Changing the Face of STEM

October 25–26, 2019, UT Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas, TX

The Power of Collective Impact

URU The Right to Be, Inc. invites you to a groundbreaking, national education initiative focused on bringing together all stakeholders to develop tangible and sustainable solutions for equity and inclusion in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEM). Join us as we create a new paradigm for our nation’s youth and thought-leaders.

Sponsored in part by Intel, PwC, and Unilever

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Meet our Panel of Experts

Leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEM).

  • Velma Scantlebury
    Velma Scantlebury

    Dr. Scantlebury is the first African American female transplant surgeon of the United States. She has received many honors in her career having been named to both the “Best Doctors in America” and “Top Doctors in America” lists multiple times. Dr. Scantlebury has been awarded the “Woman of Spirit Award” for inspiring others and the “Gift of Life Award” from the National Kidney Foundation. She has performed over 2,000 transplants and published many peer-reviewed papers.

  • Edward Castillo
    Edward Castillo

    Castillo earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from St. Mary’s University, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Rice University’s Computational and Applied Mathematics Department. “I’ve been looking at medical imaging problems since graduate school,” he says. His work focused on medical image processing, and he continued that research as a postdoctoral scholar in the Mathematics Department at the University of California (UC), Irvine.

  • Joycelyn Elders
    Joycelyn Elders

    In 1993 Dr. Joycelyn Elders became the first Black woman to be named surgeon general of the United States. During her term she significantly increased awareness about many public health issues, including unplanned pregnancies, poverty and its relationship to teenage pregnancy, HIV counseling, tobacco use, and drug and alcohol abuse.

  • Laura Bottomley
    Laura Bottomley

    Laura Bottomley is the Director of The Engineering Place for K-20 Engineering as well as the Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach Programs for the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. In her role at The Engineering Place, she conducts research on effective professional development for K-12 engineering education, teaching and learning of engineering in K-12 education, and mechanisms for integrated STEM teaching and learning in formal and informal classrooms.

  • Melanie E. Moses
    Melanie E. Moses

    When she arrived at Stanford University, she discovered Symbolic Systems, a highly interdisciplinary major in which she studied Computer Science, Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence and robotics. She later earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of New Mexico (UNM), and she is currently a Professor of Computer Science and Biology, also at UNM. She is also an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute, the world’s preeminent institute for the interdisciplinary study of complex systems.

  • Chris Sahley
    Chris Sahley

    Chris Sahley is a professor and associate head in the department of biological sciences at Purdue University. She is Director for the ADVANCE-Purdue Center for Faculty Success and Special Advisor to the Provost for Gender Equity. The work the ADVANCE Purdue Center or Faculty Success is directed at institutional transformation through educational programs for faculty and administrators as well as policy development with a special focus on women of color in the academy.

  • Karissa Culbreath
    Karissa Culbreath

    Dr. Karissa Culbreath is Medical Director of the Infectious Disease Laboratory at TriCore Reference Laboratories and Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. In this role, Dr. Culbreath oversees the clinical service for the largest diagnostic laboratory in the State of New Mexico. She is actively engaged in research to design and evaluate new diagnostic tests for complex medical conditions. Additionally, she is passionate about providing diagnostics to rural communities throughout New Mexico and internationally.

  • Martha McGrew
    Martha McGrew

    Dr. McGrew is the Executive Vice Dean of the UNM School of Medicine and a professor in Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She received her M.D. from Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed her Family Medicine residency training there as well. Dr. McGrew completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco Department of Family Medicine in 1988. She began her career on the faculty of Family Medicine at Michigan State University and joined the faculty of Family and Community Medicine at the UNMSOM in 1990.

  • Valeria Sinclair-Chapman
    Valeria Sinclair-Chapman

    Valeria Sinclair-Chapman’s work focuses on American political institutions, legislative politics, minority representation in Congress, and minority political participation. Broadly construed, her research examines why and how previously marginalized groups gain inclusion in the American political system.  She is author or co-author of journal articles in the Journal of Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Research Quarterly, and Politics, Groups, and Identities, as well as several book chapters and an award-winning book, Countervailing Forces in African-American Political Activism, 1973-1994 (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

  • Rashele Yarborough
    Rashele Yarborough

    Dr. Rashele Yarborough is a family physician who values both parts of her job description. A proud Howard University alumna with her MD/PhD from Yale, Dr. Yarborough enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, mentoring and serving as an advocate for her patients and her community.

