2018 Inclusion Symposium Panelists Share Experiences and Advice

The second annual Inclusion Symposium brought seasoned alumni and senior industry leaders to downtown Portland for the sixth summer symposium and the second year since the the evolution of the event from a Women's Symposium to one that is gender inclusive. This year's event included the best attendance by alumni to date and allowed current students an opportunity to learn from those already established in their careers during two scheduled networking sessions.

The symposium is the capstone event of the summer inclusion workshop series, which focused on topics such as legal rights and responsibilities on the job; how to push for inclusion by example; company culture and how it affects success; and the value of difficult conversations with coworkers and supervisors. The workshops included guest speakers from academia and industry who shared perspectives and insights. Reseach shows that diverse teams are more successful and the summer workshops and symposium seek to provide insight into how to promote inclusion and diversity as students prepare to enter a career in science.

Hosted at the UO's White Stag building in downtown Portland on Saturday, August 25th, the event included two panels: senior industry leaders and alumni. Panelists represented companies from all over the country. Program director Stacey York moderated the senior leaders panel, which included speakers from Dow, Pacific NW National Lab, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Carl Zeiss and Nike.

The alumni panel included former students from Intel, National Instruments, Urban Airship, Covance and the Gemini Observatory. Alumni network manager Betsy Tanenbaum, who facilitates the summer inclusion workshops, moderated.

This year, for the first time, students from the current program cohort gave impassioned speeches on what inclusion means to them.

Open networking sessions allowed current students a chance to practice their professional skills while making new connections in industry. Coupled with the large alumni turnout, this year's event allowed students and alumni to begin building community before the next alumni networking event!

Dr. Meg Pirrung shares a laugh with panelists while answering a question during the Senior Leaders Panel.

Jason Donald responds to a question.

The Senior Leader Panel.

KD Derr responds to a question.

Robert Leonard answers a question during the Alumni Panel.

Jeena Lee, during the Alumni Panel.

Elisabeth Sherry, laughs while responding to a quesiton on the Alumni Panel.

Robert Leonard answers a question, while Christy Cunningham listens.

Current students and alumni chat during the networking session.

Panelist Zach Blatz talks with current students during the networking session.

Networking session.

Networking session.

Askim Senyurt answers a question during the Senior Leaders Panel.

Allie Roberts shares her perspective during a speech at the Inclusion Symposium.

Networking session.

Senior Leaders Panel:

KD Kerr
Electron Microscopy & X-Ray Microscopy Specialist, Carl Zeiss Microscopy

Jason Donald
Sr. Applications Development Mgr., Thermo Fisher Scientific

Dr. Lauren Huffman
TS&D Manager - Lubricants and Specialty Fluids, The Dow Chemical Company

Dr. Meg Pirrung
User Experience Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Lab

Dr. Askim Senyurt
Senior Materials Innovator, Nike

Alumni Panel:

Zach Blatz
Sr. Trainer - Global Product Management, Covance

Christy Cunningham
Science Operations Specialist, Gemini Observatory

Jeena Lee
Software Engineer, Urban Airship

Robert Leonard
Applications Engineer, National Instruments

Elisabeth Sherry
Supply Chain Engineer, Intel