March is Women’s History Month, and Mississippi University for Women’s Gordy Honors College, in conjunction with The W’s Council on Family Relations and Family Science Program, is celebrating that with the next event in its spring forum series. The college will host a panel, “Empowering Women through Advanced Degrees,” Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium.   

The panel features four women with advanced degrees, who work in traditionally male-dominated fields. They are Dr. Leigh Hawkins, molecular biologist for the Corn Host Plant Research Unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS); Dr. Dana Miles, chemical engineer for the Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research Unit of USDA-ARS; Dr. Beth Baker, associate extension professor, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Mississippi State Extension service; and Dr. Dana Morin, assistant professor of wildlife ecology, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at Mississippi State University.

“We are excited that as the panel speakers share their academic and professional experiences as women in traditionally male-dominated fields of study, this will help our students develop gender awareness across their own fields of study and support them in developing their own career goals,” said Dr. Kim Whitehead, director for the honors college.

The main focus of the event is encouraging liberal arts students to join the movement to increase female and Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) representation in STEM fields.

“The idea for this program originated from a discussion in our families and public policy course.  While the number of women seeking and completing graduate degrees has increased, the pay gap has yet to be eliminated. With this program, we aim to empower undergraduate college students to choose their own career paths by sharing the lived experiences of some outstanding female researchers in our community,” said Dr. Cecilia Brooks, assistant professor in The W’s Department of Psychology and Family Science.

About The W

Located in historic Columbus, Mississippi, The W was founded in 1884 as the first state-supported college for women in the United States. Today, the university is home to 2,227 students in more than 70 majors and concentrations and has educated men for 40 years. The university is nationally recognized for low student debt, diversity and social mobility which empowers students to BE BOLD.

Be Bold. Tower with Blue.