  • Andres Guerrero
    Andres Guerrero

    Andres Guerrero, presenting Explora! Making with STEM and Bio-products, has both a B.S. and M.S. in Molecular Biology and biomedical research. Andres is a bilingual educator and Lead Maker at Explora. Providing Explora’s experiential programs in science, technology, engineering, and math to students across all of New Mexico in both Spanish and English. Empowering the learning skills of students is Andres’s goal in the educational programs he facilitates; he does this by providing students materials they can manipulate and having them explore and discover science with their own hands.

  • Caroline Rempe
    Caroline Rempe

    Caroline Rempe is an Educator at Explora, a children’s science museum in Albuquerque, NM. After working on projects to improve biofuels and understand natural antimicrobials, Caroline transitioned to sharing the power of STEM learning through education. Caroline is passionate about creating opportunities for kids (and adults) across New Mexico to achieve their goals through activities that build collaborative, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

  • Koshi Dhingra
    Koshi Dhingra

    Dr. Koshi Dhingra is the Founder and Director of talkSTEM, a non-profit organization whose mission it is to develop future generations of STEM leaders who are female or come from other underrepresented groups by inspiring today’s youth to develop STEM mindsets. She has over 30 years’ experience in the field of science education as a teacher, researcher, teacher educator, and administrator in New York, New Jersey and Texas.

  • Sharon Gunzburg
    Sharon Gunzburg

    In her role as Unilever Global Packaging Design Strategy Manager, Skin Care, Sharon creates design experiences and packaging solutions for consumers. Before joining Unilever, Sharon worked at various consumer goods companies such as Kraft Foods, Avon Products and Colgate Palmolive, managing design, understanding consumer behaviors and market trends and developing new business design opportunities in the foods, beauty and home goods sectors. Her passion lies in inspiring today’s youth in STEAM. Unilever’s unwavering support in STEAM community outreach has allowed Sharon to share her experiences as a creative professional and develop programming opportunities in partnership with local external STEAM Youth Organizations. She has an AAS in Advertising Design and a BFA in Packaging Design with distinction from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and has mentored grade school through university aged students. Her interests include behavioral psychology, tennis and cooking.

  • Jennifer Huertas
    Jennifer Huertas

    Jennifer, a Senior Scientists with Unilever Global Clinicals Skin Care, has a BA in Biology with a minor in Psychology and Nutrition from Southern Connecticut State University. She received her MS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of New Haven. Since joining Unilever in 2002, Jennifer has held positions in the Skin Measurement Science team, Laundry Development CTI team and now the Clinical team. Her areas of expertise span Sunscreen testing, photobiology, skin-lightening and pigmented lesions as well as a variety of non-invasive instrumentation. Jennifer is now a Sr. Research Scientist in the Clinicals team, focusing her efforts in the areas of skin hydration and supporting Premium Innovation.

  • Stacy Hawkins
    Stacy Hawkins

    As a Unilever Global Clinical Site Leader, Stacy leads the clinical team at Unilever responsible for testing the safety and efficacy for global skin cleansing, care and premium products. She has over 50 publications in the areas of skin aging, perception, imaging and biophysics, and skin barrier research. Stacy has a BSci in Bioelectrical Engineering from MIT and a PhD in biomedical engineering from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She mentors scientists within Unilever, through MIT alumni programs, and ACP (American Corporate Partners, who help military veterans and spouses find new careers). Her interests include college sports, photography/nature, hiking, gardening, cooking, reading mysteries and sci-fi.

  • Johhny Poolaw
    Johhny Poolaw

    Dr. Johnny Poolaw is a citizen of the Delaware Nation and is also a descendent of the Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa Nations. He is new to the AISES family and will be serving as the Associate Director of Student Success Services. In this role, Dr. Poolaw will be leading the Student Success Services Division within the Programs Department to lead the development and implementation of student success programming, including developing and providing a holistic suite of college student services focused on supporting academic success, career exploration, and successful transition into the workforce, developing scholarship and internship policies and procedures, engaging in collaborations with partner organizations and coalitions, and collecting data to track outcomes and evaluate AISES’ student support programs to explore the impact of AISES’ college programs.

  • Skye Donovan & Jason Craig
    Skye Donovan & Jason Craig

    Skye Donovan, PT, PhD, & Jason Craig PT, PhD are orthopedic physical therapists who are on faculty at Marymount University in Arlington, VA. They are the Co-directors of the Marymount University Go Baby Go program, that adapts ride on cars for children with disabilities. They are also passionate about STEAM education and use Go Baby Go as a mechanism to teach technology and engineering principles to middle and high school aged children. You can follow them on Twitter at @JSkyeDonovan @Jason_Craig

  • Jewel Mullen
    Jewel Mullen

    Jewel Mullen, M.D., MPH, is the associate dean for health equity at the Dell Medical School, as well as an associate professor in the school’s population health and internal medicine departments. She also serves as a senior consultant for Ascension Seton to help meet health equity goals across its system. Board certified in internal medicine, Mullen received her bachelor’s degree and Master of Public Health from Yale University where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychosocial epidemiology. She graduated from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society, and completed her residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

  • Eugene Joh
    Eugene Joh

    Eugene Joh, CQE is a longstanding staff member of URU The Right to Be, Inc., where he works closely with CEO Crystal Emery. Joh’s work has been focused recently on the development of URU’s Changing the Face of STEM program. He is also one of the producers of the upcoming URU podcast, At the Intersection of Crystal R. Emery.

    Joh holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of Connecticut.

  • Melissa Dawson
    Melissa Dawson

    Melissa Dawson works on the West Region Responsible Business Leadership team at PwC and has been with the firm for 5 years.  PwC’s Responsible Business Leadership team focuses on PwC initiatives such as Access Your Potential. Through Access Your Potential, PwC is helping build a more diverse, tech-skilled workforce to create a better future for tomorrow’s leaders. Prior to working at PwC, Melissa spent several years working in education.  A San Jose native, Melissa is based in Silicon Valley, and enjoys the opportunity working for the west region brings to work in communities throughout the western US.

  • Marsha Whiting
    Marsha Whiting

    Marsha Whiting is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and is also Sicangu Lakota. She was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and is an active member of the Denver Indian American community, where she volunteers extensively. Marsha has over 15 years of experience working in both programmatic and operational capacities in Native controlled non-profits serving urban and reservation-based communities. She currently serves as Associate Director of Programs at the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, is Board Chair of the Denver Indian Family Resource Center and on the advisory councils of Native Organizers Alliance and Herbal Gardens Wellness.

  • Uriah Monk
    Uriah Monk

    In his role as Digital Support Specialist for URU The Right to Be, Inc., Uriah Monk has been involved in outreach and educational events across the country, tackling social justice issues through film and workshops. In 2016, he assisted in the production of the film Black Women in Medicine, which has been broadcast to millions of viewers worldwide and screened in movie theaters across the country. Monk’s work with URU, which began as an undergrad internship, informs his work as a graphic artist with a deep understanding of the power of media arts in shaping the lives and futures of today’s youth. Currently, Monk provides technical leadership for URU’s Oculus Virtual Reality Learning Experience program, a cutting-edge educational platform aimed at closing the identification gap for young students of color in STEM careers.

    Monk completed his BA in Graphic Design at Central Connecticut State University. In addition to his work with URU, Uriah is a graphic designer with FoxNews61 Hartford.

  • OrLando Yarborough III
    OrLando Yarborough III

    OrLando Yarborough III, PhD is a scientist, leadership coach and strategist who helped train 19,000 Guatemalan leaders in the first-ever national transformation effort. He coaches and trains a diverse and international portfolio of young professionals, academics, and community and business leaders in leader development, professional skills, and personal growth.

    His passion is to help shape our environments to be launching pads and landing places, to create healthy systems where leaders are equipped, encouraged and empowered to live transformed lives and multiply their influence to create positive change. He coaches powerful communication skills for leaders.

    For more information about OrLando Yarborough III, visit his website

  • Bernard Harris
    Bernard Harris

    Dr. Harris holds a BS in Biology from the University of Houston, a MMS from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a MBA from the University of Houston Clear Lake and a MD from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. He completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a National Research Council Fellowship in Endocrinology at the NASA Ames Research Center and trained as a Flight Surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.

    Dr. Harris worked at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. As Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, he served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space.” A veteran astronaut for over nineteen years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. Dr. Harris is currently Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, that invests in early to mid stage Healthcare technologies and companies. He is also the Founder of the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports math/science education and crime prevention programs for America’s youth.

event schedule

October 25–26, 2019

October 25

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Power of the Sisterhood

An opportunity for accomplished women in STEM who are white to critically examine their professional experiences in STEM, also exploring ally-building across racial/ethnic and cultural groupings. Moderated by Dr. Laura Bottomley, Dr. Christie Sahley, and Dr. Martha Williams.

“White women’s tears are the most powerful force.” What does that mean?

Note: This event is for white women.

12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Women Gather

Women of color vary in their backgrounds and cultures. But one aspect remains the same, when they are seen by the dominant thought, they’re just another person of color. So, why am I afraid to trust you, my sister? Moderated by Dr. Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, Dr. Rashele Yarborough, and Dr. Joycelyn Elders.

Sister to Sister: From Hurt to Healing to Loving Ourselves

Note: This event is for women of color.

October 26

08:00 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

08:30 a.m.

Building Bridges – Roundtable

Women in STEM are their own “minority,” working in isolation to prove themselves in a man’s world. Through collegial sisterhood – black, brown and white – female voices share their journeys and conflicts working towards building a bridge which connects all women.

Moderators: Laura Bottomley, PhD, Director, Women in Engineering and The Engineering Place, NCSU Valeria Sinclair-Chapman, PhD, Co-Lead Editor, Politics, Groups, and Identities; Director, Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion, Purdue University

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Intel Autonomous Car

Sponsored by Intel

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

PwC: Essential Eight Curricula Including CODE-E, our life-size robot

Sponsored by PwC

10:00 a.m.

Workshops for Parents and Professionals

Roadmaps for your Child: Educational Milestones

While there is no single road to becoming a scientist, engineer, inventor, or mathematician, most STEM career paths share key characteristics. This workshop offers resources and a comprehensive guide to keep children on track for careers in STEM fields. Facilitated by Camille Bumbray.

11:00 a.m.

Youth Component

Interactive, “hands-on” multimedia workshops to engage, nurture and encourage the next generation of STEM professionals. One-on-one mentorship engagement and the CFS Virtual Reality Experience empower today’s students to become tomorrow’s trailblazers and innovators.

  • Create Your Own walkSTEM® (ages 11 – 18)
  • Building Robots (ages 14 – 20)
  • Dove Self Esteem Project/Workshop (girls only, ages 13-15)
  • Cyber Journalists (high school/college)
  • Oculus: Virtual Reality Learning Experience (ages 14 – 18)
  • SPRK-ing Interest in Computer Science (girls only, ages 10-15)
  • Explora (ages 5-7)
  • Gift of Mobility (high school)

11:00 a.m.

Book Signings – Master Builders of the Modern World

  • Rashele Yarborough, MD, Yale Family Medicine
  • Joycelyn Elders, MD, First Black US Surgeon General
  • Edward Castillo, PhD, Research Radiotherapy
  • Koshi Dhingra, EdD, talkSTEM
  • Bernard Harris, MD, First Black astronaut to walk in space
  • Velma Scantlebury, MD, First Black Woman Organ Transplant Surgeon

12:00 p.m.


02:30 p.m.

Medical Mavericks: A Conversation between Dr. Joycelyn Elders and Dr. Velma Scantlebury

Medical Mavericks is a unique opportunity to hear from two female African American medical doctors that have transformed medicine and health care globally.

  • Screening of excerpts from Black Women in Medicine
  • Presentation of The Gift of Mobility
  • Medical Mavericks: A Conversation Between Dr. Joycelyn Elders and Dr. Velma Scantlebury

Sponsored in part by Intel, PwC, and Unilever

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