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SLU-Madrid Participates in the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

by Katie Gortz on 02/12/2020

As part of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, female SLU-Madrid students and faculty held a week-long series of talks and workshops related to the role of women in science.

This worldwide United Nations initiative aims to "support and promote the access of women and girls and their participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, training and research activities at all levels.”  SLU-Madrid has participated in the annual initiative since 2017 when it was first launched in Spain. 

Coordinated by female SLU-Madrid professors Tania de la Fuente, Ph.D. (health sciences), Fairouz Medjahed, Ph.D. (computer science), Ana Granados, Ph.D. (mathematics) and Ana Portilla, Ph.D. (mathematics), the events varied in topics ranging from the under-representation of women in science to profiles of female role models who are breaking barriers and pursuing science-based careers.


SLU-Madrid sophomore Merjen Palvanova speaks about the global increase in carbon dioxide emissions, with practical tips on how to reduce our carbon footprint. Palvanova, originally from Turkmenistan, is pursuing a major in mechanical engineering.

SLU-Madrid students Oneda Rama, Jaira Vázquez, Jona Bojdani, Rediet Kebere, Nada Saadi, Merjen Palvanova, Negin Jahanbakhsh and Julia Valgenti all gave insightful talks on topics such as women in the field of computer science and current applications of rehabilitation engineering. Hailing from Albania, Ethiopia, Iran, Morocco, Spain, Turkmenistan and the United States, the student speakers conveyed a broad range of international perspectives.

SLU-Madrid faculty Grandos, Portilla, Medjahed and Susan Basow, Ph.D., professor of psychology visiting from Lafayette College, also delivered lectures on and off campus.

The initiative serves as a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in the scientific and technological communities. Presenters demonstrated throughout the day that despite the significant impact women have on the scientific community, much work remains to be done to ensure full and equal access to and participation in science for women.