More than 250 people from across the United States and abroad recently gathered in Atlanta for a summit on women’s leadership in STEM organized by University of Georgia College of Engineering professor Takoi Hamrita.
The Global Women in STEM Leadership Summit was supported by the Women in Engineering organization of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as well as the UGA Office of the President, Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and the College of Engineering. Additional sponsors included AT&T, Cricket Wireless, Baldor, Southern Company and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
“We had an amazing time, and it was a remarkable opportunity for women from all facets of STEM and all paths of life to come together and to connect and share and learn from each other,” said Hamrita, a professor of electrical engineering in the College of Engineering. “There was over 3,000 years of collective STEM experience in the room, and that provided for a very deep and enriching experience. I’m very grateful to all who have contributed to the success of this program.”
Several UGA faculty members participated in the event, which was themed “Design your Future.” Elena Karahanna, the L. Edmund Rast Professor of Business in the Terry College, moderated a discussion on paths to successful careers in academia, while assistant professor of engineering Cheryl Gomillion led a discussion on how universities are advocating for STEM. Dean Don Leo discussed the growth of UGA’s College of Engineering, and Provost Pamela Whitten moderated a discussion on academic leadership that included Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president and dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine.
Additional speakers included Jennifer Van Buskirk, Regional President of AT&T Mobility’s Northeast Region; Priceline.com co-founder Jeff Hoffman; Jill Tietjen, Past President of the Society of Women Engineers; and Alicia Philipp, President of the Atlanta Foundation.
“The Global Women in STEM Leadership Summit has sparked conversations that are critical to the STEM fields and to our society,” Whitten said. “We know that diverse viewpoints encourage creative solutions to problems, and we are all better served when everyone has an equal opportunity to lead. I’m so grateful to Dr. Hamrita for organizing such an inspiring event.”
Writer: Sam Fahmy