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New Mexico State University

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Women's History Month to be celebrated at NMSU

The many achievements of women in technology and science will be celebrated by faculty, staff, students and community members during Women's History Month at New Mexico State University.

The NMSU Women's Studies Program will host "Inventing the Future: Women in Science and Technology" throughout the month of March.

"Women have always used technology," said Leslie Morrell, coordinator for the NMSU Women's Studies Program, "ever since they've used tools for grinding and cooking in pre-historic eras."

Morrell mentioned several contributions to technology by women such as Ada Lovelace, who translated and calculated notes for what historians recognize as the first computer program; Grace Hopper, a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy and one of the first programmers of the Mark I Calculator; and Marie Currie, a pioneer in radioactivity research and first-time winner of two Nobel Prizes in different sciences.

However, Tracy Sterling, director of the National Science Foundation ADVANCE Program at NMSU, said women remain scarce in tenure-track faculty positions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

"There are several reasons why women are under-represented in these STEM disciplines," said Sterling, whose $3.75 million program has more than doubled the number of female STEM faculty hired by NMSU in the past five years. "One is the pipeline; not all fields have diverse pools of candidates. Other reasons are unconscious bias, a chilly climate for women and work-and-family balance issues.

"In spite of these obstacles, many women faculty members at NMSU have succeeded in establishing vibrant careers in science and engineering. We are proud to co-sponsor this recognition of their accomplishments," Sterling said.

NMSU's Women's History Month events are free and open to the public. They include:

? Opening reception and a research poster session - "Celebrating Women of Science and Engineering at NMSU" Thursday, March 1, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Aggie Underground in Corbett Center Student Union.
? Book signing - Joan Jensen's "Calling This Place Home: Women on the Wisconsin Frontier, 1850-1925" Tuesday, March 6, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Conroy Honors Center.
? Luncheon and panel discussion - "Constructing the Future: Women who Build" Wednesday, March 7, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Otero Room in CCSU. A reservation by March 2 is required to attend. To RSVP, call Morrell at (505) 646-8173.
? Brown bag lunch and discussion - "Women, Healing and Medicinal Plants" Tuesday, March 13, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Women's Studies Program office in the Science Hall Room 286A.
? Continental breakfast and exhibit - "My Country is Alive: A Southern Tutchone Life, Marge Jackson, Yukon, Canada" Wednesday, March 14, from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. in the Women's Studies Program office.
? Workshop - "Computer Careers: Games, Animation and the Web," Thursday, March 15, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Engineering Complex Building III Room 307.

Women's History Month has been celebrated across the nation since 1987, when Congress legally expanded Women's History Week to a month-long national holiday.

For more information on the events, contact Morrell at (505) 646-3448 or Pam Hunt at (505) 646-2583.