Meet the organizers of DMMM3 and learn more about their backgrounds and experiences, what this summit means to them, and why they are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive professional community.
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Materials Science Center
Sandia National Laboratories
In my experience, “diversity,” “inclusion,” and “equity” are words which are often used but very rarely, truly realized. While there has been significant and undeniable progress regarding more equitable representation among certain groups in the sciences (e.g., women), population disparities among persons of color illustrates we still have far to go. Furthermore, among specific groups (e.g., African Americans) the data of the past few decades suggest that we seemingly have yet to really begin affecting change with respect to certain populations. These trends motivated me to become a part of the organizing committee for DMMM3. Issues of race, ethnicity, and equal opportunity are challenging problems to be sure. However, I see TMS as the foremost organization within our profession that is not only large enough, but also courageous and passionate enough to make a significant impact on the future vector of diversity and inclusion within our field — and as far as I am concerned, if I can utilize my talents and time in some small way to positive influence such an outcome, I consider that time and effort well spent.
Associate Professor, Deptartment of Materials Science & Engineering
University of Florida
According to the National Science Board, “discovery and problem solving are often catalyzed by bringing together different expertise and varied perspectives, and by enabling access to unique data and resources." This quote highlights that diversity is a critical component of the scientific process by allowing people with unique backgrounds and perspectives to come together to create valuable solutions. It is for these reasons that I am seeking to take an active role in promoting diversity in science through DMMM3.
Vice President, Advanced Manufacturing
Launch Forth, a division of Local Motors
To me, diversity means more solvers at the table to overcome the greatest challenges facing our world today-- from manufacturing next-generation materials, to combating a changing climate, to clean drinking water for all, and beyond. As materials scientists and engineers, our skillset is foundational to these and other grand challenges and we need as many brilliant minds as possible to solve them.
Colorado School of Mines
I am new to academia, having only been a professor for about one year in a field that has historically been male dominated, not only in academia, but also in government and industry. Looking back, I can still recall being at a specialty metals conference as a student and being the only woman in the room. In the short timeframe that I have been a professor, I have been surprised by the number of comments I have received from colleagues and students about how excited they are to have another female faculty member in our department. I have also had female students seek out career advice about why I made the choices I did, particularly with respect to becoming a professor. This past year it has really hit me — people want to see those they identify with be successful, as it reaffirms opportunities and career paths open to them. These experiences have shown me how important it is to lead by example, which is why I’m involved in DMMM3. We need to share our experiences, identify and create advocates, and have important conversations with respect to diversity and inclusion to move forward. It matters.
Professor and Chair, Materials Science and Engineering
Iowa State University
Put simply, as I often tell my students and colleagues, embracing diversity and inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do — it is the way to do things right. We simply cannot be truly excellent without inclusion. My passion for inclusive excellence has evolved throughout my 25 years as faculty at Iowa State University, and now has grown to permeate every facet of my professional career, including teaching, research, administration, and outreach. As the chair of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Action Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, and a member of the ABET Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, I continue to expand my impact and my network to learn from and collaborate with engineering educators and industry partners worldwide so that I can be a more effective change agent. Having participated in the first two summits, I am honored to be on the organizing committee for DMMM3 to help continue our progress.
Vice Chancellor—Equity & Inclusion and Professor, Materials Science & Engineering
University of California Berkeley
A vibrant community that strives to advance knowledge and realize relevant solutions to our grand societal challenges must not only embrace diversity of thought but also empower every member to bring their voice to bear. TMS can play a significant role in moving the materials community to serve and engage all members of society. I am excited to be a part of this important endeavor.
Health Care Life Sciences Technical Advisor (TA) & Master Inventor
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center
Growing up in rural southwest Iowa in a working-class family, I personally experienced challenges with access to educational opportunities & socioeconomic limitations…and a lot of cultural homogeneity. As a junior in high school, I was fortunate to take part in a summer internship program at Iowa State University sponsored by the ISU Program for Women in Science & Engineering, which targeted young rural women & women of color. Not only did the summer internship experience expose me to an entire world of educational & career opportunities; I met a diverse array of people. I realized that regardless of where we grew up, many of us faced similar challenges as we worked to become “1st generation professionals.” As part of the ISU summer program, I also met several amazing mentors who have supported me along my journey to become a materials engineering professional – including Dr. Kristen Constant, who is also a member of the DMMM3 Organizing Committee! In order to return the favor of those who have inspired me, I am an active mentor and work to share access to opportunities with others who are paving their own career path, including as part of the DMMM3 Organizing Committee.
