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News Release

June 3, 2005

Women in Science and Engineering to
Convene National Conference at Smith College

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Women in science and engineering from around the nation will gather at Smith College June 23 and 24 to talk about overcoming gender barriers that still exist in these fields.

Smith College—site of the nation’s first engineering program at a women’s college—will host the conference, organized by the national office of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in conjunction with members in the Five College area and a committee of representatives from industry and academia. Participants must register for the events.

Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a theoretical physicist, will deliver the keynote address at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 23, in the Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. At 9 a.m. Friday, June 24, activities will begin with a speech by Rita Colwell, former director of the National Science Foundation, distinguished professor at the University of Maryland, chair of Canon U.S. Life Sciences, and a microbiologist.

The conference will unite academic and corporate leaders to identify barriers that remain for women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics sectors, and set an agenda to remove those barriers in the coming decade.

Smith College is the ideal location for the conference, according to Elizabeth Ivey, a former chair of the Smith physics department and now the AWIS president.

“Supporting women in all segments of the workforce is something that the Association for Women in Science has as a mission,” said Ivey. “From my 21 years at Smith, I knew that the women’s colleges have a good record on supporting women in science, both faculty and students.”

In addition to Ivey, conference planners included Tom Litwin and Brenda Bolduc of Smith College, Darby Dyar of Mount Holyoke College, Adele Wolfson of Wellesley College, Mary Pavone of Dartmouth College, Ilsa Schwartz of Yale University, Velda Goldberg of Simmons College and Phil Weilerstein of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.

Based in Washington, D.C., AWIS is dedicated to achieving equity and full participation for women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. A non-profit association that works to promote women’s activities in all scientific fields, from mentoring to scholarships to job listings, it has more than 60 chapters in 37 states.

For information about registering for the conference, go to

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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