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Women in STEAM: Abstracts

Biographies and Abstracts

Dr. Cecilia Moloney thumbnail_CMoloney_6RB_2297-2.jpg


Cecilia Moloney is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Memorial University (St. John’s campus). From 2004-2009 she held the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, Atlantic Region (CWSEA). Following the CWSEA she started the legacy MetaKettle Project at Memorial to develop and implement integrative methods in engineering and science education. Her research interests include nonlinear signal and image processing methods, signal representations, radar signal processing, and problem solving and ethics in engineering and engineering education.

"From International Women’s Day to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: A Journey, Many Journeys"

Across academia the conversation has shifted recently to include equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). On the occasion of International Women’s Day, it is fitting to reflect on the journeys we have all taken, individually and collectively, in appreciating the contributions of women, generally, and their contributions towards the ongoing changes in the conversation around EDI. While much work remains to be done towards defining EDI, setting institutional and personal goals, and outlining action plans, today is a time to be hopeful as we integrate the past towards creating the future.

Dr. Kelly Warren

Dr. Kelly Warren is an associate professor in the psychology program with research interests in the intersection between psychology and law. Recognizing the problems that exist for children and those aged 65+ who witness or experience crimes, Kelly's work is dedicated to learning why individuals of these ages struggle remembering their experiences and to developing procedures that can help them testify.

"Relative versus Absolute Judgments in Eyewitness Decision Making - A Developmental Perspective

Age differences exist in the way with which we encode information about our day to day experiences. Children and individuals aged 65+ struggle in both providing recall in a forensic context and in making line up decisions. This leads to the question of whether deficits seen with individuals of these ages are a result of encoding or retrieval problems. The issues seen will be discussed as they relate to fuzzy trace theory versus cognitive and social demands, with a particular emphasis on line up decisions and the practice of making relative versus absolute judgments.

Dr. Rebecca Milley

Dr. Milley is an Associate Professor of Computational Mathematics at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. She has a PhD in Mathematics from Dalhousie University and specializes in combinatorics, especially combinatorial game theory.

"Lessons in Losing"

A "combinatorial game" is a two-player game of pure strategy, with no luck, chance, or hidden information. How do you win? Under "normal" play, you win if your opponent runs out of moves; this ending condition has been well-studied by mathematicians, and there is a complete algebraic theory that allows us to analyze normal-play games. But what if you decide to switch this ending, so that you "win by losing": what if the winner is the person who runs out of moves first? This is called "misere" play, and it somehow makes the whole mathematical structure fall apart. This talk will explain the basic theory of normal and misere games, and talk about exciting recent advances in the theory of misere play.

Dr. Julie Sircom

Julie Sircom is an ecologist currently focusing on insects. She earned her PhD and MSc at Dalhousie University, her BSc from Acadia University, and also studied at Carleton and Simon Fraser Universities. She has been at Grenfell since 2011, teaching in the Environmental Science program and doing research on various aspects of native bees.

"The deep roots of lawns, and why you should uproot yours"

For historical reasons, we usually surround our homes with a uniform carpet of grass. But groundbreaking research done in the 1960s – by a woman, in the face of misogynistic attitudes – shows that complexity is good for our brains. Our brains are plastic, able to build new connections even into adulthood, and this happens in response to complexity. Ecological research shows that complexity is good for ecosystems, too, making them more diverse and resilient. Small changes to our urban and suburban ecosystems to introduce complexity can benefit threatened wildlife, and us.

Renate Pohl

Renate is a professional set, lighting and costume designer and Resident Designer and Assistant Professor of Technical Theatre Production for the Theatre Program at MUN, Grenfell Campus. With a background in performance and social theatre facilitation, Renate started working as a professional theatre designer across Canada and the UK in 2006 after receiving an MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta. Her interdisciplinary creative research in the space industry includes artistic works created for the UpRoute Space Program and European Space Agency and publications on STEAM education for International Space University.

