Why so few? Although women make up almost half of the total U.S. workforce, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs; women make up more than 20 percent of engineering school graduates but only 11 percent of practicing engineers are women; and stunningly, in 1985 women received 37 percent of Computer Science bachelor’s degrees, by 2013, a mere 18 percent of Computer and Information Sciences bachelor’s degree recipients were women.
Our panelists will discuss their career paths in STEM fields (Science Technology Engineering and Math) with moderator Pauline Hoffmann, PhD, Dean, Journalism/Mass Communication at St. Bonaventure University.
Meet the panel: Wyoming County Coroner Jennifer J Prutsman-Pfeiffer, PhD, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Nursing Forensic and Biological Anthropologist at University of Rochester Medical Center; microbiologist Xiao-Ning Zhang, Ph.D., Associate Professor Biology and Director of Biochemistry Program at St. Bonaventure University; and IT/web developer Renee Cerullo, owner of RLComputing, LLC and a founder Ed Tech of WNY, a nonprofit which installs and configures networks and computers for community organizations and schools.
Location: Protocol Restaurant
Dr. Xiao-Ning Zhang
Associate Professor in Biology, St. Bonaventure University
I am a plant molecular biologist. All my biology education was completed in China. Immediately after receiving a PhD in Genetics from Fudan University, I accepted a postdoctoral researcher position at University of Pennsylvania in 2002 where I studied how the quality of light affects plant development in Dr. Anthony Cashmore’s lab. In 2006, I moved to University of Maryland at College Park for a second postdoctoral position in Dr. Stephen Mount’s lab where I changed the focus to how pre-mRNA splicing is regulated in plants. While conducting research in College Park, I obtained a Master of Arts degree in the Applied Healing Arts Program in Tai Sophia Institute (now named as Maryland University of Integrative Health) in Laurel, Maryland. The combination of all the past experience helped reveal my passion in teaching which led me to a tenure-track position at St. Bonaventure University in 2009. With the support from the National Science Foundation, I have worked with a total of 89 undergraduate students and 3 high school students in either research laboratory or research-based courses in the past 6 years to explore the regulation network of pre-mRNA splicing.
Currently, I am the chair of the department of Biology and the director for the Biochemistry Program at SBU. In collaboration with other faculty members in math and sciences on campus, we successfully implemented a “STEM into High School Initiative” this year. I was the organizer for two summer events – a “K-12 science/math teacher lab development workshop” and a “High School Student Summer Research Program”. Both events concluded in July, 2015.
President RLComputing; President Ed Tech of WNY; President NYS Women Inc
Renee Cerullo was born and raised in Buffalo. She got her BS in Computer Information Systems from Buffalo State College and her MA in Informatics from the University of Buffalo. She is a 2014 graduate of the University of Buffalo Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. She worked for UB for 10 years. In 2000 she started her company RLComputing to help companies grow their business with technology. Renee has been an adjunct professor at University at Buffalo, Niagara University, and Bryant & Stratton. She travels to community colleges all over the US and Canada as a Web/IT consultant.
She is a founder and President of a non-profit called Ed Tech of WNY. Ed Tech of WNY facilitates the educational and mentoring efforts of schools and other nonprofit organizations by providing them with computer hardware and technical services. She currently is the President for NYS Women and was the President of the NYS Women Inc Buffalo Niagara Chapter for 2 years. She is on the Amherst Chamber of Commerce’s Business Resource Council. She also has been very involved in the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation WNY Chapter and NAWBO.
Renee received the 2013 infoTech Niagara BETA Award - Women in Technology, 2012 Athena Award nominee, 2011 Women in Leadership Awardee, 2010 SBA Home Based Business Champion of the Year for the Buffalo District and NYS/Region II, 2008 YWCA Emerging Leader Awardee, and a 2006 Business First 40 under 40 award winner.