||Welcome by Dr. Mary Spoto, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Saint Leo University
||Dr. Spoto joined Saint Leo in March 1989. Dr. Spoto is a professor of English and has served in several roles during her 30-year history with Saint Leo. Before her appointment as vice president, she served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the chair of the Department of Language Studies and the Arts. Dr. Spoto expanded the fine arts programs at the university and led the development of the university’s general education program, University Explorations, and new academic programs such as the Bridge Program for second-language learners and the master’s programs in creative writing and psychology. She earned her Master of Arts and doctoral degrees in English from the University of South Florida.
||Dr. Ruqayyah Nicholas
“The Science of Qualitative Research: The Phenomenological Design”
|Ruqayyah Nicholas earned her BA degree from NYU. She received her MBA and earned her DBA degree at Saint Leo University. She is the founder and CEO of YouOweU organization, former District Manager of the Social Security Administration, Director of Training and Deputy Director of Recruitment for the NYC Department of Transportation.
|9:45 - 10:30 AM
||Dr. Talithia Williams –
Morning Keynote: “Power in Numbers: Cultivating Women Leaders in STEAM”
Math Professor and 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. Tammy Zacchilli and Dr. Lara Ault
“Which Ice Cream Flavor Are You?”: Graphical and Research Literacy in the Digital Age”
|Tammy Zacchilli completed her Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from Texas Tech University in May 2007 and began teaching at Saint Leo in August 2007. Her dissertation resulted in the development of the Romantic Partner Conflict Scale which has been used in research projects in several countries including the United States, Canada, Malaysia, China, Portugal, Pakistan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Dr. Zacchilli has over 100 conference presentations and 16 publications. She has received several teaching and research related awards.
||Mrs. Leslie Coonradt
and Ms. Amanda Wathen, Prudential Financial Advisors
|Leslie Coonradt is a financial professional at The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
Amanda Wathen is a financial professional at The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
||Dr. Christine Picot
“Modeling Eliciting Activities (MEA's): A exploration in STEM lessons for K-5 learners.”
|Christine J. Picot, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Social Services. Located at the Tampa Education Center as Elementary Education faculty, her research interests include disciplinary literacy and academic vocabulary through mathematics problem solving. Her work with pre-service and in-service teachers includes coaching, mentoring, and designing lessons that integrate cross-curricular conceptual learning. Her global work in Mexico highlights the bridge of language and culture in mathematics problem solving.
||Ms. Cecelyn Dennis
“Gaining Steam in STEAM through S.M.A.R.T. Goals”
|Cecelyn is an author, leader, and creative mindset coach. She is the founder of Creatively Cecelyn, LLC; creative empowerment and consulting business. Cecelyn’s areas of passion are self-esteem, confidence; SMART goals; and mindset shifting. Cecelyn holds a B.A. in Political Science & International Studies (2009), as well as an M.S. in Human Services Administration from Saint Leo University (2019). She is currently pursuing a certificate in Women’s Leadership & Entrepreneurship from Cornell University.
|2:30 - 3:15 PM
||Dr. Aprille Ericsson –
Rocket Scientist, Technologist, and 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