"Science and Shakespeare:  Optics and  Chemistry Take Stage"

How do acids and salts work with proteins to bring Hamlet’s world to life? What principles of physics are considered in order to conjure Macbeth’s ghosts? This STEAM talk will pull the red velvet curtain aside to reveal a glimpse of the science at work in Stagecraft.

Angela Brockway

Angela Brockway is an Education Outreach Officer with Qalipu First Nation. She works with youth, oversees several community led projects, and works to support partner projects, including projects led by Grenfell’s Promoscience team. Angela is a second year business student at Grenfell, and was this years recipient of the Iris Kirby Memorial Scholarship for feminism and the advancement of women.

“Women working outside the box: the challenges and successes of unusual jobs”

Dr. Angela Robinson

Angela Robinson is an anthropologist who has worked in various rural communities throughout eastern Canada. She earned her PhD at McMaster University, and her MA, MPhil (Humanities), and BA degrees at Memorial University. She has worked at Grenfell since 2006, teaching in the Social/Cultural Studies program and conducts research on various aspects of rural life in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Heritage, People and Place: Mapping Local Ecological and Traditional Knowledge in King's Cove, Bonavista Bay.

The query “Who was Michael Ryan’s grandfather?”, typed thousands of miles away by a person then unknown to me, sent me on a quest that has since become the centre of my research, and is one that has taken on many dimensions. My 3 x great grandfather, Michael Ryan was one of the earliest settlers in the community of King’s Cove, Bonavista Bay, which in its heyday was a thriving fishing community. Founded in the mid-1700s, and whose fate and that of its people was inextricably tied to the cod fishery, the community’s lengthy history, as one of the earliest communities to develop outside the original English Shore, has not been sufficiently studied. Collecting ethnographic data about the history and lifeways of the families who established and lived in the community, and the mapping of existing and former domiciles, farm lands, and fishing rooms will contribute significantly to our understanding of the community, in particular, and to outport culture and heritage more broadly.

Crystal Rose

Crystal Rose is the Public Services Librarian at Grenfell Campus. She has a Fine Arts degree and a Masters degree in Library & Information Studies.

Where are all the Women? Increasing the Representation of Women in STEAM on Wikipedia

Women in STEAM are underrepresented on Wikipedia. Learn how faculty, Librarians, and students worldwide - and right here in Newfoundland - are working together to increase the visibility of women in one of the most popular, free encyclopedias.

Dr. Svetlana Barkanova

Dr. Svetlana Barkanova is a professor at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland, home to one of the largest campus-based telescopes in Canada and a new BSc program in physics, which explores everything from the smallest particles to the most distant stars and galaxies. An internationally known researcher, she is also an award-wining teacher and a popular public speaker passionate about science promotion and showcasing the beauty of the night sky.

“Our Universe: The Reality Stew”

What are the most fundamental building blocks of our Universe? What folds them together? What is Dark Matter, and how can we look for it? Join us on a quest to unravel many of the puzzles of astrophysics and particle physics and discover the laws that govern our Universe.

Dr. Maria Kilfoil

Maria Kilfoil is a physicist who earned her PhD and MSc at Memorial University (via Massey University in New Zealand), her BSc from University of New Brunswick, and also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and a faculty member at McGill and University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has been at Grenfell since 2018, managing the Navigate Makerspace and doing research on various aspects of soft materials and hands-on learning. 

"Diversity and accessibility as determinants in learning and entrepreneurial actions"

A lot of entrepreneurship comes about through artists. I like to explore that topic more deeply, and want to explore the determinants of diversity and accessibility more deeply.  I will discuss a series of workshops I have developed that embed technology in hands on learning, merging traditional craft and art with digital technologies. They serve as platforms for studying how ideas are unlocked when we look at creativity in these fun ways. I will talk about my early thinking thinking around research questions around diversity and accessibility and linkages between them.  

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