This academic year, the IISR has coordinated two Women in STEM and Sport events on St John’s University’s Queens Campus. The events were held for female athletes from Queens County high schools, inviting them to participate in a project that was aimed at educating girls about STEM careers in the sport industry. The events included tours of the athletic facilities; panel discussions with D1 student-athletes, NCAA experts, and Athletic’s graduate assistants; presentations from amazing women working in the sport industry and team building workshops.
In commemoration of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the IISR hosted yet another WiSS event, however this time the event was held on the Staten Island Campus. Some of Staten Island’s most prestigious STEM high schools attended the event, providing an audience of astute and ambitious female athletes. Many girls attending the event, were seniors that had already received acceptances into esteemed IV league schools. Upon speaking to the girls, they expressed that they were still trying to keep their options open and were weighing out the opportunity costs of attending local universities, as opposed to paying exorbitant IV league tuition rates. By listening and talking to the speakers at the event, the students found that they were better equipped to decide on what path they would take in achieving their career goals.
The line-up of speakers at the Staten Island event was quite Impressive. Opening the event, Briana Morales an engineer and senior project manager at Greener by Design, addressed the girls on the landscape of male dominated industries and the changing climate of those industries as women make greater inroads. Suzan Piazza the Co-founder and executive director of NY Sports Science lab (located in Staten Island), closed the event with her inspiring Key Note address. Many of the girls were excited about the fact that such a respected institution and high-tech facility existed right in their backyard. Susan also invited her tech-executive friends from Silicon Valley via Skype, to contribute to the wealth of knowledge the girls were receiving.
The event as an astounding success and we look forward to having more like it on all of St John’s University's campuses.