NSF GRFP Research Fellow
Purdue University School of Materials Engineering
After attending DMMM2 in 2016, I became even more actively aware of the need for diversity education in the materials discipline. It is often too easy to live ignorant of the complex obstacles faced by others in my field. At DMMM2, I became increasingly attuned to the unique challenges faced by diverse students in these disciplines thanks to individuals who were brave enough to share their experiences with me. DMMM3 promises to provide more opportunities for professional engineers in my field to engage with diversity conversations they might not otherwise have in an environment that is safe and accepting of all kinds of engineers. I have decided to join this committee to help plan the next DMMM conference to help provide these enriching experiences to more individuals.
Advanced Light Source Doctoral Fellow
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
NSF Graduate Research Fellow
University of California, Santa Barbara
I am involved with diversity and inclusion initiatives because I believe all people should have access to a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Diverse and inclusive workplaces and educational environments stimulate increased creativity, innovation, collaboration, and productivity, and will ultimately maximize global STEM output towards solving existing global challenges. I first became involved with diversity and inclusion initiatives during my undergraduate studies when I took a National Science Foundation-funded course “Promoting Equity in Engineering Relationships (PEERs),” in which I learned about current issues with diversity and inclusion in STEM through literature review and group activities. While at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I was an active member of Graduate Students for Diversity in Science (GSDS). I attended DMMM1 in Washington, D.C. in 2014, and was an invited plenary speaker at DMMM2 in 2016. I also co-organized the symposium Transforming the Diversity Landscape at TMS2016 which aimed to educate conference attendees on strategies for increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM.
President & Chief Operating Officer
McEwen Mining Inc.
As a person born in Mexico from mixed origin parents I was raised seeing all people just as people – nothing else mattered whether it was language, customs, religion, or skin. To me that is essential in my life. Later in life, my education and international exposure have reinforced the notion, through experience, that any group of people can do more for itself and others if it is nurtured by the variety of experiences, cultures and preferences all its members individually have without forcing homogeneity in any aspect.
However, human nature is one of seeking the path of least resistance and thus human relations are fraught with the comfort of seeking people just like oneself and thus homogenizing the makeup. Our mining and minerals businesses teams are not different.
I believe, making the effort to break down these natural homogenizing tendencies, rather than making it a forced disruption and imposition of quotas and magic formulae, will foster a change in habits in our industry that will seek the strength of diversity.
AAAS S&T Policy Fellow, Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation
National Science Foundation
The reasons I became an organizer for DMMM3 and am passionate about diversifying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are two-fold. First, with globalization and the exportation of menial labor, the percentage of U.S. jobs requiring science and mathematics skills is expected to grow rapidly in upcoming years. To meet this demand, there needs to be an increase in qualified individuals which can most easily be achieved by boarding and diversifying the pool of potential scientists and engineers. The second reason is a more personal one. As an African American man, I am constantly reminded of the diversity, or lack there of, in our field by how novel my presence is in far too many STEM settings. This sad realization along with the aforementioned rise in workforce and consumer demands have lead me to triumph the mutual benefits of an inclusive and diversified scientific community. To this end, I proudly sit on the planning/organizing committee for DMMM3 and several other organizations dedicated to increasing diversity throughout engineering, following in the footsteps of several mentors and pioneers who have previously championed these issues.
Rosa Maria Rojas
Professor of Practice
University of Arizona
Due to my own experience as a female engineer in the mining industry of South America, I became passionate about promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) within younger female generations. I have worked for this objective since I was a student in Peru and now, as part of the leadership of the Young Leaders Committee in the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Explorations (SME) as well as through FreeportMcMoran, I participate in career fairs — sharing my experience as a mine engineer with the latina population. My vision is to encourage females to pursue careers in STEM and promote more diversity in our field. I was invited to be a part of the DMMM3 committee by SME’s executive director.
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