Enriching STEM: Creating Equity in and Beyond the Lab – POSTPONED

UPDATE: As of March 10, 2020, this event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will update this page when a new date and format have been selected. Thank you for understanding.

Join the Futures Initiative and IRADAC, on Thursday Mar 12 from 12-1pm at The Graduate Center (Room 3317), to discuss the ways that public science initiatives throughout New York City are working to improve equity in STEM. This participatory session will bring together people and groups building public education and mentorship programs, particularly for minority or low-income students in diverse initiatives, including the Global STEM Alliance, the World Science Festival, BioBus, and K-12 STEM Outreach. RSVP is free.

Goals of the session include fostering connections across people and projects, crowdsourcing opportunities for graduate students to increase community involvement, and discussing the ways that public-focused work can have a deep impact on professional growth and research.

This event is part of the The University Worth Fighting For, a series of workshops that tie student-centered, engaged pedagogical practices to institutional change, race, equality, gender, and social justice.


Aisha Abdullah is the Associate Director of the Global STEM Alliance at the New York Academy of Sciences, helming the Academy’s K-12 STEM education programs and advancing the Global STEM Alliance mission to increase the number and diversity of students pursuing STEM careers. Aisha is also Lead Fellow for the NYC STEM Education Network, leading the Network’s efforts to expand and sustain NYC’s STEM learning opportunities and make them accessible to students, educators, and families of all backgrounds. Aisha received a BS in biology from the University of Houston and PhD in Neuroscience from Weill Cornell Medical College. She is passionate about making science education accessible and inclusive and broadening the pipeline to STEM careers. 

Elizabeth Waters is the Acting Director of STEM Outreach at the Cooper Union Albert Nerken School of Engineering, working to advance Peter Cooper’s radical  commitment to diversity and to fair and free access to education in order to foster a just and thriving world. STEM outreach programs aim to increase diversity in engineering and STEM leadership as we engage K-12 students, teachers and families along with Cooper Union students and faculty to work together to identify and solve challenges in New York City and around the world. Elizabeth is a member of the leadership team for BraiNY, the Greater New York Society for Neuroscience Chapter, promoting knowledge about brain research and health and a board member of the Inquiring Minds Institute, working to develop a framework and tool kit for children ages 0-18 to engage in civic actions and participate as citizens living in democratic communities. Elizabeth received a BS in Molecular Biology and East Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and PhD in Neuroscience from Oregon Health and Sciences University.

Jessica Desamero is a Doctoral Student in Biochemistry at CUNY, whose research focuses on special DNA structures called G-quadruplexes. Currently she volunteers with two science outreach organizations, BioBus and World Science Festival. You can find her on twitter @JessicaDesamero.

Michael Epstein is a PhD Candidate in the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience program in Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY, performing research into perception and attention using neuroimaging and behavioral measures. He has a long history of volunteering for public science education events, particularly Brain Awareness Week events organized by BraiNY/The New York Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience and BioBus. He is also a graduate fellow with The Futures Initiative, a group dedicated to fostering equity and innovation in the academy.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309