Eight Vanderbilt researchers named ‘Inspiring Women in STEM’
Originally published by MyVU.
Eight Vanderbilt professors are recipients of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s 100 Inspiring Women in STEM Award. The award honors highly accomplished women working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics who have made a positive impact on the trajectories of other women thinking about or newly embarking on STEM careers.
“For many years Vanderbilt has made it a priority to encourage qualified women to assume leadership roles and cultivate a diverse intellectual community,” Susan Wente, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said. “I’m pleased that so many of our talented faculty have been recognized not only for their contributions to their respective disciplines, but also for the efforts they’ve made to encourage other women to consider careers in these historically male-dominated fields.”
Vanderbilt boasts more recipients than any other school on the list in categories such as astrophysics, Earth sciences, engineering, engineering education and neuroscience.
Janey Camp, research assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, uses geospatial technologies to model environmental risks and studies the impact of climate change on infrastructure. She is the faculty adviser to the Vanderbilt chapter of Engineers Without Borders; a member of both the American Society of Civil Engineers’ National Committee on America’s Infrastructure and the committee for Tennessee Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Research; and is president-elect of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers. She also is an active advocate of K-12 engineering education.
Lily Claiborne, senior lecturer in Earth and environmental sciences, studies volcanoes—specifically magma and what it can tell us about what happened before, during and after an eruption. She’s worked extensively at Mount Saint Helens and is currently leading an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program to study the caldera of an ancient supervolcano in Arizona.
Neuroscientist Isabel Gauthier, David K. Wilson Professor of Psychology and professor of radiology and radiological sciences, studies visual perception, focusing on how people develop expertise in recognizing, categorizing and organizing objects. She has significantly advanced understanding of facial recognition.
S. Victoria Greene
S. Victoria Greene, Stevenson Professor of Physics, studies the state of matter found a few microseconds after the Big Bang by using a supercollider to melt atomic nuclei into a “primordial soup” of subatomic particles. Studying this “soup” may provide insights into how the universe evolved after the Big Bang and how atomic nuclei hold together. Earlier this year, Greene was named a fellow of the American Physical Society. She is also the founding faculty adviser of Vanderbilt Women In Science and Engineering (VU-WISE).
Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, associate professor of physics and astronomy, studies galaxy dynamics and supermassive black holes. In 2008, Holley-Bockelmann received an NSF CAREER grant, awarded to promising faculty early in their academic careers. Since then, she’s gone on to develop a theoretical model that includes testable predictions and led research that resulted in the discovery of a new class of star.
Ebony McGee, assistant professor of education, diversity and urban schooling, studies the educational and career trajectories of mathematically and scientifically talented minority students. A former engineer herself, she is currently investigating barriers that keep African American engineering faculty numbers stagnant, as well as developing and testing a new race- and gender-specific mentoring program.
Jessica Oster, assistant professor of Earth and environmental sciences, tracks climate change somewhere you wouldn’t expect it to affect: caves. Mineral deposits like stalactites and stalagmites capture isotopic and geochemical evidence of climate history, and analyzing those can tell us what the climate was like thousands of years ago. This knowledge allows researchers to make better predictions about future climate changes.
Lori Troxel, associate professor of the practice of civil and environmental engineering, is an expert in infrastructure and sustainable design. She is the faculty adviser for Vanderbilt’s chapter of the American Society for Civil Engineers and leads study-abroad trips for engineering students studying sustainable building and infrastructure.
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