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Women in STEAM Conference

    2nd Annual VIRTUAL Women in STEAM Conference 

    Standing Out and Speaking Up: Skills for Taking Center Stage

    Presented by The Center for Alternative Pathway Programs


    Friday, October 9, 2020

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    Conference Overview

    The Women in STEAM conference (formerly Women in Data + Science) aims to broaden the impact and exposure of women in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics fields by creating a community that educates, empowers, and inspires. This conference is unique in that it is not solely focused on exploring technical know-how, but it also examines the myriad ways in which women can support one another to increase representation in historically male-dominated fields. This event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required for access to the platform.

    Keynote Speakers

    Talithia Williams

    Big Data Expert, Math Professor & Host of NOVA Wonders


    A host of the PBS series, NOVA Wonders, Dr. Talithia Williams is a groundbreaking professor, popular TED speaker, inspiring author and passionate STEM/STEAM advocate. She has made it her life's work to get people of all ages and backgrounds excited about the bold possibilities of a STEM education and to “STEMpower” women and minorities to enter these professions. Her latest book, Power in Numbers: The Rebel Women of Mathematics reflects Williams’ passion to re-brand the field of mathematics as anything but dry, technical or male-dominated. Renowned for her popular TED Talk, “Own Your Body’s Data,” she advocates for all of us to deploy data as a way of taking charge of our own health. A vibrant, engaging and energizing speaker, Dr. Williams demystifies data, statistics, probabilities and the mathematical process in amusing and insightful ways. She also passionately champions the contributions of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians and their vital role in transforming our future.

    Dr. Aprille Ericsson

    Rocket Scientist, Technologist & STEM Educator


    Aerospace engineer Aprille Joy Ericsson’s career is distinguished by “firsts,”, she considers her most prestigious the honor of being the first person of color to receive The Washington Award from the Western Society of Engineers. Raised in the projects of Bedford-Stuyvesant, she is the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University (HU) and the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), where she currently serves as New Business lead for the Instrument Systems and Technology Division. During her 25+ year tenure with NASA, Dr. Ericsson has worked as Aerospace Engineer, Technologist, Project and Program Manager and Executive. She has taught at both Howard University, University of Maryland, and Bowie State University. Dr. Ericsson has been named one of the top 50 minority women working in science and engineering fields by the National Technical Association and she was ranked 8 of 20 on the 2016 list of the Most Powerful Women Engineers by Business Insider.

    Conference Theme

    The second annual interdisciplinary conference emphasizes building and practicing new skills for success in school, work, and life. Succeeding in STEAM requires more than technical knowledge to complete your daily tasks; you must also possess the power-skills essential for landing the job, navigating workplace culture, and advocating for yourself. In fields where women are underrepresented, balancing technical acumen with interpersonal skills and self-confidence is vital to eliminating gendered barriers to workplace excellence. At the Women in STEAM Conference, you will discover new ways to conquer challenges by learning from the experiences of others.


    “This conference was so much more than a conference! I would pay for a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th day so I could get all of the information possible!” – 2019 attendee

    “There are two indicators of a great multi-track conference: you would pay (more) for the conference, you have a hard time deciding on which sessions to attend because they all seem soooo good. [Women in STEAM] at Saint Leo hit both of those points.” Emily Kund, Analytics to Inform

    “The [Women in STEAM] Conference was an amazing opportunity for women from a myriad of disciplines to gather in the camaraderie of our shared experiences.” – Sarah Mobley, 2019 Keynote Speaker

    “The [Women in STEAM] Conference provided an opportunity for both presenters and attendees to listen, interact and learn from women that are faculty in higher education and engaged in research pertaining to issues that women face, particularly in STEM fields. Women of Color were well represented, as both presenters and attendees, and the conversations were invigorating and thoughtful.” – Jorge Gavillan, Pasco-Hernando State College

    “The [Women in STEAM] Conference at Saint Leo was a valuable local conference that established important networking connections among academics and industry. This conference provided opportunities to learn about research effecting the success of women all over the world, and it provided opportunities to further talented women close to home.” – Dr. Susan LeFrancois, Florida Polytechnic University

    Meet the Conference Organizers

    Amanda Forrester PhotoAmanda J. Forrester, M.F.A. is a program administrator for the Center for Alternative Credentials at Saint Leo University. She joined the Saint Leo University staff in 2012 after ten years in public education. Amanda earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Tampa, and her full-length poetry collection Resurrection is forthcoming from WordTech Communications, LLC (March 2021).  Other poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Azahares Spanish Language Literary Magazine, Pink Panther Magazine, SWWIM, Trailer Park Quarterly, and other anthologies and journals. Using her data analytics background and creative skills, she works to bring STEAM awareness and events to students, staff, and faculty.
    Twitter: @ajforrester75 | email: | 352-588-8602

    Have a Suggestion?

    We are committed to providing quality content for all our conference goers. We also understand that representation matters. If you have an idea for a conference theme, track, workshop, or presenter, share it with us! All suggestions can be submitted to Amanda Forrester at

    Questions About the Conference?

    For questions, more information, or individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations, please contact Amanda Forrester at

    Women in STEAM Conference


    For questions, more information, or individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations, please contact Amanda Forrester at
    in advance.

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