Increasing STEM Diversity in Academia and Practice

Dr. Erica Fischer, Assistant Professor at Oregon State University, will be at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, November 13 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Torgersen Hall Room 1060 to give a presentation about increasing STEM diversity in academia and practice.

Abstract: Underrepresented scholars and professionals spend a significant amount of time in service or leadership roles on issues related to diversity and inclusion, yet these efforts are not always fully recognized. Early career scholars may be discouraged from such potentially undervalued efforts, even though their relatively more recent experiences in the job market are an asset to the success of diversity, inclusion, and mentoring programs. Given widespread interest in increasing diversity in STEM fields, ensuring that the perspectives of early career scholars are shared with broad educational and professional communities is essential for inspiring students and the next generation of leaders to action. Dr. Fischer’s talk will describe her work promoting engagement, equity, and advocacy of women and other underrepresented groups at OSU and in the Structural Engineering field. The seminar will provide a unique opportunity for Virginia Tech scholars and community members of all ranks and backgrounds to learn about practices that are gaining success at a peer institution.

Biography: Erica Fischer, Ph.D., P.E., is an Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. Her technical capabilities revolve around innovative approaches to improve the resilience, robustness, and sustainability or structural systems affected by hazards. Erica is on the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Executive Committee of the Structural Stability Research Councl. Erica has extensive experience in diversity-related causes, as a Founder of Women in CCE at OSU, a member of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) Structural Engineering Engagement and Equity Committee, the organizer of the Women in Structure Engineering (WiSE) LinkedIn network, and as a volunteer instructor for after-school engineering courses through Girls Build. She is the recipient of the 2019 Women of Vision award by the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce in recognition of her role in creating opportunities for the next generation of women leaders.

This presentation is sponsored by the Women and Minority Artist and Scholars Lecture Series (WMALLS) and the Civil and Environmental engineering Diversity Committee (CEEDC).