Sea slugs and STEM scholars: the transformative power of promoting diversity through biodiversity

Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Ph.D., Virginia Wesleyan University

Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson shares her personal journey of becoming a marine biologist, connect how her journey has led to engaged work with underrepresented groups in STEM, and reflect on her identity as an administrator-scholar. This webinar speaks directly to faculty seeking to unite their scholarly work with engaged community work, and to all those interested in the sciences or engaged in STEM education.

“My personal journey to become a marine biologist was initially inspired by my fascination with tropical opisthobranch mollusks (sea slugs) and has evolved into developing evidence-based pathways that open doors for, support, and mentor populations often excluded from science and STEM fields. In this presentation, I will share ongoing initiatives, such as early access to education programs, intervention strategies, scholarship opportunities and mentoring programs that have led to an increase in recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in STEM. Through these initiatives, I hope to create inclusive educational structures that even playing fields for all students.”

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