse array of workshops and panels appealed to students in all STEM fields, featuring topics such as big data, industry and research careers, NASA innovations, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

The event centralized 245 undergraduate and graduate women from institutions across the nation, allowing for networking opportunities and new friendships to form. A student from SUNY Albany gushed, “Spending the weekend at the Scientista Symposium was one of the best experiences of my life. It is great to know that there is a strong community of women working hard to change the world and accomplish their dreams. I met some people that I am sure I will keep in contact for hopefully the rest of my life.”

Many of those in attendance participated in the research poster fair competition, which awarded over $4,000 in prizes donated by Mettler Toledo. First place was awarded to Monica Khattak, and six runner up awards were given to Rebecca Newman, Cilgy Abraham, Camila Villasante, Claudia Mimoso, Ellie Mainou with Olivia Just, and Stephanie Becker. One poster presenter described the symposium as “exactly the missing puzzle piece I needed to tie my college coursework to real-world applications. I was really honored to have the opportunity to present my research poster to a representative from the company founded by one of the world's most renowned geneticists, whose - by the way - publications I cited in the same poster I was presenting.”

Maria Naggaga, a tech evangelist from Microsoft and featured panelist for the Symposium reflected, “Being a part of Scientista Symposium 2015 was a brilliant experience. Too see so many talented women paving the ways for the ones who will follow. Can't wait for 2016!" The symposium would not have been possible without this year’s generous sponsors, including Microsoft, athenahealth, Mettler Toledo, The American Museum of Natural History, and Enstoa. Photos from the event and information about how to start a Scientista collegiate chapter can be found on the Scientista Foundation’s facebook page and official website (http://www.scientistafoundation.com).

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