Brookhaven Women in Science to Celebrate International Women's Day, March 8

International Women's Day logo

UPTON, NY ─ Proclaimed a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace, March 8 is observed as International Women's Day. To celebrate the successes and accomplishments of women, a symposium will be held at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory on Saturday, March 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Physics Department Large Seminar Room located in Building 510. Sponsored by Brookhaven Women in Science and Brookhaven Science Associates, the symposium is free and open to the public. All are welcome. Visitors to the Laboratory 16 or older must carry photo I.D.

Invited speakers:

Surita Bhatia, Associate Professor, Stony Brook University, and Staff Scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory 

"Strengthening Your Networks and Responding to Stress and Strain"

Surita Bhatia conducts research in materials synthesis and characterization at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials. Her research focuses on applications of complex fluids and soft materials ranging from the everyday (e.g., shampoos, cosmetics, lotions, paints, and foods) to high-technology products for biomedical and energy applications (e.g., pharmaceutical formulations, wound dressings, advanced coatings, biofuels, and flow batteries). 

While a professor in chemical engineering at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass-Amherst), Bhatia, together with Professor Jeanne Hardy (also of UMass-Amherst), started a professional support group. They created this group inspired by the book by Ellen Daniell, "Every other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists." The book tells the story of a professional problem-solving group that has empowered its members by providing practical and emotional support.

Mina Bissell, Distinguished Scientist, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory 

"Wife, Mother, Scientist — or Is It the Other Way Around?"

Mina Bissell is well known for her contributions to breast cancer research. During her talk, Bissell will discuss how women can balance their family responsibilities and still have a successful career in research. A pioneer in the study of the role of extracellular matrix and microenvironment in regulation of tissue-specific function with special emphasis in breast cancer, Bissell will address the age-old question — why do we get cancer? For years, conventional belief was that cancer begins solely by DNA mutation that causes cells to run amok and replicate chaotically. For thirty years, Bissell has conducted research that has proven that cancer also lies outside of the cell and is caused by the interaction between cancer cells and the surrounding cellular microenvironment. 

Suzanne Davidson, Chief Financial Officer, Brookhaven National Laboratory

"Introvert or Extrovert: Does Gender Matter?"

 As Brookhaven Laboratory's Chief Financial Officer, Suzanne Davidson oversees Brookhaven's Prime Contract Administration & Requirements Management, Business Development and Analysis Office, Fiscal Services Division, Project Management Office, Deployed Business Offices, and the Procurement and Property Management Division. She is responsible for a broad range of business activities, including the planning and implementation of the Laboratory's annual budget, and administers the budget for Brookhaven Science Associates, the company that manages Brookhaven Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy. Davidson will discuss how she believes personalities of introverts and extroverts together with gender may play an important role in team dynamics.

Barbara Howie, Attorney at Law, President of Enterprising and Professional Women

"How One Woman Changed the World for Women"

Barbara Howie is a matrimonial and family law attorney located in Patchogue, New York. She serves as President of the New York Chapter of Enterprising and Professional Women, an international organization that holds consultative status with the United Nations on issues impacting women.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Howie worked as an area manager for the State of New York monitoring and regulating the Department of Social Services in Nassau and Suffolk, the two largest counties in New York State.  She is a retired associate justice of the Village of Patchogue and is an active member of various civic and professional organizations.  Howie has been politically active since 1968, having worked in several political campaigns and lobbied for human rights in New York.

Howie will discuss how attorney Lena Madesin Phillips changed the world for professional women. Phillips founded the National Business and Professional Women's Club in 1919 and the International Federation of Business and Professional Women in 1930.

Gillian Winters, Vice President, American Association of Physics Teachers 

"Keeping Pace with Life"

After working for several years in industry, Gillian Winters decided she wanted to teach physics and inspire young researchers. Winters currently teaches Regents and AP-C (physics with calculus) at Smithtown High School East. She is active in the education arena and currently serves as the Vice President of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), Long Island section. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in physical science education.  During her talk at Brookhaven, Winters will speak about the importance of making good choices, the need to be flexible, and how to have a positive impact on our society.

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