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Alumni News

Hundreds Attend Women in Science and Engineering Forum at DeSales

by Janelle Hill Apr 3, 2019

Growing up, Keira Carrington didn’t have many women to look up to in her dream career field. That’s all changing thanks to the Da Vinci Science Center’s Women in Science and Engineering Mentoring Forum and Panel Discussion.

Carrington was one of 350 women to come together for the event, which was held at DeSales University. The forum promotes the participation of girls in STEM fields and included high school students, college students, and local female STEM professionals.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to see so many other girls that have their dreams set so high, that we’re all going for it, and that we’re really making a new future for STEM,” says Carrington, a senior at Pocono Mountain East High School, whose goal is to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology for computing security.   

Twenty-two DeSales students served as mentors to the high school students, answering their questions and getting to know their interests during dinner. Gabriella Merlino, a senior mathematics major with a certification in secondary education, acted as a mentor at her professor’s request. 

“I was honored to do this and it’s important to me. I was in a small major. I was a blonde in mathematics. No one thought I could do it. But just looking at all these 350 women in here, we can do it. We are empowered.”

 Gabriella Merlino '19

A panel discussion followed the dinner, featuring Eileen Cipriani, deputy secretary for workforce development at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry; Tamala Mallett Moore, senior director of global pharmacovigilance at Sanofi Pasteur; Michele McGrath, director of global engineering and manufacturing at Air Products; and Jean Keeler, president & CEO of Grand View Health, who served as the panel moderator.

The panelists retraced their careers and the challenges they’ve faced along the way. Keeler, a DeSales alumna who majored in biology before going onto law school, told the crowd that science was the perfect background for a career in law. 

“You couldn’t ask for a better background than a STEM background. You will stick out in a very positive way because you’ll know how to study and you’ll know how to problem solve. I can see where the science background helped me every step of the way.”