What stereotypes do each of us hold about STEM (Science – Technology – Engineering – Mathematics) professionals? Does the mention of STEM bring to mind someone who is … Male? Straight? Nerd?
I will stop right there. Because, contrary to whatever you might think of me (he/him and nerd), STEM fields are becoming increasingly diverse and (one can only hope) increasingly welcoming to all people with a STEM interest. I can see this happening around me in Portland, Oregon, and especially on the Reed College campus.
Portland’s Q Center explored this topic one evening last week (“Out in STEM PDX”, 8 Aug 2019) by gathering an LGBTQ+ panel of STEM professionals and inviting the Portland community to hear their “stories, insights, and conversations … about their experiences of navigating the STEM world.” Among the panelists was Reed College chemistry professor Kelly Chacón (she/her or they) [2015-].
Tim Hecox (he/him), a Federal Grants Manager with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) moderated the evening. The full list of panelists included:
- Dr. Ada-Rhodes Short (she/her), a Senior Mechatronic Engineer with Lora DiCarlo and part-time Instructor at Oregon State University.
- Dr. Andre Walcott (he/him), a Scientific Program Management Scholar with OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute’s Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research Center (CEDAR).
- Miché Lozano (they/them), an Ambassador with Latino Outdoors.
- Dr. Kelly Chacón (she/her or they), an Assistant Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Reed College.