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Noted Researcher Offers Strategies for Success in the STEM Professions

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lending her insight into the many challenges facing women who choose a career in the sciences, Tina Iverson '95C, associate professor of pharmacology at Vanderbilt University's School of Medicine, addressed students and faculty in St. John’s University’s Women in Science (WIS) program at a year-end meeting held May 2 at the Queens campus. The meeting also celebrated the achievements of students who are Clare Booth Luce Scholars.

Three students were recognized and given WIS certificates: Sarah R. Marques ’14G, Michelle Zur ’14P, and Aleana A. Paucar ’14CPS.

One of the first Clare Booth Luce Scholars at St. John's, Iverson encouraged the seniors to pursue their goals no matter what obstacles they confront, and outlined the challenges that often face women in STEM careers—for example, lower pay, a "leaky pipeline" that permits fewer women to attain tenure-track faculty positions in higher education, and balancing family with a career.

As a mother with a young family herself, Iverson outlined many strategies to overcome these difficulties by focusing on time management. Students were encouraged to examine how they could save time by combining, limiting, or eliminating certain activities. Suggestions included walking or bicycling to work or school for daily exercise and responding to e-mail only once a day.   

“Many of us simply read about successful women scientists,” said Marie Nitopi, Ed.D., coordinator, WIS. “But Dr. Iverson provided students and faculty with the real life experiences of a truly successful and inspirational woman.”

The WIS program, established in 1990, provides outreach activities supporting women entering the fields of science, mathematics, and computer science—areas in which women historically are underrepresented.