2012 Presidential Symposium: Life STEMS from Science

by Diane VanDyke

Dr. Ainissa Ramirez

Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at Yale University, will be the featured speaker at Montgomery County Community College’s Annual Presidential Symposium on April 12, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Science Center Theater, Central Campus, Blue Bell. The program also will be simulcast to South Hall, room 221 at the West Campus, 101 College Drive, Pottstown.  The lecture is free and is open to the public.

In her presentation, Dr. Ramirez will discuss the value of scientific literacy and the importance of promoting education in the STEM disciplines.

After her presentation, College faculty will engage with Dr. Ramirez in a panel discussion on attracting students into STEM disciplines and how best to handle the nationwide deficit of graduates in these disciplines.  Both events are free and open to the public.

Dr. Ramirez created and hosts the “Science Saturdays” lecture series at Yale University for middle-school-age youth. She developed the series to introduce students to science and to promote this exciting, growing field of careers.

Correspondingly, the College’s Green STEM summer program mirrors Dr. Ramirez’s ongoing efforts. The Green STEM program encourages disadvantaged Pottstown-area middle school youth to explore science opportunities. In its second year, the week-long program introduces students to the basic concepts of scientific methodology through hands-on activities and experiments.

Beyond her work with “Science Saturdays,” Dr. Ramirez is also the Scientist in Residence at the American Film Institute, an advisor for the National Geographic Society and NOVA, and a science correspondent for Time Magazine.

Before joining the Yale faculty in 2003, she worked at Bell Labs’ Lucent Technologies. She earned her Ph.D. from Brown University and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford. As an expert in the area of metal alloys, Ramirez has published articles in many peer-review academic journals and has numerous patents.

A winner of numerous awards and honors, including MIT’s Martin Luther King Visiting Scholar and an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, Dr. Ramirez was named one of the Top 100 Innovators under age 35 by the TR100-MIT’s Technology Review List in 2003.

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