Reimagine The Possible: From Surviving To Thriving

The Persist Series is back for 2022! This year, we’re reimagining the possible to help women reach their full potential – in engineering and tech careers and beyond. We’ll push past merely navigating challenges and surviving to pursue pathways for thriving.

From Thriving to Surviving Persist Series Social Media Graphic for Feb 20222 Session



Air Date: February 23, 2022

Season:  2022

Episode:  1

Speakers: Dr. Julianna Gesun (University of New Hampshire), Dr. Allison Godwin (Purdue University), Dr. Matilde Sánchez-Peña (University of Buffalo), Dr. Stephany Santos (University of Connecticut)

Host: Gayathri Shukla (Campfire Kinship)

Q&A Moderator: Carol Smith (UL)

What can research tell us about what engineering thriving looks like and how to cultivate it? What academic, social, and personal skills and competencies can help students not just navigate barriers and stress culture but function optimally in engineering programs? What are some bright spots and blind spots for moving toward a more inclusive culture where engineering students can thrive?

We’ll take a look at these questions and more to think about how we can reimagine what’s possible along the career trajectory for moving beyond surviving to cultivate a culture of engineering thriving.

About the speakers

Dr. Julianna Gesun (University of New Hampshire)

Julianna Gesun is currently a postdoctoral diversity and innovations scholar and NSF/ASEE fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. She received her Ph.D. in Engineering Education at Purdue University and received dual bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Engineering and Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her prior work experiences include product management, consulting, tutoring, marketing, and information technology.

Dr. Allison Godwin (Purdue University)

Dr. Allison Godwin is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and of Chemical Engineering (by Courtesy). She is also the Workforce Development Co-Director for CISTAR, the Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. Her research focuses how identity, among other affective factors, influences diverse students to choose engineering and persist in engineering. She also studies how different experiences within the practice and culture of engineering foster or hinder belongingness and identity development.

Dr. Matilde Sánchez-Peña​ (University of Buffalo – SUNY)

Dr. Matilde Sánchez-Peña is an assistant professor of Engineering Education at the University of Buffalo – SUNY where she leads the Diversity Assessment Research in Engineering to Catalyze the Advancement of Respect and Equity (DAREtoCARE) Lab. Her research focuses on developing cultures of care and well-being in engineering education spaces, assessing gains in institutional efforts to advance equity and inclusion, and using data science for training socially responsible engineers.

Dr. Stephany Santos (University of Connecticut)

Dr. Stephany Santos is an Assistant Professor in Residence of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Her research in biomedical engineering focused on understanding the damage mechanisms in cartilage that lead to the disease osteoarthritis. Stephany also has a long history of leadership in the School of Engineering. She is one of the original founders and co-presidents of Engineering Ambassadors at UConn, has also been a continuous contributor to the summer BRIDGE program as an instructor in Physics, Biology, and MATLAB, and most recently co-developed and co-instructed the BOSS LADI course in EDOC dedicated to supporting underrepresented women in STEM.

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