Women in STEM Event Brings Together Alumnae, Faculty and Students to Share their Professional, Academic and Research Accomplishments

The event introduced prospective students to the unique opportunities that await them at Manhattan College.

Women in STEM Panel For 50 years, Manhattan College has been graduating an impressive number of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who have made major contributions in their respective fields. They have become innovators, problem solvers and industry leaders but what they all have in common is that they started their careers as Jaspers. Their work at the College and in the field have helped solidify Manhattan’s reputation as a premiere STEM institution for higher education. The college enrolled its first women students in 1973. 

On Saturday, January 28, the College hosted a women in STEM event to celebrate the accomplishments of these women and introduce the unique academic, extracurricular and professional opportunities to the next generation of Manhattan College STEM students. About 100  people attended the discussion. 

Among the event’s 20 panelists were current students, faculty and recent alumnae, who returned to campus to share stories about their professional experiences and how Manhattan College laid the foundations for their careers.  Alumnae spoke about the advantages of small classes and how being a Jasper felt like family. The participants came from a variety of fields, including mechanical engineering, civil and environmental engineering and biology. 

“Coming back to Manhattan College is always a treat, said Maggie Brownson ’17, a mechanical design engineer at Cosentini Associates. “It brings back memories of the hard work, self-discovery and the start of lifelong friendships that I have built. I am filled with pride every time and will take any chance I can get to share my love of being a Jasper engineer.”

Student panelists talked about the many research and internship opportunities they’ve been able to experience at Manhattan, while women faculty members in science and engineering discussed academic and professional opportunities and why they enjoyed teaching at the College. Marcy Kelly, Ph.D., dean of the Kakos School of Science, discussed the school’s future. 

“The women in STEM event highlighted the great work of the STEM women at the college,” said Kelly. “Women are an integral part of the STEM community and the Jasper family." 

After the panels, potential students were given tours of the Higgins Engineering and Science Center and Leo Hall, home to the School of Engineering.

“One of the most impactful parts of the day happened after the panels were over,” said Benjamin Boivin ’09 ’15 (M.S.), director of undergraduate admissions. “The tour of the Leo and the Higgins Engineering and Science Center helped prospective students put themselves in the shoes of current Jaspers. The STEM social took place in the Higgins atrium and allowed students to get to know faculty, current Jaspers, and alumnae on a more personal level.  Manhattan College is a place that will set you up for professional and personal success for the rest of your life. And yes, we need more women in STEM and welcome them to Manhattan College.” 

While the national gap between men and women entering the STEM professions has closed in recent years, women are still underrepresented with the greatest disparities in engineering and computer science, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). The NGCP’s March 2022 “The State of Girls and Women in STEM'' report, shows that while women make up 48% of the total workforce, they only comprise 34% of the STEM workforce. According to a 2019 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report, only 25.9% of all STEM leaders